a theory on youtube view counts

My friend Jesse pointed out that Aerosmith’s video for I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing has 74 million views.  He wondered how many of those views are ironic views.  This got me thinking about a rough guideline for charting the impetus behind YouTube views:

0-1,000: viewers directed to video by poster
1,000-50,000: first and second-degree referrals from initial viewers, and incidental YouTube browsing
50,000-3 million: viral viewing based on video’s merit
3 million – 5 million: people “ironically” watching the video because it’s sooo yesterday
5 million – 10 million: views based upon mainstream media talking about video
10 million – 50 million: curious viewers wondering why the video has so many views
50 million –-> : might as well incorporate it into high school English curricula


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