Earned Media Rankings on YouTube Have Arrived with Octoly

Earned Media Rankings on YouTube Have Arrived with Octoly

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So, you’re a brand and you have dedicated fans who are willing to put time and considerable creative effort into incorporating your product or service into their own content. Now, imagine that content was so good, so compelling and so engaging that others’ talked about it and shared it. We’re always telling brands and businesses that they need to be on YouTube because, with the democratization of the internet, that’s where their fans are anyway – whether they like it or not.

Even YouTube sees the power of this and recently launched the “Top Fans” feature which helps channels with dedicated subscriber bases identify their most-engaged fans on YouTube. GoPro is one company that has capitalized on the power of user-generated, or fan created content. In fact, they leveraged actual fan footage found on YouTube to create their 2013 Super-Bowl spot – Dubstep Baby.

According to new research along with an infographic released by “Brand management platform” Octoly, on average, user-generated videos about a brand (“earned media”), were viewed 10 times more often than official brand videos (“owned media”) on YouTube.

UGC Fan Video Viewed 10x > Owned Brand Content on YouTube

Octoly studied 286 brands across YouTube to ascertain the amount of accumulated views of both official brand videos AND user-generated videos since 2005 and discovered the following:

youtube brands earned media

Apple Gets 100X More Audience on YouTube from Earned vs. Owned

User-generated content relating to more than 1000 brands and celebrities covering 28 million videos across 9 Million YouTube channels have been analyzed by Octoly. That’s a total of more than 500 Billion accumulated views unseen to date by brands, marketers and agents. The findings were startling, particularly in relation to some of the biggest global brands. For instance, 99% of Apple related content viewed on YouTube was created by individuals outside of the organisation. If 99% of Apple related video content is user-generated, then theoretically, not only is 99% of that content out of Apple’s control, but there are enormous opportunities being missed for collaboration, tracking and measurement.

The Octoly study also confirmed that:

  • 99% of views for Lego themed videos were attributed to user-generated content.
  • 95% of views of Call of Duty videos went to user-generated videos.
  • 85% of views relating to Coca-Cola content went to videos created by users and not the brand.

earned and owned media brands youtube octoly

The Octoly tool can confirm metrics relating to the number of creators making videos about a brand, the number of videos associated with a brand as well as views, likes, dislikes and comments for the most popular UGC videos.

Thomas Owadenko holding Octoly logo Sign
Thomas Owadenko, CEO & Founder | Octoly

“User-­generated YouTube product videos are now part of the buying process. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their purchase decisions. So it’s crucial for brands to monitor earned media to track reputation, uncover consumer insights and identify advertising opportunities,” said Thomas Owadenko, Founder and CEO, Octoly. “The use of online videos has exploded, with 100 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube each minute, make it extremely hard for brands to identify and target UGC. Octoly uncovers the hidden video footprint of a brand and turns those video creators into brand amplifiers.”

Furthermore, Octoly’s new platform, the first to enable brands to measure, monitor and maximize user-generated content (UGC) on YouTube, has created leaderboards which list the top brands in each category and confirms the most popular video content creators for those brands. This kind of data is invaluable to brands who want to identify content creators and fans who may be relevant. There are many tools around which can identify engaged fans on social media – Kred, Klout, socmetrics, radian6, etc, but YouTube has largely been ignored and YouTube, in our opinion, is way more impactful than your average blog.

Brands and their marketing teams can access this UGC data via Octoly’s new API. Here’s the full infographic relating to the study:


Transparency: Mark Robertson, our Founder, is on the advisory board for Octoly.


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