Inside YouTube Video Statistics

February 2010


There is little doubt that the consumption of online videos is red-hot. Reports from comScore and Nielsen suggest that 33.2 billion online videos were viewed during in December 2009, and the average U.S. Internet user watched more than 190 minutes of video.

We wanted to learn more about how YouTube videos are being used. In this report, we focus on YouTube video engagement and, in particular, we aim to understand how the blogosphere embeds and provides links to different videos. YouTube videos have categories defined by those uploading the video, as well as user-defined tags, so we also conducted an analysis of both categories and tags that reveal topical and category trends within YouTube videos.

Sysomos's social listening platform was used to analyze 2.5 million unique YouTube videos along with blog posts that embedded videos or linked to them from July to December 2009.

Main highlights:
  • Music is the most popular category with 31% of all analyzed videos, followed by Entertainment (15%) and People & Blogs (11%).
  • There is no clear correlation between the rating of the video on YouTube and how often it is viewed. Videos with a rating more than 4 out of 5 usually have fewer views than those with medium rating score between 2 to 3.
  • Average length of a YouTube video is 4 minutes and 12 seconds.
  • The average number of views for the YouTube videos we analyzed is 99,160.
  • Blogs with low and medium authority frequently link to Music and Entertainment videos. Authoritative bloggers are more likely to include links to News and Politics videos.
  • North American bloggers link to a lot more News and Politics videos with a specific interest in health care, global warming and U.S. political issues.
  • 20-to-35 year old bloggers are most active in embedding and linking to videos within their posts with 57% of total videos coming from this demographic group.
Note: This is the second report of the series looking specifically at the use of YouTube videos by bloggers. Our first report with details on all video platforms is here.

Top Videos Overall

JK Wedding Entrance Dance1. JK Wedding Entrance Dance
The bridal party dances down the aisle during Kevin and Jill's wedding. (41 million views) 

Evian Roller Babies international version2. Evian Roller Babies international version
Animated babies in diapers and wearing roller-skates dance to "Rapper's Delight" by Dan The Automator. (17.6 million) 

The Muppets singing Queen's3. The Muppets singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
The Muppets singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". (12.4 million) 

Piano stairs - - Rolighetsteorin.se4. Piano stairs - -
Stairs in Stockholm that played music when you stepped on them. (10.1 million) 

United Breaks Guitars5. United Breaks Guitars
Canadian musician Dave Carroll's video about United Airline baggage handlers who damaged his Taylor guitar. (7.5 million) 


Music is the most popular category with 31% of all analyzed videos, followed by Entertainment (15%) and People & Blogs (11%).

Ratings and View Counts

There is no clear correlation between higher-rated videos and how often they are viewed. The most popular videos had average ratings of 2 to 3 (out of 5), followed by those with average rating between 3 and 4. Videos with the highest ratings (4 to 5) were the third-most popular, while videos with a 1 to 2 rating were the least popular. This probably means that highly-rated videos appeal to a specific group of individuals with related interests/tastes that tend not to represent the mass. Videos with average rating probably appeal to larger groups of people that have more diverse interests, and this tends to bring down the average rating.

The graphic below shows the rating on the horizontal axis and the average view count on the vertical axis.

Top Categories by Blog Authority

In the chart below, we explore the different types of videos bloggers with different authority scores. The authority score of a blog is based on the size of its audience and reach. Low authority bloggers are more interested in music videos. News and politics is more popular among high authority bloggers. The vertical axis in the chart below shows the break-down of videos in among each authority group.


By far, 20-to-35-year-old bloggers are the most enthusiastic about embedding and linking to videos (57.3%). Teenage bloggers (13-19) and those in the 36-to-60-year demographic group embed and link to around 20% each. Those over 60 account for just 1.4%.

When looking at the top categories for each age group, we discovered that older bloggers have a higher interest in the News and Politics category. This category is the least favorite among younger bloggers with less than 5% of total links.



Looking at video tags, Michael Jackson and the cast of the movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon are the most popular names used in tags among teenage bloggers. Older bloggers showed more interest in using tags from the political domain with Barack Obama and other political figures taking the top spots. The table below shows the top names in video tags based on various age groups, implicitly revealing interest trends for individuals and video themes.


