ViacomCBS Leads Broadcast/Cable Category for Social Video Viewers, Minutes Watched

(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

Last week, we dove into how streaming and ad-supported TV services are using social video to woo audiences. Now, just in time for the Upfronts next week, we’re examining a few of the biggest TV conglomerates — ViacomCBS, The Walt Disney Company, Fox Corporation and A+E Networks — to reveal social video trends using insights from Tubular Labs

When it comes to recent consumption of social video, ViacomCBS is a leader among broadcast/radio/cable properties: Per Tubular Audience Ratings for March, its owned accounts across Facebook and YouTube racked up 136.7 million U.S. viewers, with 5.8 billion minutes watched, putting it in first place for the category for viewers and watch-time.  

Looking at specific ViacomCBS-owned shows/networks that are generating top view-counts this year, four stand out: The Late Late Show with James Corden, Nick Jr., SpongeBob SquarePants Official and MTV all have multiple videos in the top 15 ranking. This points to the demographic diversity of ViacomCBS audiences. The broad range of content available that appeals to multiple age groups may be one factor in its achievement of the most unique viewers and minutes watched. 

ViacomCBS’s most-watched YouTube video of 2021 so far from a U.S. account is a clip featuring BLACKPINK posted by The Late Late Show with James Corden, which has generated 55.1 million views, 24.8 million of which occurred in the first week, per Tubular. Another James Corden clip featuring Prince Harry also made the top 10 with 25.5 million views, and just behind that is an MTV video with BTS with 21.2 million views (a second BTS video from MTV is also in the ranking, with 13.4 million views). 

Beyond the star power, kids’ content is also performing well for ViacomCBS: Nick Jr. was the source of Viacom’s No. 2 YouTube video by views this year (48.7 million), while SpongeBob takes third place (31.2 million). In fact, six of the top 15 ViacomCBS YouTube videos by views come from the SpongeBob account. 

There’s a bit of a different story when it comes to The Walt Disney Company. While it’s automatic to associate Disney with families and kids, sports-related properties also play a big role for the conglomerate: SportsCenter and ESPN are two of Disney’s most-watched shows/networks so far this year in terms of social video. 

According to Tubular, SportsCenter Facebook videos received 297 million views during March, while ESPN had 161 million Facebook video views for the month, making them the top two Disney-owned creators for the month. One of the top Facebook videos so far in 2021 is ESPN’s “Rocky’s Valentine Move,” with 40 million views. ABC7 posted this video about Magic Johnson and others speaking about getting COVID vaccinations, which has generated 27.2 million Facebook views. 

Additionally, multiple Disney-owned creators made the March top 10 ranking for unique viewers within the broadcast/radio/cable category: ABC News (30 million unique viewers), SportsCenter (25.9 million) and Good Morning America (23.7 million). In total, videos posted by accounts owned by The Walt Disney Company generated 135.1 million unique viewers in March with 3.5 billion minutes watched by U.S. audiences on Facebook and YouTube, according to Tubular Audience Ratings. 

In March, videos from Fox Corporation had 53.6 million unique viewers with 982.8 million minutes watched. Looking at video content, the sports trend continues: Fox Corporation’s top U.S. Facebook video by views this year is “Rondale Moore shows off 42.5" vertical at Pro Day,” from the College Football on Fox account, with 55 million views. Feel-good news clips are also top performers, such as the Fox 11 Los Angeles video “Heartwarming,” showing a school clapping for a cafeteria manager who has become a U.S. citizen, with 21 million Facebook views. And a Fox 10 Phoenix video showing police officers surprising a young boy with a toy John Deere gator has 16 million views. 

Sports and news aside, it’s worth mentioning that a clip from the Fox show 9-1-1 also made the top 10 Facebook videos in 2021 so far, with 9.7 million views. It’s the only (non-news) TV show-related clip in the top 20 Facebook videos for Fox Corporation. 

A+E Networks is another media conglomerate that saw social video success in March. According to Tubular Audience Ratings, it was in the top 10 for unique views (50.2 million) and minutes watched (2.8 billion) in the U.S. broadcast/radio/cable category. 

Not only that, looking at the creator-specific rankings for that category, multiple A+E-owned properties ranked high: History was No. 1 (961.3 million minutes watched in March), A&E Network was No. 2 (780.1 million), Pawn Stars on History was No. 11 (375.9 million) and Lifetime was No. 12 (370.4 million). 

When it comes to the most-watched A+E Networks Facebook videos so far this year, five of the top 10 come from The Best of Pawn Stars (an ancillary account to Pawn Stars on History), including the No. 1 video “Illegal Tortoise Shell Guitar Screams Trouble” (13.5 million views) and “Rare Suit Worn by ZZ Top” (12.3 million).