Watch time at YouTube 'growing 50% a year'

Watch time at YouTube 'growing 50% a year'

Publishers who do not have a strategy related to YouTube are missing an opportunity, publicists and marketeers were told at a YouTube conference held yesterday (27th October) in association with The Bookseller.

The event, held at the YouTube offices in St Giles High Street, and aimed at giving advice on how to use YouTube to promote books and authors, also heard from publishers who have used the website to promote books or find authors.

Pete Stower, who works in the content partnerships at YouTube, said: “People are uploading more and more video than ever – about 100 hours is uploaded every single minute. We are also watching more and more, watch time is growing 50% a year.” He commented: “To not have a strategy related to YouTube is a missed opportunity.”

Among the panellists in a session looking at successful YouTube content was Naomi Bacon, digital publicist at Pan Macmillan, who said the company was keen to work with BookTubers – people who produce YouTube videos centred on books  – in the future. Popular BookTubers include Jessethereader, with 66,000 subscribers, Booksandquills (real name Sanne Vliegenthart of Hot Key Books) with 106,000 subscribers, and Polandbananasbooks, with 145,000 subscribers. 

Speaking about Book Break, the publisher’s online book show hosted on YouTube, Bacon said: “Book Break has been a real learning curve. One of the videos [from the show] which had the highest like and engagement was our in-house [book] recommendations. It showed there is a real appetite for people to see behind the scenes in the industry. We have been talking a lot about working with vloggers on a B2B approach. What can we learn from book tubers? It’s things like meeting with them face to face and bringing them in.”

Lisa Hoare, commercial director at Blink Publishing, which has just released YouTube star Alfie Deyes’ book, predicted the market would be looking more to the video site in the future: “I do think the market’s going to be saturated in the next 12 months with publishers trying to use YouTube to sell books.”

Panelist Richard Wiseman, who has a YouTube channel for his book 59 Seconds (Pan), with almost 290,000 subscribers, said successful videos should have a “shareability” factor, and that he made videos he would like to share with friends and colleagues. “This [YouTube] is a form of marketing unlike any [other] form because you would usually pay,” he said. “It actually generates revenue. It’s across the world and it’s 24 hours a day and it’s democratic. What’s not to love?”

Publishers were told during the event that should experiment with video content, should make sure their videos have a consistency, but also not be afraid of producing videos which are not perfect.

Other speakers included Jake Chudnow, YouTube Next Lab senior strategist; Jessica Elvidge, creative strategist at YouTube; and Mike Cook, brand manager of Simon’s Cat, an animated series which began on YouTube.

David Ripert, head of YouTube Spaces EMEA at Google/YouTube, is speaking at The Bookseller's FutureBook conference on 14th November.