Remember the days when Numa Numa was passed around as an email attachment? People don’t find online video like that anymore. Blogs and other web sites with embedded video and links are the single largest referrer of video views, according to TubeMogul. They even top direct navigation on video sites, for instance through a channel page, search or a related videos list. Seeing a mention on a gossip blog, an out-linking news site, your friend’s online journal or maybe even little old NewTeeVee is the main way people find video.
I was especially surprised to see that email referrals count for only 0.38 percent of video views — links sent via email or instant messenger surely must be a big reason people watch videos. That may indeed be true, though it’s not reflected in the data, because TubeMogul notes that it can only accurately measure click-throughs within web browsers. It has difficulty tracking clicks from software.
TubeMogul’s account of the changing nature of video discovery, first reported by Beet.tv last night, also paints a disappointing picture for video search engines. They only account for 0.35 percent of video discoveries — and they’re pretty much all browser-based, so there’s no undercounting here.
Social networking sites like Twitter, which are a quickly growing source of traffic to video and other sites, only account for 2.01 percent of video discoveries, according to TubeMogul.
YouTube (s GOOG) itself is the second-largest search engine in the U.S., according to comScore. Within TubeMogul’s research, clicks from YouTube searches count as discovery through a video site, not a video search engine. But TubeMogul says blogs (just by a smidge) outsize that activity as well.