Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube is increasingly becoming the realm of large companies and broadcasters, with the majority of its 10 most popular videos in 2015 once again belonging to TV networks and major brands.
Late-night network series The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live all landed in the top 10 with viral videos, the Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, just three independent creators had videos land on YouTube's year-end list, which was compiled based on number of views.
For example, independent creator Tianne King's take on Silento's "Watch Me (Whip/NaeNae)" sits at the top of the list with more than 119 million views. But in second place is a Clash of Clans ad featuring Liam Neeson, which garnered more than 89 million views.
The popularity of late-night TV sketches, like Jimmy Fallon's "Lip Sync Battle" with guests Will Farrell and Kevin Hart, is understandable: as network shows, they've got a built-in viewer following and the resources to heavily market their content through several outlets including online video. As the Post observed, "it appears that -- even where the unfathomable science of virality is concerned -- the establishment has a big leg-up on the rest of us."
Even two of the indie creators who broke the top 10 had a little marketing magic on their side. King's video was a followup to a similar video that went viral, and was boosted by an appearance on daytime talk show Ellen. Roman Atwood's "Crazy Plastic Ball Prank" video was created as a Super Bowl ad for Nissan, the Post said. That kind of promotion and backing may muddy the definition of "independent creator," but it isn't likely to slow down as brands leverage individual YouTube stars to get their products noticed.
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