Finding success in the increasingly crowded social video market is becoming ever harder. Picking a genre where providers are few and audiences growing increases the chance of success. Moreover, even in crowded spaces such as news, there is still an opportunity to specialize and stand out.
Picking the right genre
With over 400 hours of content posted every minute to YouTube, there is a growing problem of over saturation. Other social media platforms are experiencing this saturation problem as well. Genres such as beauty, fitness, travel, entertainment, gaming and more are extremely popular. However, the huge number of creators in these spaces make it tough to be successful.
While it might seem like all the popular topics are over-crowded, there may still be an opportunity in some areas. According to Tubular Labs, DIY on YouTube and Science & Tech on Facebook have both seen a large increase in views in Q2 2018. However, there has been no increase in the number of competitors. Furthermore, 60% of the views of Science and Tech on Facebook were dominated by just five publishers: Genius Club, Now This Future, Seeker, UNILAD Tech, and Tech Insider.
The concentration of providers was even more astonishing for DIY on YouTube. 3-in-5 views in the genre in Q2 accrued to just one channel: 5 Minute Crafts.
The data illustrates that opportunities are still out there in the online world and that companies that notice these trends the fastest stand to benefit the most. There are special situations where the same can be said even for very popular genres that are not growing.
Look for growing niches in popular genres
As we have seen in established genres, it can be hard to find success. News Media is one of the most popular and well-established genres in social video. Today, however, it is in a slight downturn. In Q2 2018, News & Politics Media views declined 4%. Despite this lackluster performance, two sub-genres (or “micro-verticals”) showed incredible growth.
The two micro-verticals Local news media and uplifting news stories saw substantial growth, even though the rest of the news category remained flat to slightly down. On Facebook, views of local news media videos rose from 334 million to 366 million, an increase of 9.5% from April to June 2018.
The increase in views is due in part to Facebook’s commitment to promoting locally driven news. As a result, Fox affiliates around the country, such as Fox 13 News Tampa Bay, were the most viewed channels in Q2 2018.
nScreenMedia has reported before on the popularity of local TV with users. This popularity is beginning to transfer to social media as more viewers cut the cord from traditional pay TV.
The micro-vertical Uplifting news stories saw an increase in views of 33% and engagement of 74% in Q2 2018. Media publishers have taken notice, and some have dedicated entire channels that exclusively showcase inspiring and happy stories. The viewership of these stories has increased 74% quarter-over-quarter.
Targeting these sub-genres could have helped a struggling news media maintain its viewing volume in 2017. According to Pew Research, every major sector of the US news media lost viewership in that year. Focusing on local and uplifting news stories could help many of these companies boost viewership online if growth in the genre as a whole is stagnant.
Why it matters
There might be opportunity for new providers in genres where viewing has increased but the number of video posts and providers has not.
In genres that are not growing, a look at the sub-genres can reveal where publishers should focus their attention to maintain audience share and attention.
Identifying areas of opportunity and moving quickly to service them is paramount.