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The Economics of Going Viral

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The editors at Masters in Marketing Degrees decided to research the topic of:

The Economics of going VIRAL

Until recently viral YouTube videos were one-time flukes.

Now an entire industry surrounds YouTube stars:

- Managers, PR programs, award shows, and content networks

YouTube Space is a 41,000 sq. foot production space in L.A.

- Green rooms
- Dance studios
- Indoor and outdoor theaters
- 1,500-6,000 sq. foot production space

YouTube Spaces have opened up in Tokyo and London as well

- Seem over the top? Think again.
- 4 billion= number of hours of YouTube watched per month
- 60 million= number of monthly viewers on uStream
- 16.8 million= number of total viewers for one uStream video in 24 hours.
- 200 petabytes= the size of video files played on Vimeo in 2012
- - That's 214,748,364,800 megabytes.
- - In contrast:
- - 15 petabytes of data are generated by the Large Hadron Collider every year
- - More than 100 petabytes in physical memory are needed to keep Facebook running.

Self-expression is great, but who's really pushing the content?


- Purchase consideration/intent increases 14.3% by the third viewing of an advertisement on a top tier video hosting site.
- Spending on online marketing campaigns were up 21.7% from 2011-2012
- For television over the same time period spending was up a mere 4.5%
- 98.1% of affluent Americans use the internet for an average of 30 hours a week
- Affluent Americans aged 18-29 spend more than 40 hours online.
- If media consumers are spending the equivalent of a full time job's worth of time per week, imagine how hard content producers work.
- 6% growth of internet users every year.
- The average age of an internet user is rising in tandem with the average age of Americans.
- Average age of Americans: 32


- Top ten YouTube channels [channel name-subscribers-subscribers per 24 hrs]
- Smosh-9054709-31,528
- RayWilliamJohnson-8296377-16,002
- JennaMarbles-8233318-21,307
- Nigahiga-7818967-27,032
- RihannaVevo-7574717-18,933
- Machinima-7152893-13,648
- PewDiePie-6623944-43184
- OneDirectionVevo-5912875-20,795
- HolaSoyGerman-5736337-48,277
- FreddieW-5228573--8961

From quirky gamers to preteen advice to low brow humor, whatever you're into, chances are someone's producing content, and someone's advertising on it.

Getting Paid

$346,827.12 = what TubeMogul, a video ad buying platform company in California estimates that JennaMarbles, the third most popular channel on YouTube earned last year from advertising revenue.

- That number doesn't include endorsements.
- JennaMarbles films her videos from home with the same low-fi camera she started with.


- "Video Responses" stimulate discussion and provide humorous spin offs of extant videos.
- 50,000+ = number of messages JennaMarbles receives a month
- Future channel posts are often dictated by polls of what viewers want to see next.
- Active social networking campaigns connect channels, corporations and the audience in ever evolving and entertaining ways.

Of National Importance

- 7,000 hours of news related footage uploaded to YouTube Daily
- 13 million views on the weather channels live feed of Superstorm Sandy
- YouTube uploads tagged #Obama or #Romney were watched a total of 2.7 billion times during the 2012 campaign.
- Debates streamed in over 200 countries.
- That's 3x the views for "Gangnam Style"
- Real time buying of ad space allows campaigns to target demographics at a moment's notice.
- Romney's "binders full of women" quote was immediately targeted by Obama ads on YouTube.
- Online demographic tracking allows for hyper-customized messages targeting individual zip codes, genders, ages, and interest groups.
- Theoretically, campaigns could place ads on their own content, recouping some of their advertising costs.

Protected Interests

- Up to a third of YouTube's videos are copyrighted material posted without the owner's consent.
- ContentID screens newly posted content to discover copyrighted material.
- Scans over 100 years of content every year.
- Most owners choose to leave the content up, however,
- As YouTube shares the ad revenue with the owner of the material.
- Only 14% of YouTube videos need to be viewed for YouTube to turn a profit from ad revenue (in 2010).
- In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views.
- That's 140 views for every person on Earth.