Thursday, May 9, 2013

The "Dead Giveaway" Scorecard

It's been about 45 hours since The Gregory Brothers posted their musical tribute to Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man heralded as a hero for his role in freeing 3 young women from a decade of captivity in his neighbour's home.

Note: Scroll down to New! Updated numbers to noon on Sunday May 12th, 2013 for the latest stats.

The Gregory Brothers deep in musical contemplation

My previous blog post on this story focused on the speed with which the musical combo was able to not only create their work, but to get it out to a global audience, using just their YouTube channel Schmoyoho ('accent on the yo', as they like to say), and the magic that is the Twitter hashtag. Between such hashtags as #clevelandmiracle, #charlesramsey, and #deaddgiveaway, NASCAR-speed distribution took hold online, and within hours word of the droll video had begun circulating on Twitter, Facebook, and on blogs, leading to close to a million YouTube views within 24 hours of posting. At approximately hour 36 CNN was on the story of the Internet's frenetic hero-ization of Ramsey.

In addition to the video views, The Gregory Brothers had picked up about 25,000 new subscribers to their YouTube channel, bringing their total to just over 1.7 million by mid day Thursday. (For comparison purposes, their usual daily subscriber gain on YouTube has been averaging ~1600). And on the social media front, the Twitter and Facebook feeds of early adopter types became conduits for the story's rapid reproduction, while on the front page of Reddit Charles Ramsey threads and images proliferated, resulting in thousands of comments and millions of page views. 

Adding to the Ramsey-mania was a tweet from comedian Patton Oswalt that incorporated one of the catchphrases that was now in brisk circulation. Oswalt's wry tweet was then retweeted over 6,500 times.

The result of all this activity to The Gregory Brothers video? The following chart shows the number of views of the video to 6 p.m. Eastern on Thursday May 9th, 2013.

For those wondering what this translates to in terms of earnings for The Gregory Brothers, well, that depends on the rate at which they are able to monetize their YouTube channel. But, seeing that they have a proven track record, with over 500 million views total, my guess is that their CPM (the cost an advertiser pays per thousand impression) is better than average, therefore I estimate their earnings from this video so far (~4 million views in the first 48 hours) to be somewhere between $25,000 and $40,000. (If you think these numbers are either ridiculously high or low, feel free to leave your comments and we can triangulate.)

New! Updated numbers to noon on Sunday May 12th, 2013. The table above took us to the early evening of Thursday May 9th, 44 hours after the Dead Giveaway video was posted. The table below picks the story up late morning of Friday May 10th and takes us through to the breaking 10 million views by noon on Sunday May 12th.  Note that the highest accrual of views happened between Thursday midnight and Friday noon (2.3 million) and that the view rate had dropped to 1.74 million for the following 12 hours.  On average the video is receiving ~100,000 views/hr. worldwide, although the bulk of the views seem to be occurring in North America.  My estimate for the amount of revenue earned by the video, at the 10 million view mark, is $50-$100,000.

Also note in the graph below that the number of daily new subscribers to the Gregory Brothers' YouTube Channel Schmoyoho peaked between Thursday May 9th and Friday May 10th, suggesting that the viral coefficient had already done its best work and was on its way to establishing a new plateau (the previous plateau for subscribers to the channel was ~1600/day).

...And for extra credit:

There's more on the social media activity around Charles Ramsey and Dead Giveaway in this post from the very conscientious folks at KnowYourMeme. 

And from this afternoon there's this radio interview and transcript on the topic of the viral spotlight being shone upon the 'hilarious black neighbour' stereotype.  The piece features the writer who wrote about the trend in Slate earlier this week.

Proceed to follow up post here, as we check in with the story 1 week later.

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