Don’t Count on Video View Counts
One of Web Video’s killer features has always been View Counts. A persistent count of how many views a video has had. This basic metric has proved valuable as a general indicator of how popular a video is.
However a view count doesn’t tell the whole story behind how effective a video is. On it’s own it doesn’t tell us if the video is actually communicating to the right people or indeed if the video is being received in a positive way.
Critically, View Counts are not what they seem.
Facebook has made waves this year with their huge view count numbers. However the legitimacy of these claims has been called out by Video Blogger Hank Green – brother of author and fellow YouTuber John Green.
Hank Green on View Counts
Amongst Green’s many valid issues with Facebook’s video service offering is the questionable way in which Facebook counts a ‘video view’. Different video platforms handle view counts differently. Critically on most platforms a start to finish watch of a video is not required for a ‘view’.
Green’s major concern is that a Facebook video view is counted as any video view over 3 seconds. While this is obviously generating great statistics for Facebook, it’s not a particularly useful metric as it provides so little detail.
A viewer may only watch 5 seconds or even 2 minutes of a 10 minute video before deciding that they don’t want to watch the reset – hardly a fair viewing on the video.
This coupled with the fact that Facebook videos play automatically by default in newsfeeds mean that Facebook’s video view counts don’t reflect the true number of views.
Learning to Count
Different platforms count views differently. Interestingly YouTube don’t publicly explain how they count views. It has been suggested that the reason for this is to prevent hacking of the counting system in order to inflate view counts.
For a full lowdown on how different platforms handle view counts check out this excellent video by Vidiseo:
Beyond Video View Counts
As view counts don’t give a complete picture we need to look to other tools to get true idea of how video content is performing.
Step up analytics – much like Google Analytics for websites various video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo have entire suites of analytic features for videos. These tools collect detailed information on how a viewer engages with a video. For example, what demographic is watching the video or even at point in a video a viewer stops watching.
Breaking down the detailed information can yield critical information on how to improve the performance of current and future videos.
The more tuned the content the better the video content is received by your audience – resulting in more enquiries, more conversions, more sales – whatever the purpose of your video is.
Counting on Workshop Media
If you have a YouTube channel then you already have access to some analytic information. But breaking down the information into something useful if you’ve never used this medium before can be tricky.
If you decide you need help to make the most out of your video content talk to Workshop Media. We have a complete range of Video Marketing and Video Production Services that can enhance you video marketing efforts.
Feel free to get in touch for a chat!