February 23 – Manchester United may dominate rival clubs (excluding Barcelona and Real Madrid) on the social media platforms they are on, but they are generally not innovators in the digital arena. They didn’t even have an official YouTube channel – until yesterday.
The club exploded on to the video platform passing the 50,000 mark within 4 hours and overtaking Premier League rivals Burnley (9.6k),AFC Bournemouth (14.1k), Watford FC (15.7k) and West Bromwich Albion (15.9k) in their first hour.
Manchester City – who are digital innovators – lead the Premier League with a 1.1 million following. Barcelona are a long way ahead though with 3.8 million.
Man Utd have until now focussed their video content on their own pay-TV channel, MUTV, as well as helping to build a 72 million follower base on Facebook. YouTube opens up a new world of 1.3 billion users and a shot at the company’s £8 billion in annual revenue .
“Amazingly, even without an official football channel it is the most viewed club in the world on YouTube,” Tomos Grace, YouTube’s head of sport for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told the Guardian newspaper. “But one channel that people are looking for is the official Manchester United voice. The plans they have are very exciting. They want to go big.”
YouTube said that since the start of this football season views of Manchester United video content had risen 60% year on year to almost 850 million.
Man Utd said the YouTube launch was not about generating revenue but about brand building at this stage.
The club launched their channel with hundreds of free-to-access videos including:
Fun videos showcasing the players in a different light, including ‘The Iceman’ Victor Lindelof meeting Manchester Storm for an ice-hockey training session.
Stylised match footage
New formats such as Dave Saves – a compilation of some of our brilliant keeper’s superhuman performances.
United greats already showcased are David Beckham, Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes and Robin van Persie.
Various lists including best free-kicks in the Premier League era and the finest goals by Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Archive of famous matches from the past – including the 2-0 win over Chelsea last season.
Sporting stars and celebrities
Interviews with celebrity fans including Angel Gomes, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Chris Smalling visiting Chris Eubank Junior’s gym.
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