Below are the viewing stats for Artefact 1 – Sufjan Stevens // That was the worst Christmas ever! – by Glass Ankle:
In November the video had only managed to attract 32 views, whereas over the first two days after posting it to the r/listentothis and r/Indie Folk subreddits the video had achieved 144.
I believe that the Reddit community is predominantly responsible for the initial surge in viewing figures. Friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and others who had been exposed to the video via recommendation also contributed.
Unfortunately this level of interest was not sustained. Having avidly pushed the video via social media and radio, the effects of my hard work were relatively short lived as after the 6th December the views seemed to dry up and return to coming in dribs and drabs.
There have been a few small peaks in interest between the 7th and today (27th). On the 10th December Ursula Pabisch played the song on her Drive-time show on ALL FM, which I believe lead to 8 people checking out the video on the same day. She has also said she gave the song a spin on other days, unfortunately as of yet I am unsure of which days!
The Glass Ankle gig on the 15th December could have contributed to the (very) small increase in views on the 16th December.
The 4 views totalling 15 minutes, which could mean the video was watched 3 times all the way through on the 22nd December may have happened due to people looking for a festive fix?!
Understandably, more people from the UK have watched the video than any other nation. Interestingly the US is a close second, possibly because there are more American Reddit users than from anywhere else and/or Sufjan is an American musician who is equally, if not more well known in the US than in the UK.
Sufjan is also popular in neighbouring Canada. The fact that Sufjan sings in English could also be a element in why the top 3 countries are English speaking.
I am very pleased to see that the video has been watched by such a varied demographic. I would be really interested to find out where people from as far away geographically and culturally as South Korea found it.
The audience retention stats are also intriguing when analysing how they vary from country to country. Nearly all of the people from South Korea watched the video in its entirety. The same goes for those in Croatia and South Africa.
The most reliable sources for determining just how well the video is able to retain peoples attention are the results from the UK and US. Something I have learnt during the Research Methods at University is that a higher frequency of data ultimately leads to statistics from which more reliable conclusions can be drawn. Average duration viewed percentages indicate that on average people chose to watch a little less than half of the video (UK= 38.2%, US = 43.2% before switching off.
I conclude that Sufjan Stevens // That was the worst Christmas ever! – by Glass Ankle is not so successful as a spreadable media artefact. This is not due to the quality of the video, nor the calibre of our performance, which without wanting to sound big-headed, is accomplished and compliments the sentiments and style of the song. My opinion is reinforced by those who have been kind enough to ‘like’, leave comments and share the video.
There are certain factors which may contribute to its slow but steady stream of traffic:
- Glass Ankle has a relatively small profile and has yet to have a video which has had over 1000 views
- Sufjan Stevens is famous among indie/folk/alternative music circles but in the main he is still fairly unknown. Having said that there are 1 or 2 videos of his on YouTube which have attracted over 2 million views….
- The song is a Christmas song and so its appeal is bound to be limited to mostly during the Christmas period, between late November – 6th January counting the build up.
- The performance, although accomplished and perfectly mirroring and complementing the sombre nature of the song, is not instantly grabbing particularly for those looking for more flashy and action packed entertainment. This may explain why on average people only tend to watch 1:20 (41.1% of the video).
Live performances by bands such as Glass Ankle of more obscure and even original music of quiet, melancholy and acoustic nature are a niche commodity. Active and persistent plugging targeted at those specific audiences that may appreciate video is needed in order to attract increasing numbers regular views. I believe that this video would need much more in terms of financial backing as well as the recommendation of higher profile people and organisations if it were to ever reach viewing figures to rival the most successful videos of the same and even different genres.
It don’t ever see it having the mass appeal of videos such as Gangnam Style, which is the complete opposite – fast in tempo, slick in production and comedic in nature. It also has had incredible financial and celebrity backing.