The mesmerizing dance video from South Korean K-pop performer Psy has “profound long-term implications for the traditional media ecosystem,” BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield says this morning in the kind of provocative report that makes his work a must-read. His case begins with the video’s eye-popping numbers: “Gangnam Style” has been viewed more than 430M times since it was released in mid-July, making it YouTube’s ninth-most-watched clip. It’s sure to end up much higher; its views are growing at a rate of about 10M a day. To give that some context, Greenfield notes that each episode of CBS’ NCIS — last season’s most watched regular series — attracted an average of about 22M viewers in the seven days after it aired, while the Super Bowl attracted more than 168M. Relax, Greenfield doesn’t claim that viewers devote the same time and commitment to a YouTube video as they do to TV shows.
But he observes that “Gangnam Style” illustrates the “tremendous opportunity” for advertisers — and, by extension, for content creators — on YouTube. The video’s especially popular with 12-to-17 year olds, and males generally to age 24. Those are some of “the most challenging demos for advertisers to reach.” And Greenfield notes that several have already caught on. He has seen pre-roll ads on “Gangnam Style” from Capcom, Cartoon Network, Chevy, EA, Fox’s Life Of Pi, Green Mountain, Home Depot, Intel, LG, Microsoft, Nike, Nordstrom, Samsung, and Visit Greece. What’s more, the analyst says that he noticed something that “we had never seen on YouTube before”: He saw a pre-roll ad from a local furniture store, Gramercy Vintage Furniture. “We suspect locally targeted ads have a very significant CPM,” he says.