NMR Cheat Sheet: ‘2013 YouTube Study’ Findings Made Quick and Easy for Everyone


Previously, NewMediaRockstars reported on Columbia College’s “2013 YouTube Study.” The paper aims to answer questions like “How long should my videos be?” and “How often should I post?” and even “What kind of content gets the most views?” The paper’s author is Wojciech Lorenc, an assistant professor at Columbia College’s Television Department. For any current or future creator, “2013 YouTube Study” is well worth a look. But, if you’re too busy to read it, your friends at NewMediaRockstars wrote you a cheat sheet. Because we’re just awesome like that.

Top 241 channels:

  • 32% appear to be extensions of large brands or TV shows
  • All 241 post an average of 1.25 videos per week.

Languages used in the top 241:

  • 85% – English
  • 5% – Spanish
  • 5% – Korean
  • 5% – Other

Most popular channel genres in top 241:

  • 33% – Music
  • 34% – Comedy
  • 15% – Gaming
  • 6% – Fashion/Beauty

The only channel in the top 241 that appears to have predominantly serialized content is MachinimaPrime

The top 100 “independent channels” (channels that aren’t extensions of large brands or TV shows):

  • Post an average 2.8 videos per week, each video being an average of 4 minutes, 19 seconds long
  • 42% have an intro video which is on usually around 3 seconds long
  • 14% have end credits which is usually about 15 seconds long
  • Comedy: 144 words per minute (WPM), 3 cuts per minute (CPM)
  • Gaming: 162 WPM, 3 CPM
  • Fashion: 168 WPM, 12 CPM
  • Vlog: 168 WPM, 10 CPM
  • News/Commentary: 145 WPM, 13 CPM
  • Out of 286 videos, half involved an invitation to subscribe
  • Only 1% of viewers comment
  • The top 3 videos with the highest percentage of comments were all gaming channels
  • Asking for comments results in an average of 2% more comments

External websites and social media:

  • 60% of them have external websites (other than social media)
  • 24% have a message board for viewers
  • 48% of YouTube channels have a store to sell their channel specific merchandise
  • Almost all of the top 100 independent YouTube channels have a Twitter account, which they post to an average of 3 times per day.
  • Similarly, 98 out of the top 100 YouTube channels has a Facebook page which they post to on average 0.7 times per day.
  • Only 35% of the top YouTube channels have a Google+ account (which they post to on average 0 times a day!)
  • Only 21% of the top 100 channels has a Tumblr account.
  • Instagram has 17% of the top YouTube channels using its service.

Of the other media websites that are often used by these top channels:

  • 6% have an iTunes page
  • 2% use Pinterest
  • 2% use Ustream (a live broadcasting service)
  • 1% has an old relic: Myspace


About the author: 

Ali Jardine is fabulously modest. He’d never tell you, that, for example, he’s been making videos on YouTube since 2007 and nor would he tell you that he produced Stickaid, which raised over £20,000 for UNICEF back in 2011. You can follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

Comments are closed.