YouTube around the world: geographic popularity of videos

TitleYouTube around the world: geographic popularity of videos
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2012
AuthorsBrodersen A, Scellato S, Wattenhofer M
Conