There was some debate in our newsroom about whether to publish videos to YouTube: YouTube would get our videos in front of more potential eyeballs, but the traffic would not be landing on our site, and those eyeballs would not be looking at our advertisements. At the heart of the debate was the question: “Will YouTube steal traffic, in effect setting us up to compete with ourselves?” For a time, we only sent occasional videos to our YouTube account because the extra time to upload to another CMS was a pain.
When our video host, Castfire, announced a partnership with TubeMogul, publishing to YouTube became much easier via an MRSS feed. The experience has been interesting. Videos on our site get about 50% of their plays on the first day they are published, and most of the views come within the next seven days. We’ve tried to set up our site to allow users to find and browse older videos, but with a few exceptions, the views drop off significantly over time.
We’ve found the opposite to be true on YouTube, particularly with videos that have appeal outside the circulation area of our newspaper. This feature on a local funeral home has been an interesting case. It had around a thousand views on TheDay.com when it was first published. During the last year plus, it has had about 446 views from our Castfire CMS. Since the video was published on YouTube 8/10/09, we’ve had 10,933 views. My guess is those views are not stealing from TheDay.com, as 80% of those views were from YouTube links or searches. 3.8% came from a Google search, so if we could index our site better for search engines, we could possibly convert those to views on TheDay.comVodpod videos no longer available.