How Many Hours Do You Spend on YouTube?

Pop quiz: how much online video do Americans watch every month? No, “a whole lot” is not an acceptable answer. According to a recent report, 181 million American Internet users watched almost 40 billion videos in January 2012. To put that in perspective, that means we each watched an average of almost 23 hours of online video content. In one month.

What are we watching?

Overwhelmingly, Americans were watching and listening to music videos. VEVO and Warner Music, both of whom host music videos on YouTube, reported a combined viewership of 85.2 million Americans. Additionally, VEVO viewers watched 696 million videos – an average of just over an hour of video per viewer. Not to state the obvious, but that’s a lot of music videos! It really shouldn’t be that surprising, though, given that the five most viewed videos of all time on YouTube are music videos (congratulations Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Lady Gaga, and Eminem).

In addition to music content on YouTube (and just a staggering amount of YouTube content), we also watched videos on:

  • Yahoo sites – including music, entertainment, and news
  • Viacom Digital, which owns online content rights to MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET, Spike, TV Land, and Country Music Television (to name a few)
  • Facebook

What does this mean for marketing?

As the top five most viewed videos on YouTube might imply, the 18-34 year old demographic spends an overwhelming amount of time on YouTube. If you’re looking to market yourself with a YouTube video, it’s important to keep your goals in mind: what are you trying to say, who are you trying to say it to, and is video the most effective way to reach this target audience? Now that you’ve got your goals lined up, here are some basic tips – and these should be review.

Keep your brand’s voice consistent. Successful YouTube video campaigns often have one basic aspect in common: they adopt a specific tone or voice, and stick with it. For example, think of Old Spice. Across all marketing channels, their tone is consistent. It’s goofy. It’s outlandish. It works.

Provide engaging content. Unless you are actually the most interesting person on the planet, a video of you talking directly into the camera for two straight minutes will not engage many people. Whether your audience is interested in changing the world by donating to nonprofits or something a little different like extreme sports, your content has to engage those personal interests (obviously, or why would they even watch your video?).

What do you think?

Does 23 hours of video content a month sound low to you? Please tear yourself away from Keyboard Cat for the millionth time and let us know what you think! Really, that giggling baby video will be there when you get back. Feeling a little overwhelmed at the idea of video marketing? Contact the online marketing experts at The Zen Media Group for more information and assistance with your social media marketing strategy (or if you don’t know what a Keyboard Cat or a Justin Bieber is – we can help you).

Photo credit


She is the founder & CEO of Zen Media. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc have all recognized her as one of the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing. Shama has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age. She is a bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and has been named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row.



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