Do you get 1315 views per YouTube video?

Posted: August 2, 2012 in E20, Social Media

4 billion hours watched every month

72 hours uploaded every minute

These are incredible stats for YouTube as reported by Mashable. The numbers really are mind-boggling and the economist in me wonders what could have been achieved if those hours were spent doing something productive to society, like researching a cure for cancer, or working our why hot water freezes faster than cold. 

With these sorts of numbers we could have a real world experiment proving the infinite monkey theorem.

After I got over my (albeit brief) greif of wasted opportunity I quickly calculated that on average any YouTube clip, however mundane, should receive 1315 views. This is obviously not the case and points directly to the  dark art of virality in social media.

I’d love to see how someone accounts for cute cats in a regression analysis of viral hits. 

  1. hi. can you tell me how you arrived at that 1315 number? I don’t see anything in the mashable or WSJ stories that would lead to that, but I might just be missing it. thanx.


    • lincdk says:

      Hey Dan. It was a “back-of-the-beer-mat” calculation and had very little science behind it. From memory I converted the uploaded hrs to a monthly figure (72(m)*60(hr)*24(day)*365(year)/12(month))to compare with the watched hrs monthly figure and converted it to a ratio. Have to admit though, now I’m getting 1268:1 rather than 1315 so I guess I should have kept the original spreadsheet. Of course, that number is in hours (so would assume a clip of an hour length) so you’d need to throw a conversion in to cater for the length of your clip (vs the average clip of others?) to get a more realistic view. I’ll caveat this comment that I spent very little time on the math and the purpose of the post was to highlight the staggering numbers being watched / uploaded and a quick pulse check that not all clips are created equal.

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