This is the 4th post on this topic, every 6 months dating back to July 2010. It takes a look at my top 100 videos broken down by the sponsor and developer, including views on YouTube and 5min. Video #100 is up to 295k views and the top 100 now totals over 84 million views. There are 11 new videos in the top 100 this time around.
Armor remains #1, although Spil is gaining fast. Armor still has 1/3rd of the videos, but only increased by about 5 million total views. Spil went from 14 to 18 vids on the list and skyrocketed 13 million views. And we have 1 new sponsor on the list: ArcadeBomb.
Some big changes on the dev side however, almost all by PITon. He’s soared over 9 million views in the past 6 months to take a massive lead as the top dev. Joey lost 2 videos from the top100 and was passed by John. Nice gains also by Robin Vencel and gmentat.
I first compiled this list back in May, and felt it was time to update it. I followed the same procedure… typing Walkthrough into YouTube search and then going through page after page of videos. This time around, I limited it to 1+ million views in 5 or less videos, instead of allowing in walkthroughs done in 40 parts. The list has grown from 18 to 36 in the past 7 months:
Red Remover remains the dominant king, and the game’s Player Pack joins the ranks too. Poptropica has grown from 6 to 9 entries on the list. JohnnyK’s games have grown from 2 to 5 entries. We now have 2 “random” entries on the list… walkthroughs done for random flash games that aren’t the developer, sponsor, or me. Games done by me have grown from 8 to 14 entries.
The trend remains the same though… Poptropica, Phuzzles, Puzzle Platformers, and Physics. And we get to add a Point and Click to the list too, just to keep the ‘P’ genres intact. Oh, and as a note, I added in 5min views to games done by me.
I was contacted last week by the site 5min.com, which is like YouTube… only much smaller, and focuses exclusively on short how-to type videos. They seem to include game walkthroughs as part of “how-to”, so I won’t complain. I was very intrigued to speak with them more about what they were offering, especially given my recent issues with YouTube.
So, it turns out, their business model is quite fascinating. Not only do they share revenue with the content providers (me)… they share revenue with the content embedders (sponsors). I don’t know the splits, and I don’t know all the details in regards to embeds on sites that they don’t have prior deals with… but it’s a VERY interesting concept, as it makes my service MUCH more desirable to sponsor sites (when the alternative is having a developer do it or them doing it themselves).
I have a follow-up with them next week. This could be a great next step in my business.
I’ve been having problems with ads on some of my videos over the past few weeks, and it’s starting to worry me. For most of the past 18 months (since I joined the partner program), my videos have had ads approved automatically, as soon as I upload them. Every once in a while I’d have a video that they’d ask for more information on. I’d provide it and they’d approve the ads… delaying things 24-36 hours.
But recently, almost every video I’ve added has either taken 24+ hours to have ads approved, requested more information and taken 48+ hours to get them approved, or a few have been outright rejected for ads right away. None of it makes sense. I’m a partner in good standing. I’m by no means a large channel… but I’m not small either; the forums are littered with people who do a few hundred views a day whining that they get no response from YouTube. I do get responses when I email partner support… they just are completely worthless ones. You’d think that my standing, history, and 3.5+ million views a month would get me some actual answers… but it doesn’t. I’m large enough to get responses, but not big enough for them to care to actually help me.
Most recently, I uploaded 2 videos for a new Saunavihta game on Wednesday morning (9am PST). It’s been 60+ hours, and they still do not have ads… nor have I gotten a request to provide more information. And, of course, the 2 videos I uploaded today for Sieger don’t have ads yet either. Between the delays and the outright rejections for no reason, I’ve lost hundreds of thousands of impressions (and so has YouTube).
I’m starting to get really annoyed and worried. I’m dependent on my revenue from YouTube to live… and if they aren’t approving my ads in a timely manner, I’m going to continue to lose hundreds of thousands of impressions. That adds up very, very quickly. I’ve tried explaining this to partner support. I’ve tried asking to get automatic ads back on my videos. I’ve tried asking for 1 specific YouTube employee to be my representative. And I get nothing of consequence back. And there’s nothing I can do about it.
Ben Lowry is a friend of mine… he made Great Game 1/5 with me. He is also a giant ass who loves to be argumentative. He saw my long tail post as another opportunity to pounce, but of course I rebutted all of his attacks. He claimed that my long tail was a myth and that it really is the newly released content that is pushing my views.
My proof to the contrary:
-The 34% of total views from top 2% of videos vs the MUCH higher percent of other content providers.
-My top100 videos (19%) resulted in 105,000 views (80.7%).
-Of my top100 videos, 57 were 6+ months old.
-Those 57 videos totaled over 44,000 views.
As I did say in my previous post, releasing new content IS important. But the foundation of long-term success and growth is 100% about the long-tail.
The summer has been pretty good, business wise. Since June 1st, I’ve released 54 videos. I’ve done 11.3 million views. No individual day was under 85,000. And only 1 video released during that span has done 300,000 views. How is that good, you ask?
To me, my business is all about the long tail. The bigger my long tail, the better I’ll do. Sure, big hit videos give short term spikes in views… but it’s the long tail that keeps the ship afloat. Despite only having 3 videos over 500,000 views released in the past 6 months (out of 21 total, none of the 3 in my top 14), my long tail continues to increase. A few videos released over a year ago continue to bring in 1-2k views/day… and believe me, over 500+ videos, it all starts adding up.
