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BizReport : Viral Marketing : August 21, 2015

Blank YouTube video gets over 100,000 views

A video posted to YouTube received more than a quarter of a million minutes of attention and, even without a call-to-action, earned nearly 2,000 clicks. Impressed? You should be because this four minute video was totally blank.

by Helen Leggatt

If a blank video is posted on YouTube, and by that I mean void of images, sound - just a white screen for four minutes - would anyone watch it? That's the question that agency Solve set out to answer.

The result? People watched. Since the video was posted to YouTube in November, 2014, more than 100,000 people have 'watched' it. The video was promoted via instream advertising, and Solve was charged if a viewer watched the video for 30 seconds or longer. The agency ended up paying a total of $1,400 as 46% of viewers clicked the ad and watched a blank screen for 30 second or more. Almost a quarter (22%) watched the video through to completion.

Of course, the video may have been initiated in error, or the viewer may have had it playing in the background unaware it had begun due to the lack of sound, or perhaps some people watched it for a while thinking something was going to eventually happen.

However, of the findings Solve CEO John Colasanti says that while views have become "the holy grail" for many marketers and that they are a "seemingly simple and easy way to measure the power of content", he believes they are "a false indicator of success".

"Unfortunately, in lieu of doing the necessary measurement work, lots of marketers are taking the easy way out by relying on "vanity" metrics," says Solve Digital Strategist, Neil James. "This laziness is particularly evident in the digital space where over-simplified, easily digestible numbers (like YouTube view counts) have essentially become a metric of success. But the truth is those vanity metrics don't really mean anything."

Twin Design /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: content, video, viral marketing

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