Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 5:46 PM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Online video and YouTube specifically are playing big roles in the auto industry for prospective buyers and enthusiasts, according to new research from video ad tech provider Pixability. The company found that auto-related video views on YouTube increased 42% from 2014 to 2015. There are currently 244K auto-related channels on YouTube with 3.5 million videos that have driven 73 billion views. Searches for “car reviews” specifically on YouTube have outpaced the same searches on Google itself over the past 5 years.
The report, “Get Behind the Wheel: Auto in the Premium Video Ecosystem” explains that there are actually 14 different categories of video that have emerged online, which are posted by brands (which includes auto manufacturers and dealers), publishers and independent creators.
No surprise, reviews have the highest share of YouTube views at 20%, followed by commercials with 18%. But two other categories, “Drifting” (which depicts cars in a controlled slide) and “Reaction” (which depict aggressive driving that elicits strong reactions) are the categories with the biggest average views, each with over 30 million. And Drifting has the highest engagement rate, at 2.6%, double that of Films, which is next, at 1.3%.
Interestingly, auto brands have done extremely well with their videos on YouTube, averaging almost 20 million views and 290K engagements. Publishers were second with approximately 15 million views and 157K engagements and Creators third, with 13 million views and just 47K engagements.
Kia is the top auto brand with approximately 170 million views, followed by Volvo Trucks, with 160 million (who can forget Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Epic Split” which has nearly 84 million views for Volvo Trucks to date). But Porsche is by far the most successful automaker from an engagement perspective, with 3.4 million, almost double BMW’s, which is next with 1.8 million. Porsche benefitted from an aggressive and consistent publishing schedule of up to 18 new videos per month in 2015.
For publishers, Top Gear had the most views with almost 1.2 billion, followed by Motor Trend, with 1 billion. No other publisher has cracked 500 million. Top Gear and Motor Trend were also the most-engaged publishers, with 6.8 million and 5.5 million engagement respectively. Meanwhile, creators are fragmented, with 79 different creators having a video in the top 200 list, in 11 of the 14 auto categories.
Pixability also shared auto-related details for both Facebook and Instagram, both of which are growing, but still lag well behind YouTube in overall activity. On Facebook, Mercedes-Benz has the most views, with around 70 million, just 40% of Kia’s 170 million on YouTube (in fact, the top 8 YouTube automakers each have more views than does Mercedes on Facebook).
But Pixability noted that automakers enjoyed much higher engagement rates on Facebook than on YouTube. For example, BMW’s Like rate on Facebook is 5.6x higher than its overall engagement rate on YouTube (which includes likes, but also dislikes, comments and shares).
Meanwhile, Instagram is an up-and-comer for auto videos, with Mercedes the most active automaker on the platform. Mercedes highlights its classic heritage and racing team on Instagram, publishing up to 25 times per month and driving over 14 million Likes.
The Pixability data provides a glimpse of how auto-related searching and enthusiasm are changing with online video, and how YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are playing key roles. The ability to engage prospective buyers and loyalists in compelling ways is becoming easier and more imperative than ever with online video. No doubt subsequent Pixability reports will show even further growth.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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