Here at Seedwell, we specialize in the production of viral videos. It’s kind of our thing. Typically, the first things that come to mind when people hear the term “viral video” is some amateur uploading rainbows and anthropomorphic cats onto YouTube.
Fair enough. Those certainly count. Videos become viral because they’re what the people like and goshdarnit people love cats.
Seedwell, however, is all about quality productions. Our videos are created, often for a brand, with the intent of going viral and when we discuss our content with peers and potential customers there is always one inevitable question. Everyone is curious: How many views does a video need in order to be considered viral?
“Well, simpleton,” we say, “it’s not just about views.”
Okay, you’re right. We don’t call anyone “simpleton.” I’m just feeling snarky this morning.
It’s true that view counts are the most common measurement of virality. The number of views a video garners is definitely the first sign of how popular it is, but it’s not the only sign. View counts are also not as straightforward as you’d think. There are a few different metrics, layers of sorts, that when combined create the ultimate viral video.
But first, I know you’re concerned about view counts. How many does it take to be viral? A lot of people assume content is viral once it has reached 1 million views. Well, those are definitely viral, but it’s important to think of views within the entire landscape of YouTube.
There is a world of content uploaded to YouTube daily. An average of “48 hours of video a minute, 8 years of content a day” according to the site. Over 50% of YouTube content has less than 500 views. Tons of videos never get more than 100 or more than even 10 views in their little video lifetime.
So a video with a million views is obviously viral, but it’s also only in approximately the top .3% of all content on YouTube. Upwards of a million views is not at all common and it’s also not easy. According to Business Insider, with 10,000 clicks a video has reached the top 5% of YouTube. The crème de la crème of content: 10,000 views.
So the video has some attention. It’s a strong swimmer in the YouTube sea. Now what? You can boast that you’re video racked up 1,000 views, but did anyone enjoy it or find it interesting? Maybe the title was deceptive and viewers clicked because they expected to see Lebron James dunking, not a 14-yr-old dribbling. Maybe they didn’t even stick around for the whole video.
Part 2 of this discussion is where the Internet get interesting: Engagements (as in likes or comments, not marrying bacon) and sharing are both essential aspects of viral content. We’ll continue in our next installment of The Edge on Friday February 24th.
Til next time … Here are 10 of the wierdest TV ads ever: Would these have gone viral???