YouTube Statistics Via SocialBlade

ReelSEO’s Tim Schmoyer interviewed Jason Urgo about his Social Blade, which helps YouTube creators track fellow YouTubers. The website captures public information from YouTube’s API and databases them — to help creators “stalk” top YouTubers, but also see what “competitors” are doing.

Here's a SocialBlade report on my recent history. I have access to this data as a channel owner. But SocialBlade makes it easy for people to look at a YouTuber's "health"

People are obviously interested in how much income YouTubers earn, and Social Blade provides a broad earning range based on total monthly views x estimated income per view (maybe 50 cents to $5 bucks per 1,000 views). There’s also an “SB score” that tracks YouTube influence (ala Klout). The site also makes projections around YouTubers hitting certain subscriber milestones, and provides simple graphs on any YouTube channels; these display data otherwise difficult or impossible to access (see chart).

Vidstatsx has a similar offering, but SocialBlade goes deeper by tracker YouTubers that are getting smaller viewers. Urgo also is helping smaller YouTubers become YouTube Partners, which gives them advanced functionality on their channel page. Here’s where you can become a Partner via Urgo and “RPM Networks,” which is a division of web studio Maker. Not everyone is approved, but it helps to have at least 1,000 daily views, clean content, and no copyright infringements.

See the video below for more info, and check out my Nalts page. You’ll see my ever-shrinking subscriber list (from 244K to 225K subscribers). I’m losing about 600 per day since YouTube is scrubbing out old, inactive accounts that subscribe. Obviously this won’t effect me since dead accounts don’t watch a lot of videos. By comparison, here’s the VidStatsx page on my Nalts account. It focuses more on top YouTubers and hour-by-hour changes.

The data sites continue to emphasize subscriber data, which to me is not as important as a) a channel’s total views to date, and b) the average number of views on a creator’s recent videos. The former drives a creator’s income, but the latter is important for brands looking to sponsor YouTubers. How many views can they expect on a sponsored video? To get an answer, look at the past 10-20 videos and average their views.

How To Get Views on YouTube (via Kindle)

So you want to know how to get views on YouTube. You want to grow a vibrant YouTube channel, go viral, and become the next Ray William Johnson. Do you cheat, or choose a more proven way?

No Kindle lovers… you could read a great American classic on that sun-enabled iPad you call a Kindle. Or you could dive into some magazine article about the proliferation of germs on door handles. But here’s “How To Get Popular On YouTube Without Any Talentright on the Kindle store. Is this a blatant promotion? Yes!

Oh it’s 34 pages long which is pretty beefy even though the image makes it look like a tomb.

Crowdsourcing Data on Humor Via YouTube: Want to Help?

Per this video, I’m preparing for a presentation at the International Society of Humor Studies (yes there’s such a thing). I present on Tuesday (July 5) in Boston at the international meeting. If you’re near Boston University, please enroll and attend! This is a scholarly and professional organization dedicated to the advancement of humor research. Many of the Society’s members are university and college professors in the Arts and Humanities, Biological and Social Sciences and Education. Then there’s me.

Given my “prolific” experience as a YouTube “comedian” (220 million views, and about 200K per day) and my publication of “Beyond Viral,” I’m tackling humor from the perspective of comedy videos on YouTube and their “rankings.” My background as a psychology student (Georgetown) and MBA in marketing (statistics) also helps, and so does my decades of analyzing market research for my job as a marketer (now at Johnson & Johnson). But you, dear reader, offer perhaps other valuable perspectives.

Here’s the fundamental question this presentation (including a white paper) will address:

What can we learn about what this planet finds funny, based on the data available on YouTube?

