In this blog we talk you through one method of how to get YouTube views. Earlier this year we conducted a little experiment at an Aston Villa game. Stilyan Petrov, the Aston Villa captain, had contracted acute Leukemia which was a huge shock in the football world. It was extremely sad news to hear so we decided to work with Villa to produce some messages of support from both Villa and Chelsea fans before the game to be subsequently sent onto the skipper.
During the game, as a tribute to Petrov, Villa fans arranged to applaud for a minute during the 19th minute of the game (19 being his squad number) and we were aware this was going to happen. The night before the game we decided we would try a little experiment to find out: does the quality of a video matter at a live event, or does the immediacy of the content matter more?
We filmed the applause happening on an iPad and separately on a DSLR. The iPad video was uploaded just minutes after the tribute had taken place – the quality of the video was pretty poor and shaky and we also uploaded a completely raw and unedited file. Then we decided to make a slightly tidier version from the DSLR footage but this couldn’t be uploaded until edited back at base.
The views on the iPad video had frozen which meant YouTube was checking that these were unique views and not being generated by a robot. It took until the day after for the views to register and in the space of 12 hours they were beyond 40,000. My Twitter had gone a bit crazy as well – 124 retweets and 22 favourites – my phone was constantly notifying me of @mentions and RTs. The video soon went beyond 100,000 hits and the more polished version had only accrued 15,000 hits. Immediacy, it appears, is more important than quality in a live situation showing that citizen journalism has a big future with access to a global audience.