P&G and Unilever are among the brands eyeing up the commercial opportunities within Asda's YouTube venture – Mum’s Eye View.
The retailer launched Mum’s Eye View in March this year in a bid to target the key female audience aged 25-45 with young families. The channel is fed content from a variety of YouTube bloggers including Zoella, Tanya Burr and Pixiwoo – all established YouTube content creators with a high number of subscribers.
At the time, Asda’s senior director of marketing innovation and new revenue - Dominic Burch - called the move “a bit of a punt."
However, within eight weeks and eight videos the channel had acquired 750,000 views, 32,000 subscribers and over 36,000 likes comments and shares.
Six months later, its subscriber base now exceeds 55,000 and total views have soared past the two million mark, with YouTube verifying that it has been one of the fastest growing brand channels in the UK.
“[As a result] of the success and exposure the channel has generated so far, various brands have approached us around sponsorship opportunities so we are looking to develop a commercial model for this which will allow us to protect the asset and still drive engagement,” said Asda's new media innovation manager Hannah Wallwork.
Meanwhile the retailer has already worked with Reckitt Benckiser on an ‘At Home Pedicure’ video with beauty bloggers Pixiwoo, according to Burch.
However, the model is still being refined, as by Reckitt Benckiser's own admission, the content created was too much of a hard sell rather than the “subtle” videos which had gone before.
“We’re treading lightly in terms of the commercial partnerships as we don’t want to do something that’s clunky or makes the content less engaging,” Burch said.
Some of the key statistics in which these potential clients will be interested concern video views and engagement.
Wallwork noted that in the early stages it was difficult to convert viewers into subscribers, with only eight per cent of all video views coming from that group.
“We immediately noticed that the channel’s subscribers were far more engaged than viewers. Not only is their retention rate higher meaning that they view content for 12 per cent longer than viewers do but they also watch two more videos than the average viewer per session when a new video is released.
“Subscribers preferred food content and ‘How To’ videos that were informative yet fun whereas viewers enjoyed more fashion and beauty vlog and haul content,” she explained, adding that with this knowledge Asda began commissioning content which resonated with subscriber preferences.
Today, food content contributes to 41 per cent of uploaded content and subscribers account for up to 69 per cent of video views on the channel.
Moving forward, Burch will begin working with grassroots YouTube talent as opposed to the “top tier” YouTubers with in excess of a million subscribers.
“We can’t afford that long-term,” he said, explaining the move will make Mum's Eye View a more commercially viable venture as the ROI model is refined.
Currently there is only “anecdotal evidence” from user comments that content is driving traffic and sales online and in-store across the featured products, although Burch and Wollwork are working on different measurement projects to help understand the true value of the channel.