Friday, March 30, 2012

Somebody that I used to know: Gotye's YouTube hit by the numbers

Gotye is having a bit of a good time right now showing the value of virality and the power of producing really great content. It's created all kinds of value for him and I'm delighted for him, if a little jealous.

What his success cements in place is youtubes place as the number 2 search and discovery tool on the internet. Yes, it is a video platform, but a lot of content from slides to songs are being converted for the purpose.

Lets have a look at the current state of Australian (Belgian born) artist Gotye's massive viral hit. Here it is if you missed it.

Posted in July of last year there are now over 133 million views on the original official video.

Amazing! What a story, right? Only half the story really though.

Here's what else is happening form a quick glance at youtube and only counting videos that got over 500,000 views the song has spread around by another 117 million views via other users. Those extra views include covers, lyrics versions, parodies and live performances.

Here's the breakdown (Original song posted in July last year)
133 million views
117 million secondary views of the song
630 thousand likes on youtube
170 thousand comments on youtube
7 million likes on Facebook
185 thousand shares on Twitter
7 thousand Google +1's

Just using our very basic counting method that pushes Gotye's total viral spread to over 250 million on youtube. That is a vast reach and it cements youtube as top of the pops in a range of categories.

It's the second biggest search engine in the world after Google.
It's the winner in content sharing and virality across the entire social spectrum.
It's the winner in content discovery.
It had over 2 billion searches per day 2 years ago
Arguably the biggest music search engine with the music from the second largest video property VEVO syndicated into it's platform too.

Why is it the winner?
Not only is it the second largest search engine on it's own. It also integrates seamlessly with Googles universal search operating since 2009 so videos often end up on page one. In the social sphere it is almost unique in it's ability to not only use it's own network to spread content virally but also every other social network as well and drive that traffic back to itself or control the content viewing experience and the measurement thereof.

Seriously though, 133 Million views on a single video since last July is impressive right? But what if I told you that I could show you a story almost as impressive and immediately related.

Remember that 117 Million extra views for the song? What if I were to tell you that over 81 Million of them were for a cover version posted in January this year. What if I told you that over 3.5 Million of them were for a parody, not of the original song, but of the cover version and that the cover had triggered a series of parody versions that are all well into the hundreds of thousands in views and still growing? Interesting right.

Here's the breakdown (Remember this is a cover version posted in january)
81 million views
5 million secondary views of the song
760 thousand likes on youtube
135 thousand comments on youtube
4 million likes on Facebook
247 thousand shares on Twitter
12 thousand Google +1's

Some interesting take aways here
100 thousand more people actively liked the WOTE version on youtube.
100 thousand more people shared it on twitter.
5 thousand more people +1'd it. Almost twice as many.

It's clear to see from a distribution and reach perspective that this cover version of the original song added value to the original. It also added value for Walk Off The Earth but then value from content isn't a zero sum game.

It's also important to remember that none of this would be possible without youtube. Where's your content? Is it good enough to compete for your audience in this global market?

I do love Gotye's version but I actually prefer the WOTE cover version so I'm posting it here.

Oh and before I forget Here's that parody. Enjoy :)

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