The Pew Internet and American Life project released a study showing
that daily video sharing website usage has doubled since 2006. While
there are a number of measures in the study I don't find interesting,
here's the one that really is:
Check out that bottom blue line. That's the number of internet users that watched a video on a video sharing website, most likely YouTube, yesterday.
For a communicator, the implications of that are staggering. This means is that if you can produce a video that's good enough (and funny enough) to have people share it*, you have a good shot at reaching a significant part of the 1/5th of the Internet's population within about 24 hours.
According to Miniwatts Marketing Group, your 24 hour video reach audience is almost 50 million people just in North America. That's a lot of people. The broadcast networks would be jealous.
This, by the way, is why I cringe when organizations tell me they are starting their own social networking site, or their own photo/video upload sharing hub. You've got these audiences already aggregated on YouTube and Facebook, why are you trying to do the hard work of competing with them?
* And now for my little Andy Rooney moment
Can we stop using the word "viral" to describe a video, an image, or a song so good people want to pass it around? Can we just start calling it "good"? When people say they want to make something "go viral", but don't actually have any budget to make it not suck, I cringe."Viral" is a part of the Internet as old as email. We pass around stuff that's good, more often than not, that's funny.
Good content is viral content.