5% of YouTube videos = 95% of views

We’re all familiar with the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule. It’s the notion that,in many instances, around 80 per cent of effects come from 20% of the causes. And we see the Pareto Principle in every day – for instance, it’s probable that just 20 percent of your website pages are delivering the majority (80% or so) of your website pageviews.

And then there’s YouTube, a parallel universe where normal mathematics does not apply. On YouTube, according to the video data and insights company Tubular, the rule is 95-5 – that is, just five percent of YouTube videos deliver 95 percent of video views. Mind you, with 400 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute, five percent of YouTube content is an astonishing 58 million videos.

YouTube viewers love music videos, with Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass this month becoming the eighth video to pass the one billion view mark.


The most watched video? Easy – Psy’s Gangnam Style, with nearly 2.4 billion views. That’s a lot of Gangnam, in anyone’s language.

Why should you care?

Yes, we may watch 6 billion hours of YouTube video every month, but I hear you. You’re wondering why what people watch on YouTube and how many times they watched it is of any value to you as a digital marketer.

You’ll be thanking us for this interesting conversation starter at your next industry get-together, however. After all, it isn’t really just about who you know — what you know and who you share it with is also important.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.