IN THE NEWS: What makes a video clip go viral?

A few weeks ago we reported on the families making over £100,000 by uploading their videos to YouTube. YouTube - viral videosNow the Sunday Times reports on the latest video viral made by dad Ali Goodyear and his son Jake – which could be set to make them tens of thousands.
As with many of these videos, it all began innocently enough. A fortnight ago Mr Goodyear, 37, took son Jake, 13, to Richmond Park, which is famous for its wild deer.
Thinking footage of the deer would be nice, Mr Goodyear began filming the herd on his mobile phone. And as he did so he caught some other footage – a black dog charging into shot chasing the deer. It was followed by its owner shouting ‘Fenton!’ and every so often ‘Jesus Christ,’
When the pair rewound the footage, they were struck by its comic potential and uploaded the little film to Jake’s Facebook account – which usually gets around 60 hits a video. But a few days later someone linked to the video and the whole thing took off – overnight the video became a huge hit in the US.

So what makes a hit viral video that could earn you a fortune? A group of researchers at the University of South Australia have been studying the winning formula. And they claim all viral videos have the following in common…

* They are simple to understand.
* They prompt laughter, crying or shock.
* They make us feel good – they promote exhilaration, hilarity, astonishment and inspiration. Because of this, people are more inclined to share the good feelings.
* Videos that prompt emotions such as anger, disgust, sadness or frustration don’t do as well.

Unsurprisingly given the thousands of pounds a viral video can generate (YouTube will share advertising revenue with owners of the most popular videos and then there can be money gained from a blog alongside and demand for merchandise such as T shirts…) several companies will now provide your video with ‘hits’.

Even if a video appears to tick all the boxes, this isn’t always successful apparently – and then many viral videos have a short shelf life and so you need to be very savvy to rake in the money fast while it’s popular.


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