YouTube Trends Report #5 – series finale (double bill)
Just about a year ago I wrote my first YouTube trends report, of which success took me completely by surprise. And almost every week since the 4th report I get a couple of emails from people asking me why I stopped doing them. The truth is that while back then it was novel and fresh and “new news”, the pace of things is so freekishly rapid that not only that YouTube is not news anymore, I cannot really remember life before youtube.
And to be honest, as this 5th and final report will show (well, it’s first part at least), the most viewed videos on youtube are not really interesting to say the least. You browse through this chart and you feel that Andrew Keen might have a point, after all….
For me, the best of youtube lies in the abundance of stuff and the unbelievebly loooooooooooooooong tail of YT where you find the real gems.
So a year on from the first one i thought I’d write the last and final one, and for this event I’ll do a double bill. First, let’s look at what have changed on the 100 most viewed all times – the ultimate viral chart and interestingly as far as i was able to trace, there are 65 videos that weren’t there in my first report. And secondly, and much more interesting is the most viewed video this month – what are the most popular videos on earth in the last 30 days?
100 most viewed video – All Times
So what do we have there? and what can we learn from this chart? well, if you want to understand why MTV are in such trouble take a look at this chart. 36% of the most viewed youtube videos of all times are music videos. mostly through commercial channels that learned to utilise YT but there are quite a lot of videos under the ‘user distributed category’. And thats not surprising at all – youtube is the medium of choice for the ‘yuf’ – they can simply find there everything they want, whenever they want it.
So what have we got there? What does it take to get into the most viewed of all times?
The newest entry to this chart is this paris hilton goes to jail spoof video – it’s been there just over 2 months but already got over 8.5 million views (now thats what i call viral!).
The rest are:
User Generated 39% – there are 3 main categories here:
(1) skills – we are very fascinated by extraordinary skills whether it’s dance, or music, magic or ninja stunts. (11)
(2) new talent stuff: directed/animated – from simple lip syncing, through political commentary to more series budding of talent (20)
(3) home video – cute stuff rules!, as well as some extraordinary things caught on camera. (8)
User Distributed – 30% of which 12 are TV of film moments, 14 music videos, 4 manipulative daft stuff
Commercial 29% – 22 music videos, 4 trailers, 2 ads and this funny as fuck SNL video.
100 most viewed video This Month
This one was much more fun to analyse. I really like the fact that this chart is a zeitgeist window to the (connected) world. Everything that matter to people, every piece of news, entertainment, budding directors, UGC – really great abundance of stuff.
Now, interestingly enough the previously used content categories (generated, distributed, commercial) are somewhat problematic. As youtube became mainstream, naturally it’s been taken over, or less critically, been evolved to become a mature entertainment platform for semi-professionals to do some neat stuff. So it’s not UGC in the teenage-bedroom sense of the word but more of a young directors and producers that know what they are doing. youtube is now the channel of choice for self-promoting and self-piloting. young producers/directors/comedians/actors/musicians put their art out there and hope to be discovered by a big network – it’s simply the biggest and most democratic platform to try your luck at the show-biz. And I was glad to find what you can call emerging entertainment formats like this and this.
The #1 most video in the past 30 days is this instant YT hit – it’s got the perfect ingredients – it is extraordinary and totally out of context. 1500 Philippine inmates doing the Thriller – you cannot go wrong with something like that. Closing the chart is the almighty spider-pig. In between these two we have:
User Generated 33%
Huge variety of interesting videos of all shapes and forms. New faces, Old faces, vloggers, musicians, directors and new inspirations. Most of them are not my cuppa but you cannot argue with success. Check out this weirdo who seems to be the latest phenomena – he got a couple on this chart and inspired few videos in response. Oh, and the stuff that comes out of the USA election race is great. Again, not my cuppa but I really like to the how the coming elections are the youtube elections, it’s fascinating.
User Distributed 19%
When you look at the hits on you tube, you realise that it took a couple of years for mainstream media to understand and utilise the power of youtube to reach millions of people and so almost half of the most popular content today on youtube is in fact commercial in nature. 17(!) trailers, 13 music video, 3 “virals in disguise”, and 12 channels of all sorts like nogoodtv, perez hilton, lonleygril15, EA and more. As I said, it’s a bit tricky to categorise these as they still have the roughness of UGC but on the other hand it seems like a full time job for this people with very clear ambitions in mind.
And lastly, the award for most successful use of youtube for marketing communications goes to…..will it blend? Simply good. Especially when they blend the…. iphone.
OOOH, this post has turned out to be way too long. Enough for now. Good bye YouTube reports. I’m looking for some new news now. And actually working on my own. shhhhhh.