Vquence - Video Technology and Metrics Experts http://www.vquence.com Social Video Intelligence Sun, 25 Apr 2010 08:32:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.5 Most commenters on YouTube are males between 13 and 27 years http://www.vquence.com/2010/04/25/youtube-commenters-demography/ http://www.vquence.com/2010/04/25/youtube-commenters-demography/#comments Sun, 25 Apr 2010 06:05:40 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=844 Recently, we’ve been asked a lot about commenters on YouTube – it seems there is a large interest in finding out more about the engaged audience in videos. Our gut feeling was always that the majority of commenters were between 15 and 25. It is actually quite amazing how many immature and little useful comments you will find on YouTube – but occasionally you will also find some discussion gems between well-informed people. So, picking the gems amongst the noise is hard. But how hard?

Today we are approaching the answer to this question with an analysis of the demography of commenters on YouTube. For this, we have randomly picked 2,120 videos from YouTube, for which we found 36,459 comments. That’s an average of roughly 17 comments per video, but note that this number doesn’t mean much because the random 2,120 videos include ones that have no comments as well as ones with several thousands of comments. Since YouTube doesn’t actually expose more than 1,000 comments per video, we had to limit the analysis of the comments per video to 1,000.

Out of the 36,459 randomly picked comments that were analysed 21,464 were by male commenters, 9,914 by female commenters. The remaining 5,081 commenters did not expose their gender.

Gender of commenters on YouTube

Gender of commenters on YouTube

Even if all the commenters that did not expose their gender were female (which is unlikely) – the clear majority of commenters are male.

Now let’s look at the age distribution. Out of the 36,459 randomly picked comments 26,668 provided their age. The distribution of ages is given in the next graph.

Age distribution of commenters on YouTube

Age distribution of commenters on YouTube

The graph provides the exact age distribution as given by the commenters. Assuming they have all been truthful, we arrive at an average age of commenters of 27.59 years, i.e. the majority of commenters (namely 50.4%) are below 28 years of age.

Age distribution of commenters with 50% marked

Age distribution of commenters with 50% marked

Details of the distribution are found in this table:

Age distribution of commenters

Age distribution of commenters

Now, you will have noticed that out of the 36,459 randomly picked comments that were analysed, interestingly 326 declared to be over the age of 100 and the graph clearly spike for over 100 year-olds. We cannot easily make decisions about whether people have provided a misleading age or not, but for those over 100 it is a fair estimate to say that are incorrect. Since they create an unfair bias in the statistics, we also provide the analysis with ages above 100 removed.

Age distribution of commenters less than 100 years old

Age distribution of commenters less than 100 years old

Now the average age of comment authors has come down to 26.6 and 52.93% of commenters are less than 27, 75% less than 36 years old.

The largest number of comments has been posted by 22 year old males (6.5%). As our initial gut feeling was the most commenters on YouTube are males between 15 and 25, this analysis has confirmed the gender and roughly the age group: the majority of commenters are between 13 and 27 years old.

We have no explanation for the weird shape of the graph which has a strong dip at 18 years and an unexpected peak at 29 years. This may well just be a problem with the small data set that we used, or there may be some fact to explain this. If you have any theories for these values, please leave a comment. We intend to undertake a broader analysis over more videos and comments in the future and may even be able to test your theories.

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YouTube improves accessibility support http://www.vquence.com/2009/11/20/youtube-improves-accessibility-support/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/11/20/youtube-improves-accessibility-support/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2009 06:13:54 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=839 Google announced today two new features for YouTube: automated captioning and automated time-aligning of transcripts (called automated timing).

The video provides the best introduction:

Basically, you can now have your typist create a transcript of your video and then directly upload that to YouTube, which will use speech recognition to time-align the transcript and turn it into captions. That’s awesome! You can even download those captions and keep them for some other purpose, such as add them to your local archive of videos.

For some select partners, YouTube is even experimenting with a fully automated captioning system, where the transcript is created using speech recognition. Since we know the quality of Google voice from searches performed through Google searches on mobile phones, let’s be skeptical of the quality of the fully automated solution. But it is certainly a great start and we can certainly expect Google to continue making improvements to their speech recognition technology.

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Developing a scoping study for video.gov.au http://www.vquence.com/2009/11/18/developing-a-scoping-study-for-video-gov-au/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/11/18/developing-a-scoping-study-for-video-gov-au/#comments Wed, 18 Nov 2009 08:00:07 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=821 We’re very excited that Vquence and Jimi Bostock have together managed to snap one of the round two projects of the Australian Gov 2.0 Taskforce and that the project has a huge video focus – something that has (for valid reasons and yet disappointingly so) largely been treated as a side issue in Gov 2.0.

