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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

You Tube - how to get millions of views in a matter of days

It has been a strange few weeks. Two artists that are associated with Sadler's Wells have received hundreds and thousands of views on YouTube.

The first one was Marie Chouinard who performed her show at Sadler's Wells in 2010. The video excerpt we put on YouTube has proved very popular, and as we leave them up after the show is over, has generated over 370,000 views since May 2010. It was surprise however when someone copied our video (complete with Sadler's Wells ident and end card) and put it up on YouTube with a new title. In less than a month it had over 1,670,000 views. Was this because of an a growing interest in French Canadian contemporary dance you ask? I'm afraid not, instead I suspect it was largely down to the new title. "I've got the weirdest boner right now"* I admit the clip is pretty unusual and it has been interesting seeing the comments. Quite a number have referenced Silent Hill and it says something that many have said it is the freakiest thing they have ever seen on YouTube (not an achievement to sniffed at). Of course the question you always get about video and YouTube is the impact it has on driving traffic to your own site. A new case study for audience development? Well I can report that in two weeks we had 33 people searching the site for the term "boner" and 25 searching for the word "crutches".

The second clip that has been hugely busy has been the one that compares the work of Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker with Beyonce's video for her single Countdown. This video has nearly had 1,700,000 views in 10 days (plus many other views for re posted videos). Interestingly the comments have been less coherent or measured for this clip. The debate on plagiarism vs. homage has received a lot of coverage with opinions divided but what was interesting was how many Bey fans have come out and said "What? My girl's been caught again!" as apparently she has previous form in this area. Reminds me of the whole Michael Jackson ripping off Pina Bausch Rite of Spring scandal...

De Keersmaeker is back with us next month; so will Sadler's Wells be rammed with Beyonce fans who have booked to see the woman who is one of her "inspirations", methinks not but everyone is welcome. If her fan club contact me I'll even set up a special discount code.

*This video may be down by the time you look for it. If it is, just watch our clip and imagine it with the new title at the top. Interestingly the phrase "I have the weirdest boner right now" is a known web phrase. Apparently it originated in a tv show and has since become used in situations where an image appears accidentally phallic or an erection would be inapropriate. Through 2011 the phrase has grown in popularity on the web (the link above actually showed the webstats!) and this video certainly must be adding to that.

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