Although it has yet to reach the big screen, the much-awaited new Star Wars movie yet again set the Internet alight this week as the latest trailer was released to the public. According to data from Tubular, the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Official)’ has generated 83.3 million views on YouTube, and Facebook in just six days – and that’s just for authorized Star Wars channels and pages! If you include uploads from channels like MovieClips or JoBlo Movie Trailers, as well as user-generated reaction footage, and the many hundreds of re-uploads of the trailer, you are looking at a figure closer to 130 million views across the major social video platforms.
Before we take a deeper dive into the stats, for those who haven’t seen it, here’s the latest 2:35 minute teaser for one of the most anticipated new releases of recent years:
“The Force Awakens”: Video Views and Engagement
Using Tubular data, we took a look at the views and engagements for the new official trailer across all authorized Star Wars channels such as Star Wars UK, Star Wars Brasil, and of course the main Star Wars channel itself.
Since November 2014, when the first teaser was released online, official trailers, teasers, and other snippets for ‘The Force Awakens’ have generated over 223 million views on the main ‘Star Wars’ pages on Facebook and YouTube. The most watched so far is ‘Official Teaser #2‘ which has generated 67M views on YouTube, and 14.7M views on Facebook, but the latest full-length trailer looks on course to beat those figures over the next few weeks.
LucasFilm has confirmed that the new trailer generated 112M views in just 24 hours, but that included all content relating to the teaser, including reaction videos. To bring the stats right up to date, Tubular states that since the 19th of October, official uploads of the new trailer (which you can see below) have garnered 83.3M views across Facebook and YouTube, while all uploads relating to the new JJ Abrams movie generated around 129M views.
In terms of views for the official release, YouTube currently has twice the amount of Facebook, which could be attributed to at least 2 different reasons. Firstly, it’s the YouTube link and video embed that’s popping up all over blog posts and news sites, and each view from the embed still counts towards the view quota on YouTube. Secondly, as with all major movie studios these days, there is likely to have been at least some paid promotion behind the launch in order to drive views and awareness to the video.
In terms of engagement, the new trailer has generated over 852K likes, comments, and shares on YouTube (the second highest of all the movies trailers and teasers released to date). However, despite a lower percentage of views, and with less uploaded content, engagement for the official Facebook native uploads has almost caught up with YouTube. It could actually be potentially much, much higher than YouTube as secondary sharing of the videos aren’t accounted for in the data.
When it comes to total uploads, official, and fan-generated, Facebook almost matches YouTube in terms of engagement, albeit with considerably less video uploads and views.
Social Video and Movies: A Vital Part of Marketing & Promotion
According to a recent study by Google, 69% of young adults turn to YouTube to watch trailers before deciding which film to watch at the movie theater. A staggering 81% of all moviegoers questioned will watch a trailer on YouTube over another platform, confirming that the online video platform plays a major role in the decision-making process.
Uploading a trailer or teaser to YouTube, and often backing that publication with a paid or cross promotional campaign, is standard for most of the big movie studios now. YouTube also offers a range of tracking metrics, and interactive features (like cards, and the new shopping ads) to guide the consumer off-site to buy tickets through a third-party like Fandango, or back to the official website where they can find out more information about the film they are interested in seeing.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ opens in movie theaters on December 18th 2015, and pre-ticket sales have already been smashing box-office records in the US and the UK. But despite the many teasers issued by the movie studio, none have given too much of the plot away, driving fans into a frenzy of the latest instalment of the world’s biggest space film franchise.