nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Social video boom in Europe during 2018

Tubular Labs released data during a presentation at Vidcon London showing just how quickly social video is growing across the continent. The data shows a 17% increase in views in the UK, a 23% increase in France, and a 32% increase in Italy during 2018.

Data from Tubular Labs 2019

Influencers, brands vie for dominance

The primary content people view on YouTube comes from Influencers, not brands or media companies. None of the three countries show less than 80% of the views coming from Influencer videos on YouTube.

The YouTube data contrasts sharply with Facebook. Videos watched there are dominated by media companies, especially in the UK. On average, more than half of the video views come from media companies. Though Influencers are gaining a foothold in some countries, such as Germany, the dominance of media brands doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon on Facebook.

Instagram video views show massive growth in Europe.  In the UK, growth is at least threefold what it had been three years ago. For Spain, Italy, Germany, and France the growth is smaller but has at least doubled. Influencers continue to dominate the views, with two-thirds to a half of all views come from them. However, media company views are growing faster.

Data from Tubular Labs 2019

Who are the viewers and what are they watching?

Those under 39-years-old appear to be watching the most social video. The group includes Generation Y or Millennials (25 – 39 years old) and Generation Z (7 – 24 years old). However, there are some interesting differences between the two which widen the greater the difference in age.

In the UK, Gen Z users prefer influencer content more than Millennials. They watch almost twice as much beauty and fashion (1.75x) and are more interested in entertainment, gaming, and vloggers. Millennials, on the other hand, prefer education, travel, and sports more than their Gen Z counterparts.

When it comes to gaming one title dominates the viewership. Fortnite has more than double the views of the next highest game in both the UK and France. Specifically, players and viewers of the game are attracted to its ‘Battle Royale’ or everyone for themselves format.

Growth for the future

Recently, nScreenMedia published an opinion piece discussing children’s media use in the UK in 2018. The data, some of which came from the UK’s Ofcom, suggested that social video usage increases with age up until the teen years. By that age, teenagers are watching more YouTube videos than traditional television. It is no coincidence that over 90% of UK teens have a social media profile by age 15.

Considering the alignment between the UK, Italy, and France evident in Tubular’s data it is not a stretch to believe that the same viewing trends seen in UK kids are also happening with European children.

The European trends highlighted by Tubular are already present in the United States. According to Pew Research, and a swath of other data we’ve seen, a majority of Americans are YouTube users. Younger Americans especially stand out as avid users. Though video view growth has slowed somewhat over the last three years, they continue to increase year-on-year. Facebook and other social video platforms are showing similar increases.

What the data makes clear is that the thirst for social video is growing and for some, it has become more important than TV.  EU legislators should consider this fact carefully before implementing harsher copyright regulations on social video platforms.

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