Fun With YouTube Analytics: The Top Videos And The KONY Phenomenon

Fun With YouTube Analytics: The Top Videos And The KONY Phenomenon

One of the most important aspects of The YouTube Creator Playbook is YouTube Analytics, which went from a passing mention (as YouTube Insight) to getting top billing in the new version.  Analytics tells you where people are first hearing about your video, where they are being engaged, demographics, basically everything you need to know in finding and keeping an audience.  One thing that YouTube has obviously been hard at work on is reaching a global audience.  And Analytics tells you where your video is popular.  So, how well has the KONY video reached a global audience, especially compared to others?

KONY Aimed For The World, And Hit It Hard

I wanted to compare the KONY video to another sensation from early this year, the Walk Off The Earth cover of "Somebody I Used To Know," but as of this writing it looks like WOTE wants to keep that secret, or there's a glitch.  I did go to the original song by Gotye, which actually has over 100 million views, no doubt with help from the WOTE video:

Fun With YouTube Analytics: The Top Videos And The KONY Phenomenon

Pretty much English-speaking countries there, and that's no surprise.  No doubt you'll see the same sort of graph for the WOTE version.

I also went to a universally-loved video, "Charlie Bit My Finger," a video that has over 400 million views.  Here's the worldwide analytics for Charlie:

Fun With YouTube Analytics: The Top Videos And The KONY Phenomenon

Obviously a video of this kind of reach shows up very popular in a lot of places, and no surprise that North America is among the greenest of this graph.  It's got some popularity in Asia, a little in Africa, but you can see where the video really hit with this graph.

Now take a look at the KONY video analytics.  By the way, hitting over 70 million views in a week has got to be some sort of record, and I hope YouTube gives us that data someday.  But here's the graph:

Fun With YouTube Analytics: The Top Videos And The KONY Phenomenon

KONY 2012 is a universally-watched and consumed video, it doesn't matter where you are in the world, except if you live in Chad, and well, I don't know enough about Chad to really know why that would be.  But it looks like it has hit Uganda, the country in question, just as much as anywhere else.  Believe me, to see a map like this describe a video is a rarity, and I would wager that 99.9% of the videos out there don't have coverage like this.  There is also the possibility that over time, we'll see some of these places start getting a little lighter shades of green.  But for now, it is equal around the world.

What this tells us is that we will be seeing a lot more YouTube videos like this in the future.  It is unlikely they will see the same impact.  The filmmakers behind KONY knocked it out of the park with their content and distribution, taking an emotional topic and sharing it in a dynamic manner.  Content producers obviously would love to hit this kind of awareness so quickly like Invisible Children did, but it should be stressed that this is a one-of-a-kind story, one that can't be emulated without all the pieces in place and the stars aligned.

YouTube Analytics tells a good story, though, and video creators are wise to use it to their advantage to make content that appeals to their demographic to build an audience.

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Posted in YouTube Marketing
About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Gutierrez Thaly

    Yet it means almost 0% on real actions against Kony. From the FP post: "during the peak of global interest in the Kony video, only about 140 tweets came out of Uganda regarding the story, and that Ugandans wrote only about 2,000 comments on Facebook out of a pool of 5 million -- a drop in the bucket compared to the deluge of comments coming from the United States and Europe."