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Pixability Consumer Electronics Study Pinpoints Role of YouTube

  |  June 25, 2014   |  Comments

A new study from Pixability shows that consumer electronics customers are using YouTube to inform their purchase decisions.

Buyers of consumer electronics (CE) are using YouTube as a key part of their purchasing process, according to a new study released today by Pixability. The comprehensive study, entitled "Consumer Electronics and YouTube: How YouTube Is Changing Consumer Behavior and How the Best Brands Adapt," delivers both critical market insights and prescriptive measures for brands. Consumer electronics content on YouTube accounts for 18.9 billion total views and attracted 483 million views per month in 2013, up from 100 million views per month in 2008.

The study analyzes the YouTube behavior of 25 major consumer electronics brands and more than 100,000 independent YouTube content creators who have uploaded more than 900,000 videos. Of those 25 major brands, only five excel in both YouTube subscriber numbers and audience engagement, while most brands still approach YouTube strategy with a TV mentality. The study also reveals significant differences between how consumers use Google and YouTube in their product selection process, which presents significant implications for media planning.

In a press release announcing the study, Marques Brownlee, one of the top independent YouTube content providers in the consumer electronics space, says, "People often go to YouTube first while researching which consumer electronics to buy. Text reviews can be helpful and photos even better, but video reviews are easily more informative." Brownlee, who has more than 1.3 million subscribers to his YouTube channel MKBHD, adds, "If a picture is worth 1,000 reviews, a five-minute review speaks volumes to a potential buyer."

Pixability’s study uses more data than any other previously conducted analysis of the digital video marketplace for the consumer electronics industry. Some of the report’s key findings include:

  1. A television mentality proves highly ineffective on YouTube. High-profile branded videos featuring products, celebrities, and elaborate storylines attract 123 times the views of the average CE video, while traditional commercials – which still make up 37 percent of the YouTube content published by CE brands – capture only 10 percent of views and fail to generate customer interest and engagement.
  2. YouTube search and Google search serve very different purposes in the buying cycle. Consumers don’t view YouTube as a medium for immediate transactions, but use the platform for research during their buying process. By the time potential consumers search for deals on Google, they have already formed a brand preference.
  3. Brands and independent content producers serve symbiotic roles. In the weeks leading up to a product launch, brand videos receive high numbers of views while vlogger videos fail to gain traction. Post-release, vloggers and other independent content creators outperform brands in cumulative views.

In the release, Rob Ciampa, the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Pixability, says, "The data from the consumer electronics industry proves that YouTube has now reached the point where a one-size-fits-all video marketing strategy is not only ineffective, but a flawed way to engage consumers on a medium they covet." Ciampa adds, "The study required significant Pixability technology horsepower to collect the data and analyze the findings, and the implications for brand marketing and media planning are immediate."

Digital marketers can also watch a highlight video of the key findings along with a playlist of videos from leading consumer electronics brands here.

For a comprehensive look at all major findings and recommendations in "Consumer Electronics and YouTube," digital marketers can download the full report here.

Consumer Electronics Study a Sequel to Beauty Industry Study by Pixability

Today’s consumer electronics study is a sequel to a beauty industry study by Pixability, which was entitled "Beauty on YouTube: How YouTube Is Radically Transforming the Beauty Industry and What That Means for Brands," found that shoppers are bypassing major brands for product recommendations, instructional guidance, and social engagement from thousands of beauty personalities and vloggers who create YouTube beauty content focused on makeup, skincare, hair care, and nails.

In an email, Ciampa says, "It was a tough act to follow, but our new study, 'Consumer Electronics and YouTube,' is deeper and more data-driven than our beauty industry piece from February. In fact, the difference between these two industries on YouTube couldn't be starker."

This indicates that each industry has its own video ecosystem and digital marketers need more data before they can apply even some of the lessons in another industry to theirs.

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Greg Jarboe

Greg Jarboe is president of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization, public relations, video marketing, and social media marketing services. He's the author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day," a faculty member at Rutgers University and Market Motive, as well as a frequent speaker at SES conferences.

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