What We Can Learn from Most-Viewed Videos of 2010

What can we learn from the most-viewed “viral” videos of 2010? How are they similar and different from years past?

First, let’s take a look at the run-down, courtesy of YouTube and ReelSEO, here’s the list. YouTube has a new trend blog/website that’s worth bookmarking or RSS’ing: YouTube Trends.

  • The BED INTRUDER SONG! (a news clip turned into a meme with help from schmoyoho
  • TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13 (another Next New Networks hit)
  • Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi (a 6th grader with Justin Bieber-like cut, featuring shaky handheld camera)
  • Annoying Orange Wazzup (Daneboe’s facial fruit was spurred to amazing popularity in 2010… note that since Daneboe launched Annoying Orange’s own channel early in 2010, the collection has been viewed nearly 400 million times… giving him more views than this entire top-10 list).
  • Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (hey a commercial- see what does the author of Beyond Viral know?)
  • Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10 (the dude trips out seeing two rainbows)
  • OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version (Okgo, the treadmill band does it again)
  • THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer (really? a trailer?)
  • Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan (Jimmy Kimmel is handling his old/new media balance quite well- check out the girl get a visit from Bieber)
  • Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome (this is the only one I hadn’t seen- a racing car… snore). Speaking of videos I haven’t seen (even the “Viral Video Genius” can’t see them all), did you see Cookie Monster audition for SNL? If Jim Henson was alive, SNL would be auditioning for The Muppet Show.
  • So what are the common themes?

    1. Nothing sells like a song (most of the top-10 all-time most viewed YouTube videos are songs).
    2. Quirky is still nice — whether it’s manufactured (Annoying Orange) or authentic (Double Rainbow)
    3. Viral is increasingly a symptom of offline popularity (Kimmel/Bieber/Lady Gaga/Twighlight)
    4. The biggest difference between 2009 and 2010 is that professional & commercial content trumped user-generated videos, with only one true exception (the Double Rainbow).
    5. With the exception of Daneboe (Annoying Orange) and Schmoyo (AutoTune the News), none of these really spawned a new person or channel.
    6. Production quality mattered more this year than years past. Which is why we amateurs need to up our game (see my new ShootLikePro blog).
    7. Note that the top-ten list excludes major record labels, or they would dominate list. YouTube has increasingly become a free visual jute box.

    How is this list similar or different from 2007, 2008 and 2009?

    1. Commercials are still the exception not rule. This year’s popular advertising campaign/commercial was Old Spice, and last year it was Evian’s roller skating babies. I referred to the latter in my book as the “exception to the rule” that promotional videos don’t often go viral. Even though this is increasingly true, 2011 to spawn some Old Spice knockoffs nonetheless. Hopefully a few brands and agencies will try a “road less travelled” with better odds.
    2. Both 2009 and 2009 lists had a Twilight trailer. Again- this says less about online video as the fact that the films are extremely popular.
    3. Last year’s “double rainbow” was the quirky “David After the Dentist,” now at 75 million views (that’s almost half of the views I’ve garnered on my entire collection). Hopefully we’ll continue to rally around odd moment like these.
    4. As the medium matures, we’ve seen fewer “quirky” amateur clips than, say, 2008 when we had viralizations like Fred, “Christian the Lion” and ImprovEverywhere’s “Frozen Grand Central.” The memes of 2007 were even more interesting to me — from The Landlord and “Leave Britney Alone” to Obama Girl (Next New Networks) and the South Carolina Miss Teen USA clip
    5. Last year’s kid singing Paparazzi was a more choreographed wedding video (Forever). People love an amateur singer overnight success story (Susan Boyle).
    6. Almost all of the top-10 popped on YouTube. The world’s second-largest search engine remains the most vibrant channel.
    7. The teen factor is still driving views, even if each year offers content for a broader demographic.

    Each year the top 10 most-viewed hits are a smaller percent of overall views… it’s the long tail effect. Finally, do you notice anything missing for the first year in a while? No SNL Digital shorts… or sadly, anything from The Onion, College Humor or Funny Or Die.

    Okay now go buy my book, or tell a journalist to interview me for a delightful year-end segment on viral videos.

    Beyond Viral: Everything About Online Video You Were Afraid to Ask

    WTF? It’s Jan. 3? JibJab.

    Woah. How’d it get to be January 3? I haven’t done my 2010 predictions for online video, and I’ve got a crap load of writing to do before my first draft manuscript is due for “Beyond Viral Video.”

    Well here’s JibJab’s 2009 best-of musical animated video parody thingy, and JibJab’s blog posts some “behind the scenes” information about the writing (including a pdf draft of all the versions).

