Want to make a splash with your Internet video? Better do it fast: Web clips attract their peak audiences a mere three days after they’re uploaded.
That’s one finding from a study of more than 10,916 videos conducted by Web video and analytics firm TubeMogul, which looked at the popularity of videos in the first three months of their lives. The big picture: The study’s results show that the life cycle of Web video follows a fairly rigid, predictable pattern. After two weeks, video audiences settle into a long, shallow tail, illustrated by the graph below.
For the purposes of the study, Tubemogul included only videos that had at least 1,000 views. Over that threshhold, the videos were selected at random and included some that got significant promotion on YouTube and other sites, as well as a few that, at some point, “went viral.” Those videos showed up as outliers, like the video represented by the ‘+’ on day 36 in the graph below.
What does this mean? Well, the notion that YouTube is full of evergreen content that can break at some point, strike a nerve and go viral, is just that– a notion. Most video follows such a predictable pattern that their total audience can be estimated from number of views and time elapsed soon after a video is uploaded to the web.
Give it a try: Tubemogul used its study to create a views calculator (bottom of page) to predict the ultimate total number of views that a video will receive in a year. That’s how we know this “viral video,” added June 6, will have 50,675 cumulative views by June 6, 2009:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.