Study: US ups news network social video consumption
November 28, 2023
Tubular Labs, the social video intelligence company, has released new October US viewership trends from its Audience Ratings product – giving insight into deduplicated, unique viewership, and minutes watched for trending video categories, creators and more.
Tubular found that interest in the news category spiked last month with minutes-watched increasing far more than unique viewership. This could indicate that US news audiences on social video are a more static group whose watch-time ebbs and flows based on current events:
Fox News and MSNBC were the only major TV news networks to gain unique US viewers, up by 34 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in October.
Despite the viewership fluctuations, most outlets saw a significant increase in minutes watched, attributed to extensive coverage of the Gaza conflict, early 2024 presidential election news, and US Speaker of the House votes.
NBC News recorded a 53 per cent month-over-month rise in US minutes watched, reaching a total of 1 billion across YouTube and Facebook. Fox News and CBS News also showed growth with a 45 per cent and 37 per cent increase in minutes watched, respectively.
Other takeaways from the study include:
NBA Courts International Fans
While the NFL has the largest domestic viewership across Facebook and YouTube among the Big Four US professional sports leagues, the NBA is leading on a global level. The NBA had 72.5 million unique global viewers, marking an 18 per cent month-over-month increase. The NFL had 58.1 million global viewers, while MLB had 39.6 million.
It’s at least partly a result of the NBA’s successful global outreach efforts. Nearly 75 per cent of the league’s unique viewers were from outside the US, compared to 46 per cent for MLB and only 23 per cent for the NFL. This positions the NBA to keep expanding its presence in the US and Canada, while maintaining a strong international foothold, potentially leading to more lucrative TV deals and increased revenues.
MrBeast’s Global Gains
Amongst the trend of declining audiences and decreased minutes watched for many influencers on Facebook and YouTube, Mr Beast (Jimmy Donaldson) stands out. In October, his global minutes watched increased by 16 per cent to 7.1 billion, ranking him No. 17 among all creator properties and overwhelmingly the top individual creator. While other US creators focus on shorts for domestic audiences, Mr Beast is gaining global appeal with longer video formats. Only 1 billion of his 7.1 billion minutes watched in October were in the US, emphasising his international popularity.
Mr Beast’s ability to maintain attention is attributed to his use of longer video formats. In October, 40 per cent of his videos were at least five minutes long, and 16 per cent exceeded 10 minutes. Longer videos not only retain viewers but also offer more opportunities for brand integrations and ads, a challenge with short-form videos.
Holiday Gift Blitz Gets an Early Start
In October, consumer brands began tapping into holiday wish lists through YouTube and Facebook videos. Mattel, in particular, saw a 51 per cent month-over-month increase in unique US viewers, driven by numerous videos advertising holiday toy items such as Hot Wheels and Barbie merchandise.
Best Buy also capitalised on the holiday spirit, more than doubling its US audience, through a consistent stream of content including product profiles, tech tips, and gift-focused videos. While the actual format of their social content didn’t change much from previous months, the holiday emphasis attracted more viewers. This could be attributed to the fact that many shoppers wait to buy their high-ticket tech items like televisions, game consoles, and smart home plug-ins on holiday deal days.