Categories by Region

Within North America, Music videos attracted the most embeds and links (27.6%), followed by Entertainment (14.4%) and News & Politics (9.4%). In Europe, South America and Asia, Music and Entertainment are the two most popular categories, with People & Blogs at number three. South American bloggers are particularly less interested in the News & Politics category which account for only 5.6% of total videos and ranked at number 6 in this region.


Most videos are linked from North America (38%), followed by Europe (36%), Asia & Oceania (15%) and South America (11%).

Popular Topics

YouTube lets the authors tag each video that they upload with a set of words. We analyzed these tags from all videos that we collected and produced two tag clouds. Overall, Michael Jackson and Health Care are the two most popular topics.

We also found that videos linked and embedded by bloggers in North America showed a significant concentration of political terms and other related topics: Obama, health care, tea party, global warming, weight loss, new world order, and Jesus Christ.

Video Statistics

We also analyzed YouTube video statistics in terms of their length, as well as engagement parameters such as rating, the number of times they became favorites, the number of views, and the number of comments they sparked. Overall, YouTube videos embedded or linked by bloggers have an average length of 4 minutes 12 seconds. News & Politics videos are much longer with average length of 5 minutes 19 seconds, 27% higher than the overall average length. The News & Politics category also has the lowest average view count and favorite count. However, its average comment count is the highest - 14% higher than sports, which was second, and more than three times the overall average comment count. As a result, it suggests that news and political videos tend to attract a lot of discussion.

Video Statistics

Top Music Videos

While Michael Jackson is very popular overall, most YouTube videos about Michael Jackson were home-made and did not attract high view count.

Pitbull - I Know You Want Me1. Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) (Available on ULTRA MIX 2 NOW!) OFFICIAL VIDEO
U.S. rapper Pitbull sings "I Know You Want Me" (Calle Ocho). (97.3 million) 

MIley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A.2. MIley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A. - Official Music Video (HD)
Teenager pop star Miley Cyrus sings "Party In The U.S.A." (77.9 million) 

Miley Cyrus - The Climb - Official Music Video3. Miley Cyrus - The Climb - Official Music Video (HQ)
Miley Cyrus singing "The Climb" from the movie "Hannah Montana: The Movie" (73.1 million) 

Top News & Politics Videos

Kanye West ruins Taylor Swift's night at the MTV Video Music Awards by interrupting her acceptance speech. (8.9 million) 

Barney Frank Confronts Woman At Townhall Comparing Obama To Hitler2. Barney Frank Confronts Woman At Townhall Comparing Obama To Hitler
Congressman Barney Frank answers a question after being asked, "Why are you supporting this Nazi policy?" (1.39 million) 

Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Congressman Brian Baird3. Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Congressman Brian Baird
A Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Congressman Brian Baird, who receives a question from David William Hedrick, a Marine Corp. veteran. (1.3 million) 

We discovered that YouTube videos about health care reform in the US were particularly popular. In fact, 5 of the top 10 most blogged about videos in this category are about health care reform. Here are some of the top health care videos.

SHOCK UNCOVERED: Obama IN HIS OWN WORDSSHOCK UNCOVERED: Obama IN HIS OWN WORDS saying His Health Care Plan will ELIMINATE private insurance
"SHOCK UNCOVERED: Obama IN HIS OWN WORDS saying His Health Care Plan will ELIMINATE private insurance" (922,548) 

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized MedicineRonald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine
Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine (910,776) 

Alan Grayson on the GOP Health Care PlanAlan Grayson on the GOP Health Care Plan: "Don't Get Sick! And if You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly!"
Alan Grayson on the GOP Health Care Plan: "Don't Get Sick! And if You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly!" (264,921) 

About Sysomos

Sysomos is the social intelligence company backed by data science that gives businesses immediate context to the hundreds of millions of conversations happening online every day. The Sysomos social intelligence platform continuously decodes these conversations and news stories to give marketers real-time answers about what their customers think and feel. More than 1,400 global brands and agencies including United Health Group, 3M, Boeing, Edelman, Genetech, Marriott and Ogilvy trust Sysomos for their social intelligence. Sysomos has offices in seven cities worldwide, including London, New York, San Francisco and Toronto. 

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