The project is about providing a scoping study for the potential of a video.gov.au site – something that we have promoted over the whole life of the Gov 2.0 Taskforce, since we see an enormous potential for online communication and engagement with the public through such a site. Also check out our blog post on the Gov 2.0 Taskforce Website.

Aside from the obvious advantages to the public, the idea is also to enable government agencies to be offered a technology solution for publishing video that is simple, solves the technical (bandwidth, reliability, scalability, player skinning etc) issues, and empowers them to publish more with less hassle. At the same time it should probably not force agencies to use a centralised solution, but only provide an optional service to them. If the service offers enough advantages, it will become popular all by itself.

But let’s not jump to early conclusions: The first step in our work will be to analyse existing best practices in Australian and international government agencies and other organisations of a similar size.

Over the years we have seen many examples of video being used for news, educational purposes, marketing, documentation purposes, or simply to share great content. There is scope to publish old content, but even more potential with a continuous integration of video recordings and a video publications process with new activities.

Technical solutions for publishing video can range from:

  • creating the video player, hosting and video content management all from scratch,
  • using open source components for the video content management systems and the video player,
  • using hosted solutions provided by commercial entities,
  • to using social video networks for free or a small fee.

Often, we have seen organisations use more than one means of publishing video – a site-internal solution for the organisation and one or more social networking solutions to get the message out more easily. Different types of videos also lend themselves to different styles of publication – some are more prone to pick up attention on social networks than others.

Coming up with a recommendation that will suit all government agencies – from the small to the large – and still provide a central location at video.gov.au for citizens to go to and find government video is our challenge.

It will likely involve some kind of centralised hosting as well as feed aggregation. The latter is necessary to identify video hosted within social networks or by agencies themselves and is an interesting approach to mashing up.

The normalisation of meta data across different hosting solutions will likely be a challenge for a centralised solution, with centralised search being the one huge advantage over non-aggregated content.

In addition, a centralised video.gov.au can allow further engagement with the videos to happen then and there: comments, ratings, sharing on Facebook and Twitter, linking to other relevant videos are all things that are difficult to realise on distributed video.

Another huge opportunity is the creation of a centralised solution for accessibility: not just captions and subtitles, but also textual audio descriptions for the vision-impaired can be provided in a standard manner. This can be provided for centrally hosted or distributed video in the same manner. The ability to crowd source all this extra effort or find an automated solution has huge potential. Not to forget that such text will enable improved and deeper search, allowing to directly point to offsets in videos that are relevant to particular citizens.

Finally we should not forget that a centralised solution can also enable the consistent collection of statistics and monitoring of videos. Frequent reporting on the success of videos is a key enabler to determine the impact and success of the effort spent in this still very new field of public communication and engagement.

These are just some of our initial ideas about what we need to analyse as part of the scoping study.

Have we forgotten any aspects that you care about? Anything concerns you have about the scope of a video.gov.au? Anything that we should really look at when analysing existing best practice?

Feel free to leave comments or email us directly: silvia.pfeiffer@vquence.com

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YouTube launches promoted videos in Australia http://www.vquence.com/2009/11/08/youtube-launches-promoted-videos-in-australia/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/11/08/youtube-launches-promoted-videos-in-australia/#comments Sun, 08 Nov 2009 07:56:37 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=817 Promoted videos are videos that take part in the AdWords scheme. Just as you build a little ad to make your Website bubble to the top in Google searches, you can now place your video such that it bubbles to the top in YouTube – a wonderful means to kick-start a viral campaign.

Promoted Videos feature a thumbnail image with three lines of text, and when clicked, will bring the user to watch a video or view a channel on YouTube. They are being specially pointed out on the YouTube front page, in search results, in popular video watch pages, and even across the AdSense network.

These videos are contextually targeted to Web pages. If as a Website publisher you decide to take part in AdSense, you’ll earn from these ads on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. People wanting to use promoted videos can now do so from the comfort of their known AdWords account, since YouTube have just launched this service for Australia.

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ICT & Creative Industry – Public Sphere Event http://www.vquence.com/2009/10/13/ict_creative_industry_public_sphere/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/10/13/ict_creative_industry_public_sphere/#comments Mon, 12 Oct 2009 13:07:17 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=809 A few weeks ago, Senator Kate Lundy organised her third Public Sphere Event. It was a major undertaking between three locations – Wollongong, Melbourne and Brisbane – with heavy use of modern Internet technology with synchronised live presentations and cross-site collaborative document editing.

Our CEO Silvia Pfeiffer gave a presentation about “ICT Innovation is easy – Commercialisation is hard”. It summarises some of the experiences made in Vquence with creating a Web 2.0 business in Australia and also addresses more generally the situation Australian ICT startups find themselves in after the GFC (global financial crisis). Slides and video below, as well as a playlist of all the videos from the Public Sphere event.

