The chances of becoming a viral YouTube star are pretty slim.
So slim in fact, that only 0.64% of all videos on YouTube are ever viewed more than 100,000 times.
That’s according to new data from an analysis of YouTube’s content published by analytics firm Pex, which claims to be “the most advanced video & music analytics platform on the internet”.
Additionally, according to the data published by Pex, the 0.64% of videos with 100,000 views or more on YouTube represent 81.6% of all views on the platform.
Or, to flip that on its head, 99.36% of videos uploaded to YouTube draw less than a fifth of all views.
Pex CEO Rasty Turek suggests that “should YouTube remove [these 99.36% of] underperforming videos, they would save an astounding amount of money and still retain most of the revenue”.
Bear in mind that, as far back as 2015, YouTube owner Alphabet/Google announced that more than 400 hours of video were uploaded onto the platform every single minute. That number has almost certainly climbed since then.
Pex says that it has indexed ‘exabytes of data’ and that its database represents the ‘entire catalogue of publicly available content on YouTube’, as well as all other major User Generated Content (UGC) platforms.
“Pex is a search engine, not dissimilar from Google,” says Turek. “We index selected platforms, extract audio and video content, fingerprint it and search through it. In addition, we collect and update all surrounding metadata on a regular basis.
“We have no direct relationships with any of the platforms. We have no visibility into private and unlisted content, nor have we any information about the consumers of the content.”
The data used by Pex for this analysis is based on performance of all publicly available videos as of Dec 31, 2018.
Elsewhere in the data published by Pex, the vast majority of videos with over 1 billion views on YouTube are music videos, while music is shown to be the only category on the platform that consistently attracts hundreds of millions of users to watch the same video repeatedly.
Although Gaming content is YouTube’s fastest growing category of video, music is the most profitable.
Videos under the Music category are also the shortest in length and generate the most views per average video.
According to Pex, the average number of views for videos in the Music category are 16,397, at an average length of 6.8 minutes, with an average 2,411 views per minute of video content.
In second place is the ‘Entertainment’ category, with 13,431 views per video, at an average length of 12.9 minutes, with 1,041 views per minute.
Music content actually only accounts for 5% of all content on YouTube, but still makes up 20% of all views.
“Even though the Music category received ‘only’ 20% of all views in 2018, it also represented only 5% of all content on the platform,” writes Turek.
“Music and Entertainment are the only two categories that disproportionally deliver high returns (views) on investment (amount of content = hosting & distribution cost).
“Also the two most popular categories are also the least “native” to YouTube and YouTube has to license their content.”