12 Days of Data, Day 6: YouTube Engagement Statistics for Top 100 High-Frequency Channels


Welcome to the 12 Days of Data, our look back at the data that made marketing in 2019. We’re looking at the year that was from an analytics perspective to see what insights we can take into the next year and decade. Sit up, get your coffee ready, and let’s celebrate some data.

YouTube Engagement Statistics for Top 100 High-Frequency Channels

On Day 6, we slowly move up the food chain from everyone on YouTube who’s earned 100 views on a video to the cream of the crop, the top of the stack – the top 100 channels who publish frequently. Before we dig into the best of the best, let’s look at our engagement data by deciles.

Before we go further, some definitions. A decile is a data set divided into 10 pieces. We define engagement as the number of interactions (likes, dislikes, and comments) that occurred on a YouTube video, divided by the number of views of that video. For all the computations that follow, we use the median as the measure of centrality, rather than the mean (average) because medians deal better with outliers, especially in large social media datasets. We define high-frequency as publishing at least 3 videos a month.

In 2019, 200,250 YouTube channels posted 514,402 videos with at least 100 views, broken out by decile:

12 Days of Data, Day 6: YouTube Engagement Statistics for Top 100 High-Frequency Channels

What we see here, in much greater depth than in the headline statistics from Day 5, is just how concentrated the top of the top is. The top 10% of YouTube videos garner an outsized number of views and engagements – and there are 14,841 channels in that upper decile. What if we distilled that huge pool down to channels that have published at least 36 videos year-to-date (meaning the serial creators who put out roughly 3 videos a month, eliminating the one-hit wonders and mega-studios that put out one or two mega-hit videos only, like Marvel’s release of the Black Widow trailer)? What would that list look like, and how do they perform?

12 Days of Data, Day 6: YouTube Engagement Statistics for Top 100 High-Frequency Channels

The statistics for the very best of the best don’t look too different from the top decile, indicating that the top 100 are fairly representative of the top 10%. If your statistics don’t look anything like this, you’re not alone – the top of the pack on YouTube is a tough pack to break into, as shown in the earlier chart.

Other statistics:

  • The median number of engagements per video was 3,291 likes, 140 dislikes, and 357 comments
  • The median number of views per video was an astonishing 178,124 views over only 9,350 videos
  • The median number of posts per YouTube channel for the year was 94 per year, or roughly 8 per month – a very high frequency

Who are the top channels? The top 10 are:

  1. BCC Trolling
  2. Peppa Pig
  3. Saregama TV
  4. Gen Hailintar
  5. Levinho
  6. T-Series
  7. Linus Tech Tips
  8. React
  9. Vikatan TV
  10. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Unsurprisingly, many of these accounts are also broadcast television accounts. To produce video at scale requires a fair amount of time and resources, and TV shows which are already creating video collateral have no trouble rendering their content for YouTube as well.

Key Takeaways

We reiterate yesterday’s point about the density of YouTube content. Even though the top 100 accounts are racking up incredible numbers of views and engagements, look at the deciles in the first chart on this post. The median number of views for decile 5 – meaning the 51-60% of top videos on YouTube – have a mere median 1,093 views and 41 median engagements. Those aren’t crazy numbers at all; those are achievable even by individuals, much less corporations with a few ad dollars to spare and production budgets.

YouTube has a tall head, but a very thin long-tail. That hints at the opportunity YouTube presents to brands willing to make the commitment to a video strategy and just a little bit of promotion. Cracking into the top 50% of YouTube videos is achievable by any brand without breaking the bank.


Trust Insights used Talkwalker’s software to identify all videos with the words “the”, “and”, or “or” in the title or description for calendar year 2019. A sampling of the top 50,000 viewed videos each day was taken, sorted in descending order by number of views, then consolidated and de-duped by video URL. Talkwalker does not provide data about paid versus unpaid videos. Due to the selection method, there is a bias towards videos published in the English language. No location was specified, so videos and channels from around the world are included, but some bias towards English-language locations such as India, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States of America is implicit based on the selection criteria. Video data was filtered to only include videos with a cumulative number of views exceeding 100. Influencer videos were selected first by top 10% (tenth decile). Influencer channels were aggregated by channel name, then by median views for channels with more than 36 videos year-to-date. Engagement on YouTube is defined as (likes + dislikes + comments) / views. The timeframe of the study is January 1, 2019 to December 11, 2019. The date of extraction is December 12, 2019. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors.


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