Brightcove & TubeMogul recently released their quarterly research report for Q1 and Q2 of 2011, entitled Online Video & The Media Industry – Special Features: Full Length Episodes, Mobile Engagement. The report focuses on three areas: platform usage, online video engagement and discovery, and mobile engagement. Today we’re going to look at their findings on engagement and discovery for online video across brands, broadcasters, newspapers, online media, and magazines.

Video Discovery – Search Up, Facebook Down

The report devotes a lot of time to how videos are being discovered and where the online video traffic is coming from, whether through search, social media properties like Twitter, and so on.

The good news for those of you who still care about Video SEO: video discovery by search is up, with Google seeing a 3.7% increase in referral traffic quarter to quarter.

Facebook, on the other hand, had its first quarter of actually decreasing in referral traffic:

It’s interesting that Facebook referrals dropped a bit in the second quarter, but not enough information to draw sweeping conclusions. Does this mean Facebook is no longer a good place to market your videos? Of course it doesn’t mean that. But it could be the beginning of a trend, and definitely something to keep an eye on.

In the meantime, search remains the single biggest way to connect prospective viewers with your videos, as has almost always been the case. Despite the rise (and impressive performance) of social video and other innovative video marketing strategies, search is still the key. And I bet a great many video marketers have started skipping some of the old classic Video SEO steps.

Full Episodes Have Higher Completion Rates Than Show Clips

The average minutes watched per view was up in Q2 compared to Q1, with a 7-11% increase. Broadcasters have the highest overall average minutes watched per view, with brand marketers right behind.

Completion rates are also up across the board, with a 3.88% increase for brands.

The report also found that full episodes from broadcasters have significantly higher completion rates than the shorter individual clips from those shows that are posted online.

Americans & Europeans Watch Longer Per View, More Engaged

Americans and Europeans watch the most online video, and stay glued to what they’re watching longer than other demographics.


There are a number of conclusions we can draw from this data, though we have to remember this is just a look at two quarters of this year.

First, search is still hugely important for online video, with discovery by search on the rise. This means video SEO efforts are crucial if you want your video to be found. And just because Facebook dipped slightly in the second quarter doesn’t mean it’s not still a very important video discovery method as well.

Additionally, full-length episodes perform better than clips in terms of completion rate. That makes a bit of sense to me, because the clips viewer is more casual… the viewer going after the full episode is probably already a bigger fan to begin with, and more easily engaged with the longer content.