After reposting so many museum videos here, we wondered how much video museums were producing, what social media they were using, and who had the most viewership and followers. We counted, and found that the museums, zoos, and botanic gardens around New York have racked up 48.8 million views on their public YouTube channels since 2007.
The volume of activity on was so significant that we couldn’t help documenting it and packaging the rankings into a report, NYC Museums: 2013 Video and Social Media Rankings.
Museum folks may want to purchase the full 48-page report to see how their organization stacks up, but here are some of our key findings:
As of year-end 2012, NYC museums with the highest number of all-time YouTube channel views were the Paley Center, American Museum of Natural History, and Japan Society. Paley merges its NYC and LA feeds, and it’s 33M all-time video views are mostly from TV celebrity show panels in LA. So if we’re really looking at the museum programming champs in NYC, it would be AMNH (15M), Japan Society (7M), and MoMA (6M).
The top NYC museum viral video of all time is The Known Universe video produced by AMNH for the Rubin Museum’s 2009 show, Visions of the Cosmos – 11M views and still growing. The video was generated from the Hayden Planetarium’s data set.
In 2012, another AMNH video, Whales Give Dolphins a Lift, went viral with 2M views. The AMNH has an active video-production team supplying content to its Science Bulletin walls inside the museum. Hats off to them for making a winning wordless video out of a few still photographs from field scientists in Hawaii, simple titles, and tranquil music.
The popularity of Japan Society’s language lessons are driving the numbers on their channel. Who can resist clicking through all the 2-minute lessons in their Waku Waku Japanese series with Konomi?
The top 2012 NYC museum music video was produced by the Asia Society, Arif Lohar and Friends: Jugni Ji!. Who knew that the finale to a Sufi pop legend’s concert on Park Avenue one year ago would rack up over half a million views?
The top star featured in a 2012 NYC museum exhibition video was a piece of 18th century mechanical furniture displayed at the Metropolitan. Viewership of The Roentgens’ Berlin Secretary Cabinet grew from 182,000 views at year-end 2012 to 1.6 million today. Can anyone explain how mechanical furniture received 25 times the viewership of the Met’s video walk-through of its blockbuster McQueen show, Savage Beauty?
The NYC museums using the greatest range of social media and video channels are The Jewish Museum and the Rubin. One of the best under-the-radar NYC museum Flickr sites was the historical archive of Wall Street documents and treasures posted by the Museum of American Finance.
OK, here it is: the all-time top NYC museum video from 2009: