The May 2018 Leaderboard for the most viewed YouTube videos has been released and the top ten channels alone pulled in 4.6 billion views. Here’s our cheatsheet for May:

  • 8 publishers hold on to their place in the top 10 from April
  • 6 publishers improved their rankings by at least one position each (resulting in eight out of the total ten channels here maintaining or improving their ranking)
  • The highest V30 hit 8.6 million
  • The highest average 30-day engagement rate (ER30) was 2.7x

Most Viewed YouTube Videos: May 2018

Top 10 Most Watched YouTube Video Creators May 2018 (Data via Tubular) Rankings include only those creators and brands which publish primarily original content

We covered T-Series, SET India, Zee TV, Movieclips, Canal KondZilla, Ryan ToysReview, Wish, and WWE in the April 2018 YouTube Leaderboard, so I took a deeper dive outside the top 10 to find the story of the month. The Eurovision Song Contest may be little known in the US in position #24 with 416.4 million views, but it had jumped 895 places higher in the monthly rankings of top YouTube channels. And I also recognized that data masters, showrunners, and branded video sellers would want to know what they did – and more importantly – can they do it again?

Eurovision: How Tentpole Events Can Generate Massive Video Views

Let’s start with the backstory. The Eurovision Song Contest is an international song competition that’s held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. (Australia has been a guest entrant since 2015.) Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and YouTube. Then, viewers cast votes for songs from other countries to determine the winner. Over 40 countries are currently eligible to compete. That’s more than the number of countries that qualify for the World Cup, but less than the Olympics. And, according to Tubular Market Reports, there were 1.3 trillion (with a “t”) views of YouTube videos in the Music & Dance genre during the year, compared to 193 billion (with a “b”) views in the Sports genre.

Now, the Eurovision Song Contest often provides a short-term career boost for artists. And this year’s winner, Netta Barzilai, an Israeli recording artist and looping artist, signed a global distribution deal 10 days ago with New York-based label S-Curved Records/BMG. The most watched version of her Eurovision song, “Toy,” has 7.26 million views and 907,000 engagements, making it the most popular video on the Eurovision YouTube Channel of all time.

But, there are 11 other versions of Netta’s song on the Eurovision Song Contest channel. Together, the 12 versions of “Toy” have 125 million views and 1.7 million engagements. When you got it, flaunt it.

Based on the Sanremo Music Festival, which has been held in Italy since 1951, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956, making it the longest-running annual international television contest and one of the world’s longest-running television programs. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events, with audience figures of between 100 million and 600 million internationally. Its YouTube channel was launched in March 2006 and has more than 3.2 billion (with a “b”) views and 2.3 million subscribers. In May, the channel jumped 895 places to become the 23rd most watched YouTube channel in the world:

So, yes, the Eurovision Song Contest could drop 895 places next month, and it could jump back 895 places again next May. But, is there a strategy for maintaining a higher ranking 12 months a year? Well, there is. But, believe it or not, it’s hidden away in an old YouTube Creator Playbook Guide for Sports, which was published back in March 2013. Hey, sports content creators have a problem that’s similar to the one faced by the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s called, “keeping an audience through the off-season.” So, yes, sports content creators capitalize on tent-pole events like the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, and the Stanley Cup playoffs. But, they also plan for the off-season.

How Publishers Can Maximise the ‘Off Season’

How do they do that? They figure out who and what they’ll have access to during the “on-season” that they might not have during the “off-season.” And, they make the most of their production investment by filming less obvious, supplemental content (i.e. behind the scenes, interviews with players, or locker room conversations) in addition to their primary content – and saving it for the off-season You can see that the Eurovision Song Contest has started to do something similar by watching, “Eurovision Behind The Cameras part 3: They’ve got the fire!.” It was uploaded last week, after this year’s contest was over.

Sports content creators also think strategically about how they can leverage their library of repurposed content, especially (but not exclusively) during the off-season, when they’re likely to be producing less content and events are less frequent. You can see the Eurovision Song Contest doing similar things by watching “Eurovision 2018: Funny moments!”

So, I’ll keep an eye on Eurovision Song Contest’s YouTube channel. Maybe it won’t drop 895 places next month and have to struggle to jump up quite dramatically in the rankings next year. In fact, check out this video, which was just uploaded. It’s entitled, “Preparing for the World Cup – The Eurovision Way!” As the video’s description says, “The football World Cup kicks off in Moscow with the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The Eurovision Song Contest and football might not have much in common, but we sure know how to get you in the right spirit for this global event!”

In other news, ABS-CBN, a broadcaster based in the Philippines, jumped 5 places from April to May to land it position #6 in the latest rankings of top YouTube publishers with 810.1 million views. Now, I was in Manila last summer to teach a week-long course in Digital Marketing. And I learned that more than 170 languages ​​are spoken in the country and only 2 of them are official: Filipino and English.

Although many of the videos on ABS-CBN are in English, the most viewed video on the channel in May was “Tawag ng Tanghalan: Janine Berdin | Banal Na Aso (Day 4 Semifinals),” which is in Filipino. But, you don’t need to translate the captions to figure out why TNT2 Q4 semifinalist Janine Berdin gets a standing ovation from “hurados” (the jury) with her rendition of “Banal Na Aso.” Just watch this video, which now has almost 8,7 million views.

It’s worth noting that Tawag ng Tanghalan (Call of the Stage) is an amateur singing competition currently aired as a segment of the noontime show “It’s Showtime.” Called “Your all time favorite search for outstanding amateur talents,” the competition is open to Filipino contenders from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visavas, and Mindanao.

In other words, music contests are very, very popular around the world. And they can boost your rankings dramatically from one month to the next. Now, that’s a strategic insight that data masters, showrunners, and branded video sellers can share with their colleagues. But, if I’ve missed something, let me know.

Tubular Video Ratings

You’ll notice some exclusive data in this month’s chart as we include Tubular Video Ratings, a unique group of online video metrics that set the standard for measurement of views and engagements across videos and publishers. They include a simplified first 30-day engagement rating (ER30) and first 30-day views (V30), and more information can be found here.

Get the Full-List of Top 25 Video Publishers on YouTube & Other Video Platforms

Tune in Every Month for the Most Up-to-Date Stats! Each month TubularInsights will publish the most up-to-date leaderboard charts, so stay tuned! In the meantime, sign up for a free Tubular account and get access to the complete list of the top 25 video creators across YouTube, Facebook, and Cross-platform. Get access today just by clicking this link.