How big are online video hits?

The folks at continue to crank out thought provoking coverage of the online video world.  Chris Albrecht began a thread seeking to benchmark how many views constitues a "hit" online video.  He interviewed numerours players and reports the following range in hit sizing:

  • JibJab "This Land": 80 million views 
  • FunnyOrDie "The Landlord": 45 million views over 5 months
  • Vuguru "Prom Queen": 15 million views in 3 months (what I've been told) 
  • KateModern (LonelyGirl spin off): 3 million in one month
  • JibJab internal hit benchmark: 1.5 million views in week one
  • Revver hit benchmark: 500,000 views
  • FunnyOrDie "immortal" classification: 100,000 views
  • hit benchmark: 100,000 views

The numbers are all over the map and are driven by external promotion and the length of time that the video has been released.  Clearly the industry has a lot to learn about distributing online content — it is interesting to see MySpace and the other social networks turning into major video distributors.  For now, Albrecht concludes that a hit piece of online video must have 100,000 views.

As the creative community rushes to embrace digital distribution of video storytelling, the potential scale of hit content is a critical factor.  It ultimately shapes how much ad revenue these assets can produce which in turn impacts production budgets.