YouTube Part 2: Thumbs up or down?

Thumbs up or down? That is the question I will be answering today. These YouTube videos range in purpose and delivery, but, again, I want to focus on music videos. These music videos are almost like tracks from albums–they mean something to the bands. Some are successful, and some are not. I want to look deeper into the territory. Is it possible to have a badly fan reviewed music video? What percentages are these bands getting overall in the like/dislike category? We looked on Monday into the whole “view” spectrum of YouTube and found HUGE disparities between the bands. That proved the widening of the genre, as well as the power of popularity that some of these bands really have. I hope to learn more about the thumbs up or down concept in this post. While the concept seems simple enough I do not want to rush to judgment. Why? Because fans of these bands are pretty much the only people who are going to watch these music videos. So then, why are they disliking them? Because they are honest. Some videos are flat out ridiculous. Some are amazing. Let’s find out what this is all about. I also want to find, through simple math, the percentage of people who view the videos who actually vote. Let’s dive in.

I will be using Phoenix, Local Natives, The xx, Two Door Cinema Club, and Sea Wolf as my players today. They all have fairly recently released albums, dating back to September. I will take two songs from each band and post my original findings, then discuss what I have discovered. Below are the results.


Sea WolfYou’re A Wolf: 99% thumbs up, 1/151 visitors like or dislike, 4731 total likes/dislikes.
Sea WolfThe Violet Hour: 99%, 1/97, 721 total.

PhoenixLisztomania: 99%, 1/219, 39314 total.
PhoenixEntertainment: 97%, 1/102, 8952 total.

The xxCrystalised: 98%, 1/299, 95318 total.
The xxIslands: 98%, 1/268, 53232 total.

Local NativesWide Eyes: 99%, 1/167, 3369 total.
Local NativesBreakers: 99%, 1/91, 3930 total.

Two Door Cinema ClubWhat You Know: 99%, 1/152, 75367 total.
Two Door Cinema ClubSun: 99%, 1/112, 23447 total.

TOTAL: 98.6% thumbs up, 1.4 thumbs down. 1 out of every 166 visitors voted. The average vote total for each video was 30,838.


You likely do not have the time to read and dissect all those numbers, so let me do it for you. All-in-all we found out that people overwhelmingly like the videos. There were not many thumbs down as 98.6% of the votes were “likes.” This was expected, although I thought it possible to see a couple lower percentages in there. In the end, seven out of 10 videos got 99%, with the lowest being 97%. I thought we might find a 92, 93, 94 percent in there somewhere–didn’t happen.

We also found out that one out of every 166 visitors voted. This is much, much lower than I expected, but you have to take in account for those who have viewed the video multiple times. I think a reasonable average would be around 1/5 of that. So, approximately one out of 33 people are voting on these videos. This is not accurate by any means, but it is a pretty good approximate area. I am not one to “like” too many videos, unless I find it really great or really awful. I think most people are with me on this one. It’s a love/hate relationship.

The videos brought in an average of 30,838 votes per video. That is higher than expected but The xx and Two Door Cinema Club, the two U.K. bands, brought in the majority of the load. Interestingly people were more apt to vote, by percentage, for the lesser known band than the big guys like The xx and Phoenix.

The videos, overall, were pretty well put together. These things are not cheap. You could tell which videos were more expensive to produce. “Entertainment” by Phoenix, “Breakers” by Local Natives, and “Islands” by The xx were the best three in terms of production values. These are also some of the newer videos I covered, so take that for what it’s worth.

While this research didn’t work out exactly how I wanted it to, it made it clear that only fans are visiting these videos. There are not many crazy yahoos hitting up videos and disliking them just for the heck of it. We also know that not many people are not voting in the first place. The votes seem to be more of a love/hate game. This also gave us a better grasp on popularity. The xx and Two Door Cinema Club dominated the votes, which points to their pull overseas. YouTube is a different beast I am going to have to tame this week. I must push onward and find real hard knowledge.


2 responses to “YouTube Part 2: Thumbs up or down?

  1. Pingback: Project: Week 5 Reflection | In An Ocean of Noise·

  2. Pingback: Project Writeup | In An Ocean of Noise·

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