Cars on YouTube: Who’s Winning?

Looking at the top 5 auto & vehicle channels on YouTube, one fact stands out: none of these channels belong to car companies.

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However, Audi and BMW do make the top 10 auto & vehicle brand channels on YouTube (numbers 7 and 9, respectively).

Audi

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Audi’s video Race car on the road - “Welcome back” received 4 million views, 22,000 Facebook shares, and 3,632 tweets. However, Audi isn’t anywhere near the top car brand channel in terms of subscriber growth or engagement. Audi uploads videos to YouTube a lot (48 videos in the last 30 days!), and the content of those videos range from German language commercials to race clips to press conferences. The amount and varied nature of Audi’s uploaded content might be potentially alienating to viewers.

More isn’t always better, however, uploading consistently is. Analyzing those automotive channels that are growing the fastest on YouTube shows that focusing on a niche type of content or audience is the key to overall growth. Let’s take a look at some of the fastest growing car brand channels on YouTube and see what they’re doing in an attempt to zoom past the competition.

Tesla

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Tesla’s YouTube channel has gained 10% of its subscribers and over 570,000 views in the last 30 days alone. The channel also has a 1.7% engagement rate, which is strong for a brand. Tesla’s channel takes advantage of the brand’s leadership in green tech and speaks directly to a niche community. One video that had especially high engagement was the Tesla Gigafactory announcement, uploaded a month ago. Less than two weeks ago, Tesla uploaded the video Tesla Unveils Dual Motor and Autopilot and has received 346,000 views, 6,081 shares, and 1,678 tweets so far. By focusing their content on what sets them apart from other car companies, Tesla is beginning to win on YouTube.

Smart

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With 16 videos uploaded in the last 90 days, Smart is another company that sets itself apart from other car brands with innovative ad campaigns focusing on larger vehicle-related issues like safety. Smart’s viral video The Dancing Traffic Light, uploaded 2 months ago, has received more than 7.8 million views, 67,000 Facebook shares and 13,000 tweets and doesn’t even feature a Smart car! The video incorporates a fun technological trick to incite pedestrian safety at traffic lights.

Lamborghini

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Lamborghini’s YouTube channel has a solid 2% engagement rate. Lamborghini is a luxury car brand, automatically making its YouTube channel somewhat niche. Lamborghini has only uploaded 12 videos in the last 90 days, but most of them focus on either Lamborghini race cars or on those cars in actual races. Lamborghini’s channel content appeals to car junkies, to those who appreciate the things that make these cars so special. Lamborghini’s channel content also taps into a viewer’s fantasy of having a luxurious life and a luxurious car. The video Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 - Official Video, uploaded 7 months ago received 2.1 million views, 32,000 Facebook shares and 2,254 tweets. The video features a James Bond-like character escaping an approaching hurricane in a brand new Lamborghini.

Car brands are starting to see that in order to grow their brands on YouTube they have to create content explaining what makes them unique and then target specific, niche audiences who will likely engage with their videos. We can’t wait to see what these growing YouTube channels give us next!

Data as of 10/23/14

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Tubular and Audience Graph are trademarks of Tubular Labs, Inc.
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