YouTube is dropping in monthly views – but gaining in “engagement”

YouTube is getting smaller in a metric that used to mean everything: views.

Since December, views on YouTube have dropped 28%, and March views are only slightly above what they were a year ago, startling for a site accustomed to breakneck growth.

It’s an intended consequence of the Google-owned site’s shift from…snack-size content to a full-fledged, couch-potato-optimized entertainment destination. At YouTube, the “view” is out and “engagement” is in.

YouTube’s focus has shifted from directing viewers to videos of skateboarding dogs to enticing them into longer, more engaging videos—the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers.

On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click.

“Our goal is we want users to watch more and click less”

It appears to be working. While views have dropped of late, the amount of minutes users spend watching YouTube has grown over the past year by 57%. The average length of a video view has grown a full minute to four minutes in the past year.

via AdAge

 


 
// Photo – Mark Sebastian

Apple gestures…quietly revolutionary

Do you use Apple gestures, have you even heard of them?

I was first introduced to them in January of 2008, when I became hipster #1 and bought the first MacBook Air. Now, three years and eight months later I am still barely using them.

Of the available fourteen there are only three I regularly use but those three are absolutely time-saving-revolutionary.

  • Scroll with two fingers – just move two fingers up/down, instead of turning a mouse wheel or dragging the sidebar.
  • Forward/Back with two fingers – browse the web by “swiping” left or right with two fingers, no more back button.
  • Double-tap with two fingers – instead of the right mouse click (called a “secondary click”), tap two fingers to engage a secondary click.

When Apple says they are “fluid, natural, and intuitive,” I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t think about using them anymore and it hurts to use a computer without them. Which is when you know it’s a true innovation, “when you can’t live without it.”

Of the other fourteen, I have three more just barely in my memory. Six out of fourteen?

It does take a while to break the old habits, especially for former Windows users. No more mouse and an almost entirely new language with my fingers. Yeah, it’s tough but I can’t complain about clicking less buttons and gaining agility.

It’s part of the reason why I like Apple products. Their agressive forward pace, while offensive to some, keeps me on my toes and ever-improving. I can only imagine the day when I am able to handle all fourteen:

[one_half]

  • Single click
  • Dictionary look-up
  • Directional scroll
  • Smart zoom
  • Rotate
  • Scroll between screens
  • Open Expose
[/one_half]
[one_half]
  • Secondary click
  • Window drag
  • Zoom in/out
  • Scroll forward/back
  • Open Mission Control
  • Open Launchpad
  • Show desktop

[/one_half]

Watch out too because these gestures are growing exponentially. On my last computer there were only 6-7 and now fourteen. It won’t be long before there are 72 gestures encompassing every feature on a computer.

We may even begin to skip the keyboard…have you seen the Swype text-input on Android?

CPC is better than CPM

If you’ve ever wanted to know why CPC is better than CPM and CPA here is a great description why.

CPM – cost-per-thousand

CPA – cost-per-action

CPC – cost-per-click

Cost-per-thousand (CPM) was huge in the early days and very simple, get paid by the thousand viewers. But, it was it very limited in effectiveness. It placed all of the risk on the advertiser. They created the ad and made the payments, while all the website had to do was display the ad (often in the worst locations).

Then, cost-per-action (CPA) came into play where the website had to actually close a deal. The website didn’t get paid unless they got a viewer to buy something (or sign-up for something). This is the most common program used by the wide range of affiliate companies who offer high percentages (5%-15%) of the sale. But, this switches the game by placing all the risk on the website. The website places the ad and no matter how many views or clicks it receives they only get paid if the viewer commits the desired action. The advertiser receives all the free views and clicks with no impetus to create a compelling ad.

Finally, the balance came with cost-per-click (CPC). In this case the website gets paid for each click on the ad and it forces them to display it in the best possible spot. It also encourages the advertiser to create an interesting and relevant ad because they still need to convert the click into an action (purchase, sign-up).

For more information visit infolific: CPM vs CPA vs CPC.