The biggest brands and industries on YouTube 2018


Social video platforms are not only popular with influencers and young consumers but also increasingly with advertising companies, which use social videos to appeal to attractive target groups. Over 90% of the 500 most valuable global brands already have at least one YouTube channel to build organic reach and develop their own communities. The online video creative agency Brandboost by Divimove (RTL Group) investigated which industries and brands have the biggest reach on the platform. Media companies top the table with an average of 2.5 million subscribers, followed by tech companies with 740,000.

For its analysis, Brandboost by Divimove examined the world's 500 most valuable brands, as listed in the 2018 Brand Finance Report. It identified the five most popular industries and the three biggest and two fastest-growing brand channels in each industry. The channels' reach was measured by the total number of subscribers and the growth in subscribers in 2018.

Media industry in pole position

The media sector leads the industry rankings with an average of 2.5 million subscribers (1.1 million in 2017) per brand channel. Warner Bros. (6.4 million subscribers), BBC (5.5 million subscribers) and ESPN (4.3 million subscribers) are the three media brands with the biggest reach on YouTube.ESPN, Universal and Thomson Reuters experienced the biggest viewer growth this year, up by 86.96%, 83.69% and 82.96% respectively.

Apple ahead of PlayStation, Google and Netflix

The tech giants reached an average of around 740,000 subscribers with their video content (950,000 in 2017). The strongest brand is Apple with 8 million subscribers, followed by game console manufacturer PlayStation with 7.8 million and Google with 6.8 million. The year's biggest climbers are VoD provider Netflix (up 150.33%) and Tencent (up 123.87%).

Millions separating Red Bull and Coca-Cola

The food and beverages industry reached the third-largest audience on YouTube with an average of 530,000 subscribers (400,800 in 2017). Lifestyle brand Red Bull takes the top spot again this year with 8 million subscribers, along way ahead of Coca-Cola (2.7 million) and Pepsi (800,000). Sprite and Heineken attracted an impressive number of new viewers to their YouTube channels in 2018, with increases of 110.87% and 51.66% respectively.

Ford, BMW and Mercedes-Benz racing ahead

Ford leads the automotive industry rankings again this year with an average of 391,800 subscribers (225,270 in 2017). With over 1.9 million subscribers, the US manufacturer leaves the competition trailing. The list is rounded off by German car makers BMW and Mercedes-Benz, each with 820,000 subscribers. Meanwhile, Land Rover and Suzuki both saw a striking number of new viewers, up by 128.07% and 56.11% respectively.

Sports equipment brands on top

YouTube brand channels in the textile and clothing industry have an average of 230,000 subscribers. Like last year, sportswear manufacturer Nike leads the rankings with 880,000 subscribers (700,000 in 2017). Adidas claims the runner-up spot with some 850,000 loyal viewers, followed by Christian Dior with 540,000.

Back to Press