Since its upload in July 2012, the South Korean popstar Psy’s music video Gangnam Style has clocked up the title of most viewed video on YouTube… Ever. In the last week it has been reported that Gangnam Style surpassed the previous maximum number of views possible on a YouTube video. The view count on a YouTube video was previously stored in as a 32 bit integer number. The maximum number possible in this format was 2,147,483,647.
Seeing that the video’s popularity was not declining YouTube Developers addressed the issue some months ago and switched the from using a 32bit to a 64bit integer to store the view counts. The new view count limit is 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, over 9 quintillion. Good luck ever getting that many views on any online video.
What do view counts really mean?
Most video hosting services offer a video count as a way of gauging the popularity of a video. YouTube offers more in-depth analytics of videos to allow content creators to truly see what videos and parts of video are popular and with what demographics – much like Website Analytics.
Originally back in the early days of YouTube a single view count was scored by each visit or play of video. Hitting refresh in the browser would increment the view count. This was soon seen as widely inaccurate as all you had to do to make your video appear more popular was keep hitting refresh. More technically minded folk would write scripts that would make multiple browsers visit the video multiple times.
Learning to count
YouTube soon made changes to prevent such easy inflation of view counts. This became especially important when it became possible to monetise videos and add advertisements. Without accurate view counts this business model would not be viable.
While view counts can still be manipulated via BotNets, YouTube and its parent company Google has developed ways of detecting this. In an instance of YouTube detecting this activity the view count is frozen. While the activity is assessed for manipulation the views are still counted but not added to the total until the count has been filtered.
Trying to inflate view counts artificially is becoming harder and is essentially deceiving viewers as to how popular you video and therefore your product or service is.
But I need MORE views!
While it would be fantastic to have every video you put online viewed and shared a million times (or in Psy’s case over 2 billion) the actual number of views is only half the story. What matters is getting the viewed by the right people in the right places – especially if your video is a promotional video for a business or service.
If your video is watched by a right person, seen in a Facebook or LinkedIn post or embedded in an email it can mean
This is where Workshop Media’s Video Marketing Service can help you out. If you have a video but it’s not delivering the results you want we can help. Think of a video as another marketing tool that you have to learn to use. Get in touch today and make your video work for you.