Do you want to help? Here’s some information if you have time/interest…

  • YouTube, as the world’s largest video site and 2nd most-popular search engine after Google, is a good basis to explore humor. The videos can be sorted in many ways, and the large data sample is a rich source of insights. There are, of course, three “confounding” variables to extrapolating YouTube data to the planet’s humor preference: a) Selection bias: YouTube viewers are not necessarily representative, b) Popularity bias: videos by “popular” webstars generally get more views and higher ratings regardless of their humor quotient, c) Algorithm bias: YouTube videos for many years were ranked by “most viewed” or “favorite” videos, which created a “rich get rich” effect… once a video achieved critical mass, it received new views based on its ranking and effectively “locked” some weak videos in a place of perpetual viewing. That’s changed, and now videos are “spotlighted” based such criteria as percentage of comments, promoted videos, and other concealed factors that change.
  • I’ve spent countless hours reviewing the top 100 most-viewed comedy videos on YouTube (see preliminary findings by clicking “MORE” at the bottom of this post), and categorizing them by a dozen plus criteria. Your contribution, if you wish to help, need not be as exhaustive. I had to view, classify, expand classifications and review them multiple times. I found only about 12 of them funny by my subjective standards, but that’s not the goal. After viewing them each 5-10 times, I can say none are funny anymore to me.
  • You can help any way you have time, assuming a) you find this research interesting and b) you have time free between now and Monday (July 4). You could spend 1 minute providing a comment about how you might suggest analyzing YouTube. Or maybe you’re keen on spending a hours actually reviewing videos based on criteria/methodology you prefer (do it, don’t ask for my feedback). If you can find some interesting published method for classifying humor (edgy/cute or intellectual/emotional) than use it. Or create your own based on a hypothesis (are Asians more likely to be top-rated comedians? Are women?).
  • What’s in it for you? You’ll be part of something that, to my knowledge, has never been done (although if I’m wrong and you find otherwise let me know). We’re combining two disciplines (the art of comedy and the science of analysis/psychology) that rarely meet. I’ll be grateful for your comments and volunteer assignments, and I’ll credit you in the report and in a YouTube video if you provide ANY meaningful contribution (like a 2-page summary of quantifiably substantiated findings).
  • What do you do next? If you have an idea, run with it. You could sort comedy videos by date (time period) and look at objective patterns.
    • You could review most-viewed or most-subscribed comedians and observe similarities and differences in some quantifiable way. Just try to avoid your subjective opinion (what YOU like/don’t), and instead focus on quantifiable patterns based on what crowds like (as measured by rankings/ratings/comments/likes/dislikes)… as you’ll see by my “preliminary findings” this does require some subjective calls but be consistant and note criteria.
    • You’ll also have to rely on your YouTube knowledge to isolate “confounding variables” (Shaytards love Shaycarl and tend to view/rate his videos as high, which could lead to a faulty conclusion that it’s representative of the planet’s preference about humor. The goal isn’t to find out what hard-core YouTubers like (or specific “tribes” of people) but something bigger.
    • You could research other academic research on humor that provide clues. Or use an already researched classification model for comedy/humor.
    • Instead of focusing on comedy videos, you could explore the most-subscribed channels on YouTube that classify themselves as comedy. What are the patterns?
  • Do you wait for my okay to start? Nope– just have a go. Even if your efforts don’t produce anything meaningful, you’ll be credited for your effort (just describe your approach and findings in a simple summary). I doubt we’ll see two people tackle it the same way, so there’s little risk of redundancy.
  • Timing: Again this is being presented on Tuesday so I need to wrap it by Monday, July 4. I hope you’ll join the effort! I’ll be checking comments between now and Monday regularly.

To read about my approach and findings so far, click MORE…

Continue reading “Crowdsourcing Data on Humor Via YouTube: Want to Help?”

Find Viral Videos Before They’re Viral

If you're just finding out about the "exploding whale" or "Friday, Friday" you may need this post.
If you're just finding out about the "exploding whale" or "Friday, Friday" you may need this post.

Remember that video curation was supposed to be all the rage last year and 2011? I’m still not seeing it get enough attention, but that will change as online-video consumption moves from desktop to simpler devices: mobile and remote controls. Why? Sans keyboard, it’s just not as easy to self-select videos, so we’ll need simpler controls (more Roku/AppleTV, less Sony’s 400-button, 2-dial TV remote control) … and better aggregators.

The answer lies in a careful mix of three (3) important variables:

  • crowdsourced (liked people like me),
  • editorial (someone whose taste I share) and
  • personalized recommendations based on my history/preferences.

In the meantime, I’ll offer a few favorite places that are directionally close, and invite you to add yours in comments (it’s participation time). Together we can perhaps create an aggregation of aggregators. A curation of curators. Then we’ll create a big ass website that collects them all, and we’ll sell $1 CPM banners on them and become hundredairs.

  • Reddit Videos: The kids at Reddit have good taste. Period. I want to be a Reddit influencer when I grow up.
  • There's no contextual purpose of this photo. I just wanted to get your attention and remind you to list any good places where you discover videos before they're cliches.

    Viral Video Chart is a good way to ensure you aren’t missing anything as vital as the “si, si, si, aquí” kid.

