The Most Viewed Social Videos of 2016 (and What Media Companies Can Learn From This List)

Well, it can lead many media companies to mistakenly think that they need to create videos that are 30 or 60 seconds long – just like the popular ones from Super Bowl 2016 – if they want to be just as successful before or during other tent-pole events or at different seasons of the year throughout 2017. Launched back in April, this is the first time that we can use it to benchmark YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram videos uploaded in the last 365 days. According to Tubular Labs, 71.8 million accounts uploaded 762.3 million videos to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram in the last 365 days. But by using the V30 metric, which measures the views a video gets in its first 30 days, we can at least ease the bias of videos uploaded earlier in the year. Top 10 YouTube videos from 2016 1: Calvin Harris - This Is What You Came For (Official Video) ft. Rihanna by CalvinHarrisVEVO. So, what can media companies learn from this top 10 list? Top 10 Facebook videos from 2016 1: BEST FRIENDS! So, what can media companies learn from this top 10 list? Well, UNILAD and Tasty each placed two videos in this fairly eclectic list. And what can media companies learn from this top 10 list?

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‘Tis the season when the online video and internet marketing industries start rolling out their lists of the top videos of 2016. However, each of these lists should come with a ranking methodology tag similar to the mattress tags that warn consumers: “Do not remove under penalty of law.” Although mattress tags have baffled and amused consumers for decades, the ones I’m talking about should clearly warn media companies that ranking methodology matters. This is especially important in a year when news organizations that published election forecasts the night before the US Presidential Election said the chances that Hillary Clinton would win the Electoral College – and we all know how that turned out.

So, I hope video marketers will resist the obvious temptation to see if one of their videos (or one from a direct competitor) has made it onto one of these annual lists of top videos. What I would encourage them to do is look for the list’s ranking methodology instead. Here’s why it matters: Different metrics will yield different results.

For example, if the rankings of top videos is based on just “views,” then it will be heavily weighted in favor of videos that were uploaded or published earlier in the year – because they have more time to accumulate views than videos published later in the year. Plus, you might want to filter out videos which primarily get their views from advertising. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a list that has too many Super Bowl commercials – because this annual tent-pole event is held in early February and brands tend to spend a ton of money promoting their TV commercials online.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, it can lead many media companies to mistakenly think that they need to create videos that are 30 or 60 seconds long – just like the popular ones from Super Bowl 2016 – if they want to be just as successful before or during other tent-pole events or at different seasons of the year throughout 2017. Let me just say this about that assumption: Bah! Humbug!

Not All Video Views Are Equal

Fortunately, there is an alternative ranking methodology that levels the playing field. It’s Tubular Video Ratings, a standardized metric that rates every online video according to views and engagement. Launched back in April, this is the first time that we can use it to benchmark YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram videos uploaded in the last 365 days. This isn’t a trivial task. According to Tubular Labs, 71.8 million accounts uploaded 762.3 million videos to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram in the last 365 days. And these videos have received close to 6.0 trillion (with a “t”) views and 230.2 billion (with a “b”) engagements on the three leading video platforms over that period of time.

Now, all “views” are not created equal. So, we still can’t get an apples-to-apples comparison of the most popular videos across all video platforms. But by using the V30 metric, which measures the views a video gets in its first 30 days, we can at least ease the bias of videos uploaded earlier in the year.

And by selecting “Noteworthy” videos, which is Tubular’s filter that only shows videos that get more views than expected given the upload creator’s follower count and do not primarily get views from advertising, we can create a list that delivers strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and significant trends in the digital video marketing business.

Top 10 YouTube videos from 2016

1: Calvin Harris – This Is What You Came For (Official Video) ft. Rihanna by CalvinHarrisVEVO. Uploaded on June 17, 2016, this 4:00-long video got 232 million views in its first 30 days.

2: Rihanna – Work (Explicit) ft. Drake by RihannaVEVO. Uploaded on Feb. 22, 2016, this 7:35-long video got 153 million views in its first 30 days.

3: ZAYN – PILLOWTALK by ZaynVEVO. Uploaded on Jan. 29, 2016, this 3:27-long video got 144 million views in its first 30 days.

4: Bad Baby Real Food Fight Toy Freaks Family by Toy Freaks. Uploaded on July 20, 2016, this 4:41-long video got 141 million views in its first 30 days.

5: Ariana…

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