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WarnerMedia and Discovery Combo Could Be the Third Most-Watched Media Conglomerate on Facebook and YouTube

A screen grab from a sizzle reel for the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery
(Image credit: AT&T)

Last week’s news that AT&T’s WarnerMedia plans to merge with Discovery set the TV world aflutter, and for good reason: The Discovery networks’ hugely popular unscripted content married with WarnerMedia’s cinematic powerhouse of a library — not to mention TNT, TBS and CNN — will create an entertainment/media force of truly epic proportions.

Much has already been said (and speculated) about what exactly this all means, but today we’re looking at a new angle: social video trends from the two giants, using insights from Tubular Labs

At a high level, the merger is a potential boon for Discovery when it comes to engaging consumers through social video: Per Tubular Audience Ratings for April, across Facebook and YouTube, WarnerMedia racked up 100.5 million unique viewers in the U.S. with 3.8 billion minutes watched, while Discovery had 49.5 million unique viewers and 805.9 million minutes watched during the month. Tubular data shows that the combined company would be the third-most watched media conglomerate on Facebook and YouTube, behind ViacomCBS and Comcast.

Also Read: Stankey: WarnerMedia Was a Mismatch for AT&T’s Domestically ‘Captive’ Connectivity Biz

YouTube has delivered 19.7 billion views for WarnerMedia content so far in 2021. Movie trailers have been a huge part of that: Looking at YouTube videos from WarnerMedia’s U.S. properties, the No. 1 video by views this year is the official trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong, which has racked up 91.3 million views, 46.9 million of which occurred in the first week, according to Tubular. A clip from Wonder Woman 1984 is WarnerMedia’s second most-watched video on YouTube this year (31.6 million views), while the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League takes third (27.1 million views). 

But it isn’t just cinematic titles that get major traction for WarnerMedia’s social video presence: With 13.3 million views, the Rick and Morty season 5 trailer is No. 6 on the ranking of WarnerMedia’s most-watched YouTube videos from U.S. accounts, while a segment from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and a Teen Titans Go! clip, both with 11 million views, also make the top 10. 

For Discovery, Tubular data shows that Facebook is its prime vehicle for social video views, netting the company 5.2 billion so far in 2021. Of the Discovery-owned U.S. Facebook accounts, a clip promoting the season premiere of Naked and Afraid has the most views so far this year — 36 million, 19.6 million of which occurred in the first seven days after it was posted, per Tubular.  

Food Network is also a big social video powerhouse for Discovery: This Facebook video featuring The Pioneer Woman’s Ree Drummond has generated 25 million views, while a sequence showing the creation of a massive cheesy fried onion is close behind with 22 million Facebook video views. Clips from TLC shows are also popular, such as this one from My 600lb Life (12 million views) and this one from 90 Day Fiancé (11 million views).