Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Who’s Watching What on YouTube? See for Yourself.

If you’re someone who gets paid to market to people who use YouTube, there’s a good chance you already know about TestTube, the site’s suite of experimental services. The rest of us will find interesting novelties, like “Insights for Audience”: A nifty way to find out what people like–or unlike–you are watching.

The tool has been around for a while and got a formal roll out earlier this fall, but Google (GOOG) product manager Nick Jacobi just showed it off to the chattering (and tweeting) classes gathered at the Monaco Media Forum, so it’s going to get another burst of attention. (Also of interest, apparently: A dustup between Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner and Arianna Huffington. Looking forward to watching that.)

Anyway, the Insights tool is self-explanatory and entertaining, at the very least. For instance, I used it to find out what 35-44 year-old males who like advertising, beer and football (ahem) are watching, and got this results page.

youtube mosaic

The most interesting part of the results is a mosaic of videos (above; click to enlarge) that my target demographic is watching, which includes some obvious stuff, like “Amazing NFL Football Catches,” and some really obscure stuff, like an episode of “Shazam.” I also found this Kirby Puckett tribute, which pleased me to no end:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik