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Tubular Audience Ratings Making TV-Like Metrics a Reality for Social Video

Social video’s growth in recent years has been obvious, but also hard to pin down. With each platform having different standards for what constitutes a “view,” true apples-to-apples comparisons across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and others are incredibly difficult. But Tubular Audience Ratings from Tubular Labs appearing to be changing that dynamic.

Announced today, Tubular Audience Ratings are the first and only de-duplicated audience and time-based system for measuring video attention across social media platforms. For now, that means second-by-second minutes watched and deduplicated unique viewer data across YouTube and Facebook. At a later date, Instagram and Twitter will also be added to the mix.

By moving past vanity numbers like views, subscribers and “likes,” the conversation shifts to who’s watching and for how long. Tubular helps usher social video into an era where it can be more easily stacked up both across platforms and to TV — and generate more revenue for everyone involved.

Without the black box around views, publishers are theoretically able to fold social video into larger production budgets, assessing views based on length of time audiences are in front of the content. From a brand perspective, this creates opportunities to better assess social video spots and integrations against television.

As Tubular CCO Neil Patil put it, “Now (Tubular is) not just delivering a better way to evaluate video content and audiences, (it’s) giving the marketplace an even better way to compare, contextualize and make informed business decisions.”

(via Tubular Labs)

The graphic above, supplied by Tubular, looks at cross-platform unique viewer overlap in the U.S. for the largest media properties. While there are plenty of traditional media conglomerates on that list — Disney, ViacomCBS, Comcast, WarnerMedia — you can see digital-first entities competing right along with them, and commanding attentive viewership that stack up favorably with broadcast in some regards.

With an ability to nail down reporting on a demographic, geographic and categorical level, Tubular Audience Ratings provide insights around who’s really watching content about various topics. These major media companies are part of that conversation, of course, but sorting by a metric like minutes watched can also yield plenty of surprises. For instance:

Did you know that in September, British gamer SSSniperwolf generated the second-most minutes watched in the United States — 1.7 billion — of any creator on Facebook or YouTube? That’s 600 million more than Fox News or Joe Rogan. It’s double the total for A&E, and about 1.1 billion more than what the NFL had during the same period.

Meanwhile, The Dodo has more unique U.S. viewers (91.5 million) than any other media creator, and the number’s not even close, with Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes trailing by about 26 million viewers. These and other hubs for niche content have more unique viewers than entities like ABC News, Netflix, CNN and others, showcasing how undervalued these creator channels are as sources of revenue both for their parent companies and potential brand partners.

In 2020, the lines between screens have become increasingly blurred, and that trend is only poised to continue. Social video isn’t overtaking TV — linear or streaming — just yet. But Tubular Audience Ratings sets that content up to be evaluated on a similar playing field going forward.