3 Reasons Why YouTube Gadgets Don’t Work for Brands

/ Nov 25, 2014

YouTube YouTube YouTube

For the most part, brands can find success on YouTube in the same way as regular creators — by making compelling content and wisely populating their channels with playlists and strategic annotations. Custom “YouTube gadgets” may seem like one of those smart channel additions, but, according to “Are YouTube Gadgets Worth the Investment for Brands,” a research paper from YouTube marketing expert Brendan Gahan (with help from Tubular Labs data), they seem to hurt rather than help.

In case you didn’t know, gadgets often substitute the usual YouTube landing page for brands that use them, making the overall layout look unique and highly brand-specific. Perhaps viewers get deterred by the unusual image? Whether that’s the cause or not, these statistics, gathered from the 23 most-subscribed brand channels with gadgets and the 23 without, should help brands figure out why gadgets are doing them wrong.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.53.35 PM

1. Brands with Gadgets Have Fewer Subscribers

Subscribers watch about double the amount of content on a channel as non-subscribers do, so if 61% of brand channels with gadgets have fewer subscribers than their un-gadgeted counterparts, that’s not a statistic to ignore.

2. No Gadgets Mean More Shares

Brand channels that didn’t invest in gadgets got 12% more content shares than channels with no gadgets. This includes sharing on both Twitter and Facebook.

YouTube Gadgets Brands Average Shares Graph

3. Fans Engage More Without Gadgets

Perhaps gadgets distract from content while the simple YouTube format allows fans to focus on what’s important—the brand’s videos. When it came to comments and likes, brands with gadgets garnered 53% less engagement, with 33% lower rates of comments per video.

YouTube Gadgets for Brands Engagement Graph


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  • Hi Jessica,

    This article and study tells a person that launching a custom gadget is a bad choice to begin with, which is not the truth AT ALL. We think the researched gadgets weren’t a right representation of the gadgets that are out there. The results that our clients are generating tell a total different story. This article and study therefore came as a complete shock to us.

    We [Clipster] are specialists on the field of custom YouTube gadgets, and we have created many VERY successful gadgets for our super satisfied clients.

    For example, on our website you can download a whitepaper of a study about the user experience of the BMWi gadget. These reactions tell a whole different story. Next to that, our client Rokenbok generated a 72% increase in time watched, a 60% video views increase, a 102% subscription increase and a 57% click through rate increase and a direct derived 27% revenue increase.

    Our client KLM is very satisfied with their custom YouTube gadget, recently a press release was published (check our website to read it) with quote of the Direct Marketing director. If a gadget is a waste of money, why would KLM be so satisfied?

    Hoping to start a discussion here!



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