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Monday, May 2, 2011

Understanding the death of LG15: Outbreak

The "death" we refer to is in fact the rather precipitous decline in daily views for LG15: Outbreak during the month of April (see below).

There was a time up until recently when the lonelygirl15 channel received 200,000 views per day even in the absence of any new content. Recently we reported a slow decline in that number to around 150,000 views per day followed by a very dramatic and sharp drop to almost half that number. Over the months that followed that decline has continued and the current views are shown below.

The final video in the LG15: Outbreak series (LG15: Outbreak 12in12 Finale - "...") now has close to 700,000 views. It was always suspected that the bulk of these views came from embeds placed on lonelygirl15 channels and early on the video was receiving over 2000 views per day. Because the video has been embedded for so long on the main lonelygirl15 channel the statistics for the video give us a good insight into how Youtube works (see below).

It is unclear from these statistics how many views come from embeds on lonelygirl15 channels, however what it does make very clear is the importance of the "related video" status. A significant number of LG15: Outbreak views come from this related video status. Why then the sudden drop?

One factor is clearly the decline in views for lonelygirl15 videos. As those decline the views expected for the "related" videos would also be expected to decline. However this does not appear to be the entire story and in any case we do not fully understand the sudden drop in views for lonelygirl15 videos. It is possible that Youtube has tweaked some of their algorithms. It is possible that changes in the Youtube chart structure have had an effect. It is possible that there have been changes in the Youtube "related video algorithm" that have had an impact. All we know is that as of this writing daily views for LG15: Outbreak are now under 200 or one tenth of what they used to be.


  1. Now that they have ads on the videos and YouTube pays you for how many people watch the videos/click on the ads. They are probably doing a better job of counting the views. That way they don't pay you when they don't have to not. Not sure how the whole ad thing works so I could be wrong.

  2. Yeah, how and why YouTube works is a complete mystery, and it changes all the time.

    On the one hand, I get that Google in general doesn't want spammers and other hard core promoters understanding their system so well they can manipulate the results.

    But it has a negative impact on people, like web series creators, who rely on YouTube to get their product to their consumers. As a professional, I should be able to understand what to do and what not to do in order to get the best results from the system I'm using, or why (like in this case) the pattern of views for certain videos suddenly changes.

  3. Maybe EQAL should of kept paying the PR team instead of firing them.

  4. Also the fact EQAL is trying to make a budget is showing they are in trouble adding a old video on myspace today. http://www.myspace.com/video/416460869/bad-decision/107792356#pm_cmp=O_5102_notif


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