    A modern Mel Blanc, Jim Meskimen (see his site), does most of the JibJab voices (see out-takes video below), and here’s a blog post about the recording session. Bring back the caption contests, Jim!

    The bar has been set so high on these that it’s nearly impossible for the good JibJab people to leap previous annual tunes. How do you top the Kerry/Bush “This Land” in 2004?). But if you put aside the others you’ll enjoy this… It definitely tops 2007 if not 2008.

    But not 2002’s farting elves of course. Not 2002’s farting elves.

    Jim Sings! from JibJab on Vimeo.

    Worst Corporate eCard of Holidays

    Let’s work together here, people, and see if we can find the worst-ever eCards from corporations. Agencies are especially gifted at providing cheesy holiday eGreetings that damage their brand. Now this one gets some credit for the script and cast, but the awkward direction, editing, and B-grade acting help land itself on the “WVFF Worst Holiday eCard” list.

    Anyone else care to nominate one?

    Video & Your Smart Business Marketing Plan

    Welcome WVFF Guest Blogger
    Larry Kless

    New Year 2010 Signpost2009 proved the power of video and social media can change the world.

    We experience the Presidential Inauguration with millions of friends on Facebook. We read breaking news stories from citizen journalists on Twitter. We saw live as-it-happens video on YouTube hours before the stories reached our televisions and the standard reports by traditional news agencies were read.

    More than any other year 2009 saw the rise of video as one of the most effective communication mediums in world history.

    Virtually, every aspect of video is now included in business. From concept, scripting, storyboards, production, editing, encoding, storing, managing, distributing, syndicating, tracking, analyzing, etc… Content producers, media companies, small and medium-sized business all have the same opportunities to build their business and become online video publishers like any major corporation.

    2009 also saw a shift in how we do business, from the personal to the virtual, in boardrooms, in our living rooms and especially,  from our mobile devices; which will soon do everything and anything we can imagine.

    The stresses of the 2008 economy saw businesses cut their travel budgets, so it was no surprise that after more than 20 years videoconferencing found its resurgence as, “the next big thing” and video became the vehicle for our conversation.

    TelePresence became a household word. Powered by Cisco TelePresence Solutions nonstop marketing efforts, IP video chat, WebConferencing, collaboration and live video streaming moved to the forefront as many businesses and media companies looked for ways to connect people and their team members to broaden consumer markets and publishing.

    In 2010 I predict the most important area for video marketing and publishing will be the value video brings to the rate of return, ROI. Analytics will be big! It is how we measure and track performance, but it’s not going to be just about numbers, it’s going to be about engagement and reach.

    Since “views” is what ultimately drives revenue we will see the emergence and demand for a standardization metric in both the industry and in business. We will also see an increase in social media metrics focused on search, discovery and optimization.

    It is no longer enough for companies to deploy video solutions, business will need to engage in the communities where their audiences are through a variety of social networks. Conversation tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube will help marketers extend their reach and promote their brands.

    Video is now part of the strategy within the ecosystem of marketing, and not just part of online marketing, but it must be part of everyone’s overall business plan.

    Finally, in 2010 we will see more focus on high quality content, storytelling and a Smart Video Business Model (SVBM) will emerge to help foster that growth.

    Read Larry’s WebBlog
    Website: Online Video Publishing
    Larry’s Vator News Channel
    On Twitter @ LinkedIn

    Online Video and Paid Search Run Counter to Shrinking Online-Advertising Spends

    Laurie Sullivan of MediaPost reports that paid-search and video are the “bright spots” of online ad spending according to a recent eMarketer report. “Search and video were the only two media that experienced growth this year, although much less than the prior year,” according to the article.

    Two trends to watch according to David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst.

    1. The first is the move toward non-advertising marketing. That is particularly true in the online space, where marketers focus more on social media (so estimates on spending can be misleading because the numbers fail to capture the full extent of the growth in online marketing).
    2. Second, the way we’re using various media impacts ad spending by traditional media losing audience and associated ad dollars, and the social Internet has begun to alter how marketers need to communicate with customers and prospective clients.

    Go check out the article in MediaPost for some fun-filled stats that reaffirm that video has power… because it’s a hot portion of the online mix, and has direct impact on a company’s ability to show up on search results (more YouTube videos means a greater chance of placing high on organic results on Google). And if you’re rich enough to buy the $700 eMarketer report, please send me a copy. 🙂

    Online-Video Experts Share 2009 Highlights and 2010 Predictions

    First of all… the snow. Does it stay or go? I kinda like it, but when a vlogbrother says it’s “gotta go” it gives you pause.