  • ReelSEO’s Jeremy Scott found some good pre-viral sources months ago, so check his list too. It includes:
    • Buzzfeed (see the “going viral” page),  the hiccupporcupine is going viral),
    • Devour (I wasn’t captivated on that one) and
    • Popscreen (which is kinda cool because you can search “now,” 7 days” and “30 days”).
  • eGuiders is a curated site, and I think I am/was an editor. But I forgot.
  • Martin Michalik pulls together the most viral videos on Viral Blog’s “Viral Friday.” At least you’ll know what to talk about on the weekend.
  • Zocial charts videos that are trending in social tweets/posts (Twitter, Facebook). Unfortunately I’d already seen most of what surfaced here.
  • YouTube Charts is a hidden gem on the website. It’s getting harder not easier to find recently popular videos, and instead becoming more “channel and theme” focused. But here’s YouTube “live” and here’s the page that should be more obvious on the website: the “chart” page which allows you to custom rank videos by category (humor, music), by period (day, week, month, all time) and finally by feature (most-viewed, highest rated, most liked).
One of the most valuable functions on YouTube ("charts") is hard to find

And don’t forget that if you’re a bit behind on your memes (viral ideas, behaviors, images, styles), there’s always “Know Your Meme” to catch up. It might not help you understand Jessica Black’s “Friday,” but at least provides some analysis.

If this is the last viral video you remember, then you're on the wrong blog.

P.S. If all else fails, you can check out my crap, watch “webcam girl fail,” or just piss off a few hours watching the stuff too “blue” for America’s Funniest Videos at Failblog.

Biggest and Most Organized Online-Video & YouTube Community Event

There are loads of social media events, and many YouTube “community gatherings,” meetups and online video events. But the “South By Southwest” of online-video and YouTube is indisputably VidCon. Organized by Hank and John Green (vlogbrothers), the event in 2010 drew hundreds of community members, top “YouTube Stars,” and Nerdfighters (the active people who rally to reduce the world of “suck”). It also included lots of on-stage entertainment that was shared widely online. VidCon 2011 is planned for July 28-30 in San Francisco, California. Early bird discount if you book before Jan. 10, and the hotel is Hyatt Regency Central Plaza.

Here are some highlights of 2010’s VidCon to give you a flavor. It’s focused on viewers and creators, but does attract industry folks and marketers (and has a special industry track). Unlike some popular YouTube love-festivals where “big YouTubers” are VIP, this one is quite egalitarian.

Famous YouTube Star’s First Videos

It’s fun to look at the early videos of some of the best-known YouTube personalities of today (and previous years). Unfortunately many have groomed their channel to eliminate some early embarrassments. Still, I’ve done my best to find some old and awkward videos from some of the top creators/channels. Please feel free to add some in the comments, because I’m too exhausted from digging these up (I haven’t figured out an easier way than scrolling page after page). Anyone want to dig up a vintage clip from their favorite creator? Find that first Shaycarl video or LisaNova?

Here’s a video I did in October 2007 where I asked some of my favorite YouTubers to send their childhood photos. It’s funny how some have vanished, and some have gone on to great heights.

YouTube’s Viral “Year in Review”

Enjoy a collage of some of the seminal viral-video moments in 2010. I’ve already posted about what we can learn from these, but I thought you might enjoy YouTube Trend’s video montage. You can see all the videos at “TheYearInReview.” Don’t laugh at the name. There were only 11 unparked usernames.

Thanks for the feedback on my new blog template, which apparently is ass.

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

    How to Be Popular on Facebook

    Trying to become more popular on Facebook, or promote your Facebook channel, brand or page?

    This short “how-to” instructional video contains everything you need to know about having a robust, quality base of friends on Facebook and other forms of social media. It was created by the accomplished author of “The Stupidest Article on Social Media Ever” so you know it’s advice worth following.

    The trick here is to be totally transparent about your intent (to make loads of friends), yet not appear desperate. Appearing desperate in social media, my friends, is a turn-off. Hold your head up high, and people will be attracted to your charisma, leadership and wisdom.

    Done watching? Get your ass over to Facebook and “like” this damned page, then send a friend request to Kevin “Nalts” Nalty because there’s a friggin’ cap at 5,000.

    How To Get Popular on YouTube (free eBook, version 2)

    I just uploaded version 2 of “How to Get Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” (a free eBook originally written 2 years ago). Thanks for the feedback on the first one. We’re all still figuring it out, eh?

    Nalts doesn’t feel as popular as when he first wrote it, but he’s having fun, dangit. The original motive in publishing this was to help people avoid getting scammed by stupid products or services that promise to boost your YouTube views. Puh-leez.

    I’m finalizing “Beyond Viral Video” for Wiley, but that one’s for marketers and agencies… so it’s going to be a real book with a price tag and fancy cover. 62,000 words so far, but necessarily in the right order.

    I put “youtube popular” on Scribd and SlideShare because it’s too big to post as PDF here. Use it as you wish, but if you steal it and sell it I’ll punch you.