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Covering The Crisis: How Well Is Online Video Keeping People Informed About The Coronavirus Outbreak?

Video Playback & Engagement Analysis


Coronavirus now owns the news cycle, but what are the topics that people are most eager to learn about and how have those topics changed over time? 

Aggregating the playback data of over 350 publishers using AnyClip’s Luminous Video Platform to stream video about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to billions of online viewers, we analyzed the data of this content consumption to track impression and completion metrics for virus-related content over time. To extrapolate trends, we selected common keywords around the virus, which we also grouped into themes (see Methodology below for details).

Following are topline observations for the period starting January 1, 2020 and extending to March 11, 2020.

Topline conclusions of this analysis include:

  • As the virus spreads and the public health risk increases, viewers’ information needs are getting more specific. For example, audiences are four times more likely to complete video content concerning populations at risk than they are general Coronavirus content. 
  • The information the media is serving is not necessarily what their audiences are most interested in. There is a lack of correlation between high video impression volume and completion rates. For example, impressions for Coronavirus + children make up less than 1% of the total number of impressions, yet the completion rate is among the highest for all of the keywords we tested.
  • Viewers’ information needs are shifting as the crisis develops, moving away from tracking the spread from afar to taking immediate action to prepare, prevent and identify. Newsrooms should remain aware of trends in content consumption and adjust their strategies accordingly. As the data shows, the themes and keywords driving the highest levels of engagement are changing over time, so coverage areas should be adjusted to ensure audiences are provided with the most valuable information.

This data is a useful tool for informing future coverage strategies by identifying the topics that are most interesting to viewers and where there are opportunities to fill informational gaps.

Completion Rates (Categories)

  • Editorial videos about Coronavirus generally (as classified by AnyClip’s AI-based Luminous analysis) had an average completion rate of 6%, while videos classified with Coronavirus plus one of our selected keywords collectively averaged significantly higher, with an 18.9% completion rate. This suggests that audiences are getting specific about their information needs. Of particular interest now are the Travel and Protect/Prevent categories, which see the highest level of engagement with completion rates of 21.81% and 21.57% respectively (see chart 1).
  • Relative levels of interest (as indicated by average completion rate) have shifted over time. For example, Populations at Risk and Travel both peaked in late February; Travel has since been trending downward while Populations at Risk is back on the rise. (see chart 2).

Total Impressions (Categories)

  • By total impression volume — a measure of quantity vs quality — the Define/Identify and Prepare/Prevent categories have been more dominant, but both are now showing a downward trend in favor of Travel, which is on the rise (see chart 3).
  • Total impressions and average completion rates are not correlated. Meaning the media is not necessarily giving people what they want to see. For example, Populations at Risk has the fewest impressions but very high completion rates (see chart 4).

Top Keywords (Individual)

  • As for individual keywords, Flu, Travel and Face had the highest number of impressions, and, when combined, make up over half of all impressions (see chart 5).
  • Of the top keywords by impressions, Fake is clearly the most engaging, nearing a 60% average completion rate. This is followed by Airplane and Sanitizer. Interestingly, of the top three keywords by impressions, only Face appears in the top 10 keywords by completion rate. (see chart 6).

Chart 1

Chart 2

Chart 3

Chart 4

Chart 5

Chart 6


This study leverages AnyClip’s Luminous Video Platform’s video content analysis engine, a patented AI and machine learning technology that analyzes and organizes the true contents of a video’s image and audio contents frame by frame. 

In this sample, AnyClip measured the streaming video activity of 350 online media companies using AnyClip’s Luminous Platform to manage, stream, monetize and measure their digital video business. Each video streamed in this period was first analyzed and automatically “tagged” by the Luminous Engine as it recognized known keywords, people, brands, actions and content categories within each frame of the content. This dataset was then layered on top of the aggregated playback and engagement activity observed by the sample participants. While other topics of video were streamed by these sites, in this study we exclusively focused on playback activity for video content known to be about “coronavirus (COVID-19) and another keyword. For each keyword, AnyClip looked at quantity and engagement metrics (impressions and completion), to make assessments about prominence versus relative importance.

  • Completion Rate is calculated as the total number of completed plays divided by the total number of impressions.
  • The Luminous Video Platform maintains a library of over 3MM video clips across a range of topics (including political news), and services the video playback for hundreds of publishers each month. The company also offers scalable, cookie-less advertising solutions for marketers, powered by this same content-data-charged core technology.

Keyword Groups

The categories in our analysis are as follows:

Populations at Risk

Toilet Paper

About AnyClip

AnyClip is a video data and technology company revolutionizing the digital video industry with tools, insights and services for media companies and advertisers. Using patented AI analysis and deep video content data at its core, AnyClip’s Luminous Platform tools and players challenge traditional, manual-data-powered solutions by using automation to support more efficient and effective video strategies. The Platform offers four AI-powered video player products: Luminous Studio, an online video platform (OVP) and editorially-curated player; Luminous X, a fully-automated video recommendation player; Luminous N, a native content recommendation player; and Luminous Watch, a streaming video experience page that mimics the functionality and design of today’s most popular video-on-demand services that recently received funding from the Google News Initiative (GNI). In addition to technology products, the Company also offers full monetization and account support services for media companies, as well as data-supported advertising solutions for marketers and brands. AnyClip has growing offices in New York, Tel Aviv, London and Berlin and is backed by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Roman Abramovich’s Ervington Investments, former Sony America President & CEO Michael Schulhof, and Limelight Networks. For more information, visit

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