    I just invited a few of my favorite thought-leaders in online video to write a guest blog post about 2009 highlights and 2010 predictions. If you’re steeped in online video (as a creator, industry expert, marketer, journalist) and can write goodly, please feel free to e-mail me your own short guest post.

    As 2009 wraps up, I am going to review my annual predictions (nailed some, but been quite wrong on others) and put some serious thought into where 2010 is headed.

    I’m still surprised at how fast AND slow this online-video space is maturing.

    Some amazing things have occurred in 2009 (we’re seeing networks, cable companies, marketers and technology firms getting quite serious about online-video distribution). But a few of my long-standing predictions have not yet proven accurate.

    1. I thought we’d see a popularity shift from amateur vloggers to professional creators (that still doesn’t appear to be happening). The most-viewed video creators are still individual “web stars” with minimal costs and largely 0ne-man bands.
    2. We still haven’t have broken down the gaping chasm between “lean forward” computer-driven online video consumption and “lean backward” viewing on that giant monitor we call still call a television set. Sure some of us are using some band-aid approaches (Roku, Boxee, AppleTV, Netflix, web-enabled televisions, and home-grown tricks). But I’m truly surprised we don’t yet have a broadly marketeted, low-cost ($200 or less) hardware device that allows us to surf web video from our television using a simple processor, wireless receiver and wireless keyboard/mouse. Then again, it was 1998 when I almost purchased a Dell “media” device to enable this. Unlike mobile, this area seems to be caught in a Catch22, and some fierce protectionism by big-stake players.
    3. Most importantly, I remain perplexed at how cautious media buyers have been. We’ve seen tremendous shifts from other mediums to online-video, but the advertising inventory remains widely available. I believe this is due to buyers using banner metrics to assess a different medium. I’m trying to echo my mantra that “an impression isn’t an impression unless it makes one,” and show advertisers that they’re underestimating the persuasive impact of online-video advertising because they’re obsessed with CPMs (cost per million impressions) and click-thru rates. If we had held television to those criteria, we’d probably still have 3 television networks and perhaps be viewing black & white programming.

    As most of you WillVideoForFood readers know, I’m writing a book with Wiley publishing (tentatively called “Beyond Viral Video”). So I am hoping these guest posts awaken me (and you) to dimensions I don’t see as a marketer & YouTube personality.

    Stay tuned for what I hope will be some interesting insights!

    Best CyberMonday Online Deals & Websites for 2009

    If you’re like me, you bagged Black Friday because it’s a horrible consumer experience. I stopped at BestBuy last night, and found myself stressed by the nervous energy, manic customers, and stacks of electronics jammed into the isles. How am I supposed to know if the hysteria over “power deals” are worth the low prices?


    So I’m researching CyberMonday in hopes that your Monday desktop shopping is convenient and productive. I’m also working on a video that answers the frequent question I get, “which video camera should I buy.” Tips welcome.

    First, here are some top online-electronic sites, and the deals they’re offering. Who really believes the LATimes article (citing Neilsen data) that suggests CyberMonday is passe?

    Now some price-savings & comparison sites you may or may not know about:

    Google Product Search, Shopzilla, Shopping.com, GottaDeal.com, Dealnews.com, YahooShopping.com, PriceGrabber.com, Shoppingg.com, Bizrate.com, Nextag.com, MySimon, Bing.com Shopping, QueenofCheap, Overstock.com 5-star deals, Dealtime.com.

    CNET’s Rick Broida has a nice site called “Cheapskate,” that spotlights nice electronic deals all year round. You need to watch frequently, because many of his hidden gems vanish days after he posts.

    Again- I welcome any additional sites… comment below! Remember, kiddies, free shipping and deep discounts on crappy electronics isn’t the point.

    Halloween Split Video Personality

    Oh sure… the dad in me was happy to participate in the Halloween Bash created by my kids… toward the end you’ll see Charlie (age 5) telling me he puked between scenes. Poor Falcon.

    But the creepy video guy preferred to collaborate with some of the most frightening special-effects artists on YouTube…. DavideoDesign and Iggy35. Check them out. Shaycarl was supposed to be in this, but after 15 e-mail reminders, we wrote him out.

    Eat Your Heart Out, I Made “Internet People 2”

    Editorial update: See this site for more information. Thanks, Travis!

    Nalts Cartoon internet people brentalfloss

    Oh yeahhhh… Nalts ranking it up with some seriously online killers. Thanks Brentalfloss! Feeling cool! Here’s the Internet People original, which will remind you of some classics (most of which you’ll hear about again from your mom soon since she discovered Facebook).

    Oh- and then there’s this version (the angrier Nalts), which incorporates some of the live images. See Spintown7 for this video.

    Nalts cartoon spintown7