It’s hard to judge the line between the power of the new release and the long tail, when viewing things as a whole… so it is important to keep releasing content. But some interesting tidbits for you… as per data publicly available on TubeMogel.com: Shaytards‘ top 10 most viewed videos for yesterday were 74% of his total views (622k/838k). VenetianPrincess‘ are 89% (282k/317k). Sxephil only had 280k views yesterday because he hadn’t released a video since Thursday. My top10, however, only resulted in 34% of my views (44.8k/130k). What does this mean? It means that if many of the top vloggers on YouTube stopped, they would instantly lose their popularity and daily views; I, on the other hand, have a nice long tail and will continue to get a solid amount of traffic for a long, long time even if I didn’t release another video.
So while I’ll never do the overall volume that the top channels do, I have the nice position of knowing that if I want to take a break, I won’t suffer that greatly in revenue, as opposed to many others who are bound to constantly release new content.
From time to time I need assistance in creating the walkthroughs that I make. Either from lack of skill, time, whatever… reason isn’t important.
I have a large number of people who I trust that help me when all I need is a solution that I can duplicate after having it explained or shown to me. However, I only have a small number of people who are able to assist me should I need them to create raw video themselves.
That is what I’m looking for. To increase my list of possible assistants for whenever a project comes along that I need someone else to do the recording.
What you need to do:
-Email a resume to Tasselfoot@gmail.com explaining your gaming skills. Include accomplishments, badges earned, speedruns, etc. Examples of your videos are highly encouraged.
-Tell me a bit about yourself.
-You must demonstrate the ability to record both high quality video and in-game audio (not from a microphone).
What I’m offering:
-Sporadic paid contracted work. Either a flat per level fee or a CPM on the game’s video views.
-The chance to play games before they are released
Use the above email if you have any questions.
The original list is from February. A lot has changed since then. There are 17 new videos in the Top 100. The 100th video viewcount increased from 58k to 93k. Total views from the Top 100 has increased from 22 mil to 33 mil. But other things remain the same… Armor is well in first, with BubbleBox still solidly second. Joey Betz is still my top dev, but John Cooney and Eugene Karataev are gaining. And the % of views from the Top 100 has decreased from 81% to 76%.
Over the weekend, I had my 4th video hit 1 million views. This is the first video to hit 1+ mil that is not a fully self-contained walkthrough; instead, it is 50% of my Wake the Royalty walkthrough. The other half has 944k views and should hit 1 million sometime this summer.
Recently, the total viewcount on YouTube has been lagging. It seems to only update every few days. So I’ve been tracking my viewcount through TubeMogel instead, which is not QUITE as accurate on the short-term, but is fairly damn accurate long-term. All TubeMogel does is take a snapshot of the viewcount on each video at midnight, then sums them all together for your account total. This is dependent on YouTube updating the counts, which is why it’s often off in the short-term… but it evens out to be only a very small margin of error in the long-term. That explanation aside, My viewcount on TubeMogel as of Midnight this morning was 39,950,000… which means sometime today I hit 40 million total views. Yay!
My desktop is still in the shop, for exactly 1 week now. Going to call tomorrow to see what’s going on. Tass is starting to get the DTs from sexy computer withdraw. Sadly, I’m going to have to be without my desktop again in 2 weeks. The moving truck is taking all our stuff on June 22nd, and is not expected to arrive in Philly until June 29th. That means 1 more full week with the craptop. *sigh*.
Oh… and in other news. My big game project has basically been on hold the past week because of the desktop issue. Which sucks. Probably won’t hit FGL until July at this rate. However, I’m designing another quick satirical game with Benologist; but because of both of us being busy this month, that won’t see the light of day until July either.
This post stems out of my getting 10,000 subscribers while in NYC last week. It made me think about the relationship between total views and total subscribers, especially in comparing conversion rates from a year ago and now. It also just so happens that I’ve kept track of milestone dates of both views and subscribers, so I have some nice data points to work with. All information in this post will be based on a 1000:1 view to subscriber ratio.
Basic analysis: View and Subbie growth remained relatively similar through the 5000 mark, at which point Views started to completely dominate. I could go back into my spreadsheets and pull more data points of small areas between 5000 and 10,000… but that just seems like too much work.
The interesting question to all of this is why. I have a few theories, the combination of all likely forms the real reason.
-The 5000 mark is hit in roughly July-Aug 2009, which is around when I started to get a lot of in-game features. The in-game features increases views, but the views are not on YouTube, which almost certainly is the dominant factor as to why views increase dramatically from this point onward and subscribers lag way behind.
-There are only so many people interested in flash game walkthroughs. After those 5000+ people subscribed, it took much longer to get more because they just aren’t as interested in the content.
-Aug or Sept 09 is around when I stopped doing videos for random games, focusing only on games that I can monetize (the vast majority of which are in-game). This has resulted in less videos being released overall, so less exposure.
So what this tells me is that when the views are coming from YouTube, there is about a .1% conversion rate of view to subscriber… but when the views are from embeds on other sites, the conversion rate is closer to .02% (about 1 in 5000). This .02% is more from looking at data from the past month or two specifically, not from the difference in 10,000 values in the chart above.