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Warner Music will put its full catalog back on YouTube http://www.vquence.com/2009/10/01/warner-music-will-put-its-full-catalog-back-on-youtube/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/10/01/warner-music-will-put-its-full-catalog-back-on-youtube/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2009 23:24:20 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=806 This is great news for the online video community: WMG (Warner Music) is back on YouTube!

This week, WMG and YouTube struck a deal that will give WMG a large chunk of the revenue created around their videos – which was the issue when they broke the deal in December 2008. The partnership covers the full Warner catalogue and includes user-generated content containing WMG acts.

This is great news for anyone wanting to publish video on YouTube and use music by artists under contract with WMG: over are the times of heavy WMG policing and removing of audio tracks that were deemed “infringing”. This is also very relevant to ad producers since WMG music is now implicitly licensed for publication on YouTube.

The deal gives WMG special rights: it will sell advertising around its videos on YouTube itself rather than leaving it to YouTube. YouTube will get a share. To that end, WMG will be given a special high-quality video player by YouTube with advertising capabilities that are not available on the standard player. WMG can thus clutter the video with a lot more advertising. I wonder what that will mean for embedding the music videos on other sites?

Also, YouTube’s Content ID technology will allow them to claim and monetise the audio tracks of UCG content. I wonder what effect that will have on the videos – will there be an overlay with a link through to iTunes or Amazon for purchasing the records? That might be the least intrusive. Or will there be large banners of WMG advertisers around them? Not sure how that is going to pan out, but we will certainly experience it.

It is said that it will take until the end of the year for all WMG music videos to return to YouTube, which includes the time it takes YouTube to implement the premium video player and the time to upload the videos in the high quality format.

However, UCG doesn’t have to wait any longer – go and enjoy the new-found freedom to use WMG music again on YouTube!

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YouTube and your media plan http://www.vquence.com/2009/09/16/youtube-and-your-media-plan/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/09/16/youtube-and-your-media-plan/#comments Wed, 16 Sep 2009 01:28:35 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=672 YouTube have just published some new market research data on the Australian YouTube market. Admittedly, it’s not independent research, but you can get some pretty interesting new statistics about online video in Australia from it.

The complete stats are listed in the YouTube blog post about the YouTube Generation.

One important outcome is that people consider brands that advertise on YouTube to be more current, innovative and dynamic. And 3 in 5 users say YouTube influences their purchase decisions.

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45% increase in time spent on site through vodcasting http://www.vquence.com/2009/08/10/45-increase-in-time-spent-on-site-through-vodcasting/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/08/10/45-increase-in-time-spent-on-site-through-vodcasting/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2009 00:51:13 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/?p=608 Video has been a core part of the Obama campaign strategy. According to Maxwell Harper, Obama’s video strategist during the 2008 campaign, “Video is an investment and if you think about it really strategically it’ll pay for itself through the impact it has.”

In her recent blog post, Senator Kate Lundy states that with such positive experiences in mind, she was curious to explore the new medium herself. She describes the thought process that she and her team went through to start her online video presence and how Vquence helped her team become self-proficient with vodcasting.

In June, after a short period of planning, Vquence proceeded to set up Senator Lundy’s YouTube and Vimeo channels and produced the first three vodcasts. These vodcasts alone have attracted more than 1000 views.

However, once started, Senator Lundy and her team were incessantly at work to produce more video as part of developing new strategies of communicating with her constituency. Her Public Sphere events are a historic move toward more citizen participation in government decisions and have created 40 video recordings of speeches that were all uploaded to her video channels, too. It is instructive to analyse the interest that those videos created not just during the event, but long after.

Video views after the Public Sphere

Video views after the Public Sphere

The top graph shows the Google Analytics results of the Web page for the Public Sphere. The day of the second Public Sphere event is clearly identifiable by the large spike of views on that day. What is outstanding though is that the videos that were published shortly after the event and that are recordings from the event continued to have views for more than 4 weeks after the event and are still attracting interest.

The key finding of a 28 page report that Vquence delivered at the end of July on the performance of Senator Lundy’s video activities is that the video strategy caused people to spend 45% more time on her website than before. The following picture is an extract from the report:

Time Spent on Senator Kate Lundys Website

Time Spent on Senator Kate Lundy's Website

When people spend 3 min on the site rather than 1:20 min, a lot more information is exchanged. Some people prefer digesting information in video form rather than text, thus with video available, the website becomes accessible to a lot more people. In addition, Senator Lundy has taken our advice and made videos accessible using subtitles – these have also been shown to increase user attention. Removing all other variables, it is very impressive that the videos caused a 45% increase in time spent on site.

