Offering added value after viewing

Written by on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to give people valuable information after they have watched your content? The Thrash Lab series “Empty America” has hit the globe successfully by showing American cities in a way that no one has seen them before: empty.

The videos thus far have featured San Francisco, Seattle and New York and they all keep the viewers glued to the screen. Regarding any (amazing) video on the web, viewers often ask themselves: “How was this made?”. The guys at Thrash Lab recognized this especially with the Empty America series and have used YouTube annotations to give the viewers a clear path to enlightening. Here’s where the annotation leads you after watching the episode:

How to engage your audience in this context and to deepen the experience?

1. Create good content & Share it
2. Get the viewers to your channel or to view the video embedded somewhere
3. After viewing, offer added value and encourage to subscribe
4. Repeat

Remember to ping your video

Written by on Friday, October 26, 2012

You have filmed, edited and uploaded your video. Finally done, right? Wrong. Don’t forget to ping it! How you spread your video after you have uploaded it can tenfold the lifetime views of the video. By submitting your video to a ping service, you notify web servers that you have new content ready.

I use Pingler to ping videos from The Kick Network because it has a helpful Chrome plug-in. To start using it, visit and download the plug-in. Register a free account and you will get the necessary API access to use the plugin. Then you simply click the pingler button each time you have uploaded a new video to have it submitted to a large number of web servers.

I started using Pingler after Alexander Debelov, co-founder of Virool, recommended the service on Quora.

In my previous post I explained how to measure number of minutes watched on your YouTube channel.

Evolution or Revolution?

Written by on Friday, October 19, 2012

The old wisdom about industry changing innovations is that it always takes longer than was thought and that the change is bigger than expected. Having Netflix enter Europe country by country this fall is one chapter in such industry revolution.

The wisdom however is true only to the people within the industry. In this case, for broadcasters, challengers, content creators, intermediaries – even advertisers. For the consumers the change seems quite different. The pace of new ways of consumption is on average excellent. When the old ways seem antiquated, the new ones come in as welcome novelties. Of course there are those of us who would have taken Netflix over gladly years ago, but there are also those for whom it makes no difference whatsoever. Thus, the changes happen when people are ready for adopting them – when there is a demand or a need that innovations can attach to.

The magnitude of the change is also quite natural for the consumer. If I can already subscribe with one fee to all the music in the world, it is natural to want to have the same with films as well. And going from there, the whole industry might change forever, but all the new implications to me as a consumer are a natural progression. I will start consuming differently because it is possible. I will come up with new needs, because I become aware of the possibilities. I might even demand a change or question the very same things services I used to spend 2,54 hours per happily – just a few years ago.

Change will ignite change. For every technology that has undergone this magnitude of change, the industry structure has been torn down and rebuilt again. Some players remain, some will have new roles in the ecosystem and some will become unnecessary and disappear completely. Film, television, online video are from consumers’ perspective already one and the same. And they will all go through a change, just like the good folks of music biz did. The question for us operating with moving images really is: “am I serving my audience or am I serving my old patterns of operating? Will I gain, remain or will I become antiquated?”

Estimated Minutes Watched on YouTube

Written by on Friday, October 12, 2012

YouTube now shows number of minutes watched on your channel per country

YouTube rolled out a new feature today that will change how we measure a video’s impact. If you go to the analytics page on YouTube you will see that a new box has been added to the overview tab; estimated minutes watched.

Number of minutes watched is an excellent measure for advertisers as it shows how much time a viewer has spent with a brand, as opposed how many has started playing a video. Comparing number of views to number of minutes watched allows us to distinguish between the quality of the headline and tags, and content quality.

Below you see a comparison between number of views, and minutes watched. As you can see that there is a high correlation between total views, and total minutes watched. If there is a big difference between these, you are likely having a problem with your distribution or with the content’s quality.

Views compared to estimated minutes watched

But that’s not all that YouTube has changed. The audience retention tab now also tells you the average audience retention over time. If you click on the map tab, you can even see how much time viewers in different countries spend with your content. Data for estimated minutes watched is available from the end of September.

We Love the Change! Or Actually … We Don’t

Written by on Friday, October 5, 2012

The world of moving images is entering the era of a massive change! Television will be revolutionized! No one knows what to expect! Or when! New opportunities! New technologies! New equipments! New gadgets! Wow! Grrreat!

We love the change. We love to get excited about the change. We welcome the change. Right? Wrong. We love to talk about change. We love to pretend that we are excited about the change. We would love to be the first ones to welcome the change. But in reality we are anything but. That’s why we actually undermine the change. If there is one thing to say about the change is that it is never easy. And it always takes longer than what was thought.

Let’s think for example the video revolution. Most people seem to agree that yes, there are big changes ahead but almost as many seem to think that it will take time, longer than expected. We love to think that, oh yes, the change is coming but it will take years. But there is one problem with that kind of mindset. As we all know, at first the change is slow gradually getting faster. But there is one thing that is difficult to foresee: the beginning of the change.

Back in the day, real changes often took as long as 20 years. Nowadays maybe 5-8 years. The only thing we have to define today is the real starting point. Could the good starting point be for example the founding date of YouTube? And that was in February 2005. Meaning that if the big change has already started, it is not surprisingly fast. It has already taken nearly 8 years.

That’s why it is about time to get ready for the revolution and the best way to do it is to start with the one thing that anyone can change. Yourself and your own mindset. Unfortunately that is also the hardest part. As Leo Tolstoi said: ”Everybody wants to change the world. Nobody wants to change themself.” We don’t have to worry about the world. It will change. Lets just change ourselves & our own mindset.