What Are We Watching on YouTube? Super Bowl Leftovers, Of Course

Super Bowl Sunday is a singularly American gathering where, despite our fragmenting popular culture, millions of people still turn their attention to a shared spectacle of sports, entertainment, and commerce.

Even after all that gluttony, however, it appears the year’s biggest media onslaught isn’t enough for most consumers. The day after the biggest NFL game of the year, millions of people are tuning into YouTube to watch more Super Bowl-related videos.

And it wasn’t even close.

Here’s the evidence, courtesy of Google’s YouTube Trends Map. If you haven’t seen it before, the trends map is real-time monitor of what’s popular on the world’s biggest online video service, developed by the “Big Picture” data visualization gurus at Google’s research center in Cambridge, MA.

Although it changes throughout the day, my periodic checks of the Trends Map through the first half of this morning after showed Super Bowl commercials, performances, and parodies consistently among the top items.

Why so much interest in the ephemera of a big sporting event? Well, YouTube was certainly promoting the heck out of this content. The main page was carrying a big banner pushing viewers toward the NFL’s official channel for highlights and press conferences, and just below that was a sponsored suggestion that I view the Budweiser channel with its Super Bowl commercials—I assume I’m getting served the beer version based on demographics, especially since it said “recommended channel for you.”

Keep in mind that it takes awhile for newer videos to rack up enough data to be seen on this map. That is probably why the highlights of the game, which are less than a day old, aren’t in the top lists as of this writing (note that the gender and age breakdowns on the site only work for videos that are more than 48 hours old.

So, for now anyway, here are a few interesting takeaways from the YouTubing habits of Monday morning quarterbacks around the U.S.

YouTube Super Bowl Trends 2015


Liam Neeson’s commercial for the big hit mobile game Clash of Clans was running away with the most views as of Monday afternoon. The video was the top result in about 130 markets around the country, blowing away other favorites.

—Sentimentality still carried an edge, though. Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” commercial, featuring (as usual) adorable animals, was a top trending video in about 10 markets.

—The home regions for the two teams competing in the game showed predictable hometown skews, but they were much different than the rest of the country.

In sadly defeated Seattle, the most trending video was a hilarious bit that late-night host Conan O’Brien did with Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Lynch stole the segment with his charisma and commentary, something ‘Hawks fans were clearly pining for after the bruising back didn’t get the ball at the end of the game.

In New England, meanwhile, people were happily watching another humorous late-night segment: the Jimmy Kimmel feature that rounded up Boston-area celebrities like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to all cheekily take the blame for letting air out of the Pats’ footballs in the previous playoff game’s infamous “Deflategate” affair.


Trending on Xconomy