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Dive into the intriguing world of YouTube success as we analyze a viral video with 1.8 million views, from its impact on subscribers to the elusive algorithm behind it. But here's a twist: you're requested not to subscribe!

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[0:00] So this happened - 1.8 million views.
[0:03] I thought it might be fun to go through a few stats on the video the impact it’s had
[0:08] and of course, cover how much money it made.
[0:11] But before we begin, I need to ask a favour - please do not subscribe - I know it sounds
[0:17] weird, but I’ll explain later.
[0:20] Why am I even calling this a successful video?
[0:23] I’m sure you’re thinking “1.8 million views - that’s hardly a success…
[0:28] Hasn’t this guy heard of Mr Beast?”
[0:30] Well, let’s have a look at how my video compares to his videos.
[0:35] Here’s my “successful” video at 1.8million views.
[0:39] If we look at MrBeast’s most recent 200 videos his average number of views is 73 million
[0:44] - he’s also got a video in there that scored a massive 273 million views.
[0:51] We’re not even in the same ballpark.
[0:54] Let’s narrow it down a bit to my niche - GreatScott is one of the big players - he’s got 1.68
[1:00] million subscribers.
[1:02] At the time of recording, he has 391 videos.
[1:06] His most successful video of all time has 7 million views but his average number of
[1:12] views for his last 200 videos is around 413,000.
[1:15] It’s quite fun to do a bit of analysis on his most successful video titles - this is
[1:21] the top 20% titles as a word cloud.
[1:24] And here’s his bottom 20% video titles.
[1:26] Looks like his videos that are sponsored by Keysight don’t do as well as his normal content.
[1:31] Moving even close to home we have the guy with the Swiss Accent - he covers microcontrollers
[1:37] like the ESP32 and Arduino.
[1:40] He’s got 380,000 subscribers and 422 videos.
[1:45] It’s also interesting to look at his video titles - here are his top 20% titles and here’s
[1:50] the lowest 20% - looks like mailbag videos do less well.
[1:54] Andreas’ top video from the last 200 got 885,000 views - and his average number of views is
[2:01] 100,000.
[2:03] My channel only has 24,000 subscribers and my average number of views is around 28,000
[2:10] - if you remove the 1.8 million outlier then that average goes down to just 10,000.
[2:15] So, hopefully, you can see why I consider 1.8 million views to be a stand-out success.
[2:21] Interestingly if we look at my bottom-performing video titles I’ve also got mailbag as a low
[2:26] performer.
[2:28] What is it about this video that made it a success?
[2:31] The simple explanation is that the algorithm decided to push it.
[2:34] But that begs the question as to why it was picked.
[2:39] It’s by no means the first video on the subject and there are more popular channels that have
[2:43] covered the subject.
[2:45] Including the Mythbuster’s Adam Savages Tested channel with 5.91m subscribers.
[2:50] Their video only got a measly 198,000 views.
[2:56] As always, I suspect it’s a combination of things.
[2:59] The thumbnail is really good, the title has just enough clickbait to make people want
[3:04] to click, but not so much that it puts people off.
[3:07] And the first 30 seconds of the video are interesting enough to keep people engaged.
[3:12] But who knows with YouTube - the algorithm remains a mystery - I’d be interested to know
[3:18] what you think in the comments.
[3:20] How quickly was the video picked up?
[3:22] For the first few days, it seemed to perform pretty much as any other video - there was
[3:27] an initial burst of views from subscribers and then it looked like it would tail off.
[3:31] After 6 or 7 days it suddenly exploded peaking about 20 days after uploading at over 200,000
[3:38] views in a day.
[3:40] It then tailed off with a brief bit of activity in January from India before settling down
[3:44] to just over 100 views per day.
[3:47] It’s stayed at that level of performance since then.
[3:50] Was there a halo effect from this video?
[3:52] Did people watch lots of my other videos because of it?
[3:55] Well, this is one of the few times that I’ve seen an end screen actually have a big impact.
[4:00] When I saw the success of the first video I quickly followed it up with a video explaining
[4:04] how to make your own wireless LEDs.
