viral dissection: infectious music

Here in the VM Lab we’re not only artists sharing work but also scientists collecting and analyzing data through the study and dissection of viral media and their memes. While the term “viral media” makes for big buzz and today’s entrepreneurs seek desperately to make it happen, there are some basic principles that can assist anyone in their attempts. In this post we want to explore with you the use of analytics in regards to your content by using as an example a project recently highlighted on our blog, namely Nickolas Rossi’s documentary film entitled Heaven Adores You. Analytics can be used to determine if the content you’re producing is reaching your intended audience and having the impact you want. Using analytics you can begin to shape and distribute content more efficiently and determine what sites are working best as channels for your messages. Let’s take a look at Nickolas’ stats regarding his audience:

  As you can see at the top these numbers reflect views during the period during which he first uploaded the video to the just past the end of his Kickstarter campaign began in late 2011. Although he created a new trailer for his project the numbers at left are a good indication of who actually helped his fundraising take off. We can also hypothesize that possibly these same people may continue to provide support for his project and may even carry the message onward to people within their networks provided that they are motivated.

Here we can see a near even break down between genders, a possible indication that the films release could play well to both men and women (date night anyone?). We see too the stats percentages are good for the much coveted 18-34 year old demographic or what’s known as Early Adopters who are  1) Highly networked within their social groups 2) Compulsive, inquisitive collectors of information 3) Informed & opinionated on a variety of topics with the potential to activate others’ interest.

Note too the geography, particularly the countries of UK and Canada both showing equal interest. This could mean good locations to find potential investors, film festivals for screening and likely audiences. Other non-English speaking countries showing significant interest may also help to determine what languages Nickolas’ might consider having the film subtitled for successful foriegn distribution.

By keeping an eye on viewing spikes and declines (see graphic right) Nickolas can also get a read on whether his efforts are getting the results he’s looking for. He can make adjustments to his strategies based on how his audience is responding. For instance he may find that shorter videos are more likely to be viewed in their entirity or content with music gets distributed more quickly. Analytics can be invaluable for they inform us about how our work is being perceived and shared.

Lastly, it’s good to set goals like Nickolas did with his Kickstarter campaign, and to maintain a presence throughout networks. This tactic proved key during Nickolas’ fundraising campaign and will likely serve him well during pre-promotional periods. By doing so he can also stimulate and maintain anticipation about the release through notifying his networks about the projects’ progress. Later he can track views and distribution then begin engaging more with the activity where it’s happening and in real time thus hopefully growing his audience and support. Reviewing this data can expediate later efforts when it’s time to begin promoting the film’s release.

In the end however, it’s all so he can assure audiences will buy tickets, tell their friends and ultimately enjoy his labor of love.




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