Video is the new mobile for publishers – some who already have a strategy in place are starting to reap the rewards, while the majority are yet to take full advantage of the medium.

That being said, several digital-only publishers have implemented video efforts that are getting a lot of traffic and a lot of social shares, which are an increasingly important part of the pitch to advertisers, and many established publishers are trying to do the same.

We took the 20 most popular videos from the YouTube channels of four big players in the video space – VICE, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph – to see how some of their most successful content is performing on the social web.

Update: As it’s been pointed out to us on Twitter by the Telegraph’s social media editor Richard Moynihan, the figures don’t include social sharing direct to article pages or embedded video players on these sites, which potentially occurs more for the Guardian and Telegraph (and perhaps VICE, too). It’s a point worth noting, and highlights some of the issues publishers will have trying to manage audience stats from several different platforms.

The results

It’s apparent that Facebook and Google+ are where the majority of shares happen for these publishers’ video content.

BuzzFeed tops the Facebook podium, with an average of 24,551 Facebook shares per video from its top 20, with VICE narrowly behind the top spot with an average of 23,638.

The figures are lower for the traditional publishers, but it’s interesting to see The Daily Telegraph received almost double the number of Facebook shares per video as the Guardian, with 13,231 compared to 7,142, respectively.

With +1s (a social metric important on YouTube if not elsewhere), VICE comes out on top, with 9,912 +1s per video. BuzzFeed falls in second place, with 7,714 and The Daily Telegraph lands in third place with 3,598. The Guardian’s Google+ video success isn’t much to write home about, with an average of 443 +1s for its top 20.

video facebook google

The sharing figures for Twitter and LinkedIn are much lower than their Facebook and Google+ counterparts. It’s worth noting that for each of the publishers, Google+ was a much more successful platform than Twitter for sharing.

BuzzFeed and VICE take the top two spots again on Twitter, with BuzzFeed topping out with an average of 408 per video and VICE with 301. The Daily Telegraph pips the Guardian with 227 tweets compared to 165, on average.

LinkedIn shares are unsurprisingly the lowest of the four platforms we have focused on, and The Daily Telegraph beats the competition here, with an average of 78 LinkedIn shares per video.

That’s perhaps not so surprising given the average ages and professions of the respective audiences on the business-focused network.

BuzzFeed takes second place with an average of 63 LinkedIn shares, while VICE takes third with 13 and the Guardian comes in last place with an average of 11 per video.

video social sharing twitter linkedin

Advertising approach

As we’ve covered before with non-video content from these publishers, eyes-on-page and social shares are both important metrics in the approach to advertisers.

Shared content comes with an implicit recommendation that can translate to a higher chance of purchasing, due to the higher levels of trust involved in clicking on links your friends share, and for that some advertisers are willing to pay a premium.

More and more publishers are investing resources into video both for the potential content and commercial success the platform can offer, and social media is an integral part in achieving positive results in both of those areas.

Median results

We’ve also included the median results below, which reduce the numbers quite significantly, especially for the Guardian and Telegraph’s Google+ success and changes the order of who comes out on top in terms of tweets:



Image via Scott Meis used under a Creative Commons license.