[4:06] I added this to the end screen of the first video - we can see that this led to 20,000
[4:12] views.
[4:13] It’s less clear if the video had any impact on my other content - we’ll discuss why that
[4:17] is when we talk about subscribers.
[4:20] The video has had over 2000 comments - there’s quite an interesting effect when you start
[4:25] to get more people watching a video - there are a lot of very odd people out there.
[4:30] I’ve downloaded all the comments and run some analysis on them.
[4:33] There are definitely some interesting people out there:
[4:38] And there seems to be a slightly weird obsession with poop:
[4:41] This may be related to the number of people wanting to eat them:
[4:44] I guess what goes in must come out…
[4:47] There are some great comments:
[4:49] And some less great ones:
[4:52] But the positive comments far outweigh the negative ones - the internet is actually a
[4:57] nice place - I’m surprised at how nice a lot of the comments are.
[5:01] So, what about the money - what’s a successful video actually worth?
[5:06] Well, they are pretty lucrative - in total, the video has pulled in over £3,500 over
[5:12] six months.
[5:13] So, is it time to retire?
[5:15] Well, not really, the video only brings in about 20 pence per day now.
[5:20] It’s not a long-term revenue stream.
[5:23] If I wanted to make a living from YouTube I would need to be able to repeat this on
[5:27] a monthly basis for the foreseeable future - given I’ve got over 100 videos and this
[5:32] is the only successful one I’ve made I’m not sure this is possible.
[5:36] Have I even broken even on my hobby?
[5:39] Well, I added up everything that I purchased since I started the YouTube channel.
[5:43] And the answer is maybe - if I include all the revenue from YouTube plus sponsorship
[5:49] and Patreon then I may have actually made a tiny profit.
[5:52] However, if you look at the amount of time I’ve spent creating and filming videos then
[5:57] it’s nowhere near breaking even.
[5:59] I could have earned a lot more consulting in that time…
[6:02] There’s a rule of thumb that for every minute of the video, there’s an hour of work editing
[6:05] and there’s also all the time actually doing the projects
[6:09] There have been some fairly big outlays, I did splash out on an oscilloscope and signal
[6:14] generator - I do need to buy a proper bench power supply, upgrade the 3D printer and get
[6:19] a better solder station, but I’ll have to wait until I get some more smash hit videos
[6:24] There are some full-time YouTubers in my niche, but I’m a long way off from achieving that.
[6:28] So, the final question, why don’t I want you to subscribe.
[6:32] The wireless LEDs video did amazingly well in terms of subscribers, it took my channel
[6:37] from just over 10,000 subs to over 20,000 in the space of a couple of months.
[6:42] But the problem is, a lot of those subscribers just aren’t interested in my content.
[6:47] This means that when I publish new videos they aren’t interested in clicking on them.
[6:51] Unfortunately, one of the ways that YouTube works out if you’ve got a good video is to
[6:56] see what your subscribers do.
[6:58] If your subscribers like the video then it will push it out to more viewers.
[7:02] If your subscribers don’t like it then the video will quickly die and disappear.
[7:06] So, I’ve gained a lot of subscribers, but they all came for a video about wireless LEDs
[7:11] - I’m not sure they came for my normal content.
[7:15] If you do like electronics, microcontrollers, robots, embedded programming and other fun stuff then please
[7:21] do subscribe and don’t forget to hit the like button as well!
[7:25] There is one final final question - why don’t I just produce more smash hit videos - I should
[7:31] just repeat what I did for the wireless LEDs video.
[7:33] Well, I wish I could - but I just don’t really know what it is about the video that made
[7:38] it popular.

HELP SUPPORT MY WORK: If you're feeling flush then please stop by Patreon Or you can make a one off donation via ko-fi
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Chris Greening

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A collection of slightly mad projects, instructive/educational videos, and generally interesting stuff. Building projects around the Arduino and ESP32 platforms - we'll be exploring AI, Computer Vision, Audio, 3D Printing - it may get a bit eclectic...

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