You’ve heard about the videos on YouTube that go viral, and make everybody connected with them a star. Basically, word of mouth makes the video a must-see. Everyone who sees it forwards it to everyone they know – and suddenly, it’s being mentioned on national TV, has over one million “views,” and the stars end up on David Letterman’s couch. Like the video of two British brothers called “Charlie Bit Me...Again!” The fourth-most watched YouTube video of all time shows a smiling 3-year-old giving his baby brother another chance to bite his finger for the camera. He starts crying when it really hurts. The video became so popular, it was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was spoofed by copycats, and ended up being viewed more than 100-million times!
If you were to post a video clip on YouTube, what’re the chances that it’d go viral and become one of the most-watched videos of all time? Pretty slim, according to Chris Wilson – a writer at Slate magazine. He says you’d have better luck winning the lottery. After all, people upload about 20 hours of footage to YouTube every minute. So, the competition’s huge.
Wilson was curious as to how often most videos were actually viewed. So, for two months, he used a software program to track all the videos that were posted, and how many times they were watched. The result? Most YouTube videos got fewer than 50 views, only 2% got 1,000 views or more, and 0.3% of the videos got at least 500,000 views. This means, your odds of becoming famous via YouTube are vanishingly small.