In the meantime, Senator Lundy and her team have started shooting and editing her own videos . For a new vodcast, it is important to experiment with the content and production style and find one that works for you. So, it is great to see Senator Lundy continues to come up with new ideas like her new monthly wrap. After all, a vodcast is an expression of your personality and your communication style, so it takes some experimentation to get it right.

Do give her feedback on what you want to see addressed in her vodcast and whether you like or dislike the way in which it is done. Only by giving feedback and getting engaged will we improve the way in which politicians talk to us – and ultimately the way in which our government deals with us.

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YouTube releases in-video links http://www.vquence.com/2009/07/03/youtube-releases-in-video-links/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/07/03/youtube-releases-in-video-links/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2009 03:11:36 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/blog/?p=218 In March, YouTube announced that they are experimenting with a new “Call to Action” feature. The feature allows YouTube publishers to put hyperlinks that link directly to their campaign site into InSight video overlays.

InSight video with Call to Action

In March, this feature was only available to non-profit partners. YouTube wrote about one particular instance of a non-profit partner who raised more than $10,000 in one day after including the hyperlink on their video and after YouTube featured it on their front page.

Now the Call to Action is available to all YouTube advertisers in the US. Unfortunately, we cannot access it yet in Australia.

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The brand impact of social video http://www.vquence.com/2009/05/26/the-brand-impact-of-social-video/ http://www.vquence.com/2009/05/26/the-brand-impact-of-social-video/#comments Tue, 26 May 2009 06:53:29 +0000 silvia http://www.vquence.com.au/blog/?p=206 This blog entry was written for iMedia Asia.

If you are not publishing videos in social networks online, you are missing an opportunity to extend the impact of your brand online.

The situation with video is comparable to the beginning of the Web. Then, only the big brands were quick to embrace the new medium and have a representation on it – mostly a simple Website that re-enforced the existence of the company and its brands online and provided information for the online community. Web presence matured over time as the medium became mainstream, and it spread out to smaller organisations and brands.

Now, 15 years later, we are at the beginning of another era: video has become a medium online. For many, YouTube has become their default entry into the Web and they spend most of their time online on YouTube. For the majority, YouTube is the dominant search engine and the second largest search engine after Google overall.

What do people find when they search for your brand on YouTube? Go and try it out – you may be surprised what your community is posting about you! Would a YouTube user find your message amongst all the other chitter-chatter? What impact will that have on your brand?

Some of the larger brands understand. There are some very good YouTube brand channels online. For example, check out the Nike Football channel. With 8,326 subscribers, it is the number one most subscribed sponsor channel of all time. It hosts 207 videos of diverse football highlights involving Nike. Or look at a new channel like the MINI channel which already has 41 videos after only having been created on the 1st January 2009.

In Australia, other than the political parties and bloggers, not many YouTube channels have been set up. Probably the best are Cricket Australia, XXXX, and Tooheys. Comparing just the two beer brands, it is easy to notice that Tooheys uses the channel just for re-publishing TVCs, while XXXX uses it to create brand engagement – a difference that is also reflected in the number of videos, subscribers, channel views, and friends.

Why are they spending money on social video?

Video has huge advantages over other content. Videos are able to provide a direct and rememberable explanation of what a brand stands for – much more so than text or pictures. Video is therefore twice as effective for conversion actions than text only. An Australian study showed that 57% of online users have watched online videos before making a purchase decision.

But not only does video help in the actual act of selling. Video also has an advantage when it comes to exposure to eyeballs on the Web. In Google universal search, video is 50 times more likely than other Web content to turn up on the first search result page. Yes, you read correctly: 50 times more likely – just think about all the SEO that you’d have to do with other content to have such an effect. On top of that, users are more likely to click on the video thumbnails on the Google result page than on any other results – the thumbnails are strong in directing eyeballs.

Now that we’ve seen the upsides of video, you will ask yourself what the kind of content may be that you should publish about your brand. What would be the purpose of publishing video to social networks? Video is a communication channel like any other. You can use it for any brand strategy that you may be preparing. You might consider creating videos to launch a new brand, to diversify an existing brand, to educate about products, or to start a conversation with your customers.

Here are some examples of what companies have used their YouTube channels for:

My recommendation is not just to upload the videos to YouTube, but also to pick some other social networks that focus more on your actual target audience, e.g. Dailymotion for a European focus or Break.com for a young males focus. Also make sure to consider your release strategy and video SEO to reach a maximum number of eyeballs for your content. And finally: don’t forget to measure your success over and over again – with metrics tools like Vquence’s VQmetrics service you can learn which content and strategy works for your audience and which doesn’t. It is such attention to numbers that Natalie Tran who publishes Australia’s most subscribed YouTube channel reckons has helped her make it such a success.

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