Considering online video’s unparalleled effect on brand awareness and loyalty, it makes sense that YouTube user-generated content is now a big dot on the radars of the world’s leading brands. The term “user-generated content” only emerged around a decade ago, and since then we’ve seen brands become intricately concerned with tracking and managing that content on YouTube. Brands’ perceptions of and reactions to UGC, however, have been at both extremes.

Some brands keep close tabs on fan-uploaded videos that use their assets and, if that content crosses any copyright boundaries, ask YouTube to block or remove that content. The result is the dreaded unhappy-face in your YouTube player, but it’s well within the right of media companies to block such content; after all the warnings are plastered all over movie credits and album sleeves.

Nobody’s a fan of that unhappy-face though, and many brands have noted that the public reacts quite poorly to brands that remove content from YouTube (or from any platform). Thats why more and more brands are seeking to track UGC and fan-uploaded content not in order to take it down, but in order to use it as a business opportunity. True, some of that content may be of lesser quality than the original production (like this Idol compilation video with 3M+ views) and yeah, some of it might not be brand safe (like the iPhone 6 commercial parody with 10M+ views), but it’s often worth more to a brand left where it is than deleted and replaced with a takedown notice.


By not jumping to block UGC and fan-uploaded content brands have benefited not only from added revenue streams, but also from promotional value. Many of BBTV’s clients – including Fremantle Media (the company behind American Idol and The X Factor) – have asserted that fan-uploaded content and UGC does not signal theft, but rather fan loyalty. More importantly, some clients have likened their tracking of UGC with BBTV’s technologies to an immediate expansion of their business – not only through increased revenue streams but through the holy grail of data.

By taking advantage of technologies like those created by BroadbandTV, brands can automate the process of tracking not only UGC that uses a brand’s video and audio assets (the way YouTube’s Content ID does) but also scalably searching lyrics, comments, and a whole host of other metadata for brand-relevant chatter. That means companies can track the thousands of creators who share their content and even those who talk or sing about their brand, as well as reactions to that content and their audience’s demographics

“Smart media companies are embracing the online video revolution by deeply understanding their fans and positively engaging with them. It’s about effectively taking the brand experience to the next level and allowing the fan to share the great content you’ve created for them,” said Rafati, CEO of BroadbandTV, about the importance of UGC. By working with BroadbandTV, companies gain a real-time understanding of their audience and how they could target them more effectively. They also benefit from the knowledge of who is speaking about their brand with the most authority – those creators, in fact, might be the best of brand ambassadors. Those of them who are producing original content as well are often prime candidates for brand sponsorships and integrations.

In many cases more than 90% of BroadbandTV’s clients’ online video views were coming from undetected and unclaimed YouTube user-generated content. Enlisting BBTV to detect that content has resulted in over 900% growth in detected content (which means an equivalent growth in revenue streams from online video and in data that can be used to understand audiences and work with influencers). The incentive to pursue those gains is huge.

For brands that already work with tech companies to detect and claim UGC, it turns out that millions of impressions are often still missed from detection in those other services. The chart below shows the amount of UGC impressions that brands operating in various markets failed to detect before moving to BroadbandTV from a top-three competitor in the industry.

It’s clear that the successful detection of UGC has become imperative for media companies whether in finding their most influential brand ambassadors, gaining knowledge about their audience, or recovering unclaimed revenue streams. But it’s not only about the simple act of pursuing the detection of that fan-uploaded content, it’s about choosing the right company to track that content and making the right decisions regarding your brand’s use of that added insight.

How Some Brands are Missing Out on YouTube’s User-Generated Content

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