Brightcove again teamed up with TubeMogul to take a look at online video and its usage, including engagement and discovery, which they’ve published as the Q4 2010 Online Video & the Media Industry Quarterly Research report. As Team America might say… Quarterly Reports! F-Yeah! (Mark will love that one I’m sure).
We, being ultra-cool protectors of online video (cue superhero music) got our hands on it early so we could sink our teeth into it, suck forth the juicy goodness and then spew it forth to our loving readers.

Sheesh, I think I out-did my own butterfly net and flying eyeball thing from the other day.

Anyway, enough disgusting visuals and on to the subject matter.

Brightcove and TubeMogul have teamed up to develop an online video index and quarterly research report, which will help identify key industry trends and answer questions about the state of the industry.

They pulled a random sample of Brightcove customers representing a cross-section of the industry and outright admits this might not hold true for the entire industry but rather is a snapshot of trends. Sounds fair enough.

Stream or an Outright Flood of Viewing?

The report states that some 1.7 Billion minutes of streaming video were pushed by broadcasters in 2010. This was mostly due to coverage of world events and the World Cup which gave newspapers a lead for Q3 but that lead was quickly retaken by broadcasters with new shows after the summer break.

How much is 1.7B minutes? It’s like 3,234 years, or about 15 seconds of video for every single person on the planet…and that was just broadcasters.

Newspapers were close behind with 1.4B minutes while magazines were a not so distant third with 1.3B roughly. Online media oddly, was way behind and didn’t even top 400 million minutes.

For the last two quarters, the numbers look like this:

Total minutes streamed Q3 vs Q4 2010

Video Uploads Blow Up

Click, click, BOOM! Video uploads ran roughshod, yes, I said roughshod, over the former quarter’s numbers (Q3 2010) with an astounding 147% growth. Newpapers are definitely on board with online video as they pushed some 1.2 million titles to the cloud quadrupling the next closest category which was, weirdly, online media. I guess that, in comparison with minutes streamed, clearly delineates who has got long-form and short-form video.

It seems that newspapers are not only doing well in video streams and uploads but they’re also making wonderful headway in selling pre-roll ads. Good for them! It also gives a valid reason for their wholehearted embracing of the medium. If they can pile on the news content in video form they can then sell massive amounts of ads and easily recoup the cost of the video production and probably turn a little profit along the way.

Total video titles uploaded 2010

All they wanna do is vroom-a zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom! Mary, Mary quite contrary, how do your uploads grow?! The newspapers also led in player loads (the number of times a player is loaded in a page, not necessarily the number of video plays) because they’re smart and are embedding those videos everywhere they can because it means more potential revenue from video ads if readers can more easily  find that content.

Discovery, Warp Seven…Engage!

How could I talk about anything without getting in a Star Trek reference, right? While this has nothing to do with the Gene Roddenberry-created universe (Roddenberry, which is in the built-in dictionary, oddly), it does have to do with how online viewers explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and boldly go where online video publishers want them to go…to the video player!

While newspapers might have been warping over to the next level in uploads, broadcasters are light years ahead in average minutes watched per view. Of course, they have long-form content and most news video coverage is a single segment of probably less than five minutes. Check out this graph of sky-touching numbers.

Average minutes per video view 2010

Everyone is on the up and up here. Brands certainly saw a major jump in Q4 going from 1:03 to 2:03 per view, hence the index finger to the sky (it looks like a hand, right?). That has got to be due to the holiday shopping season no doubt. Online media also got a nice boost after two consecutive quarters of falling numbers. Now they’ve got their devil horns in the air in celebration. Magazines are definitely slipping even though Q4 saw some growth. Meanwhile, broadcasters and newspapers saw healthy boosts in the quarter though broadcasters certainly are no where near feature film or even half-hour TV show numbers in terms of average length of viewing.

More importantly, online media and broadcasters topped 50% completion rates for the year. It’s the first time this happened and it did so in two categories at the same time. Brands, on the other hand, have massive drop off in the 75-100% area. You all might want to think about shorter branded content or looking at where people are dropping off and find out why. Overall, you’re barely scraping 45% completion, if that. Sure, you’re out-doing magazines and newspapers, but you’re well behind the others.

For discovery, they reported that Facebook is the number two pusher of eye candy. They refer more people to video than Yahoo! but still haven’t quite caught Google who accounts for some 60% plus.

Of course, Facebook is only 11.8%, so there’s a massive margin between the two yet. Twitter and Bing are still performing extremely poorly in this area with maybe 3% between them.

For brands, Yahoo! sees the best engagement at 2:30 with Twitter close behind and Google and Facebook topping 2:01. Bing was lowest of the five sources with only 1:44 engagement on average.

Overall, things are looking up across the board. Will Q1 2011 manage to hold on tightly to all those eyeballs that were attracted in Q4? It’s hard to say. There are still new shows so broadcasters should continue to do well. Newspapers also since there was simply a torrential downpour of worldwide news including natural disasters and grassroots revolutions. We might expect that news will certainly top this quarter in online video viewing.

The Take Away

What would I say is the one big takeaway from this?mmm... Chinese food Beef and Bell Peppers!

Branded video is presently too long, or too boring. Maybe, both. I would also say that newspapers have got it going on and you might look to them as models if you’re purely an online media outlet because we all seem to be failing. I already have some ideas to boost video viewing at GDN and it involves putting video in a few more very logical places than it is right now.

For the amount of uploads that broadcast is pushing, they’re doing rather well also. It goes to show that there is space in the market for both long-form and short-form content online. It all depends on the audience. I would like to see a break down of research like this into demographics for engagement and completion rates for long-form vs. short-form. That might be the perfect insight for a wide range of people in the industry. This report only did it by geographic location, which I didn’t incorporate into this article, go read their full report.

Kung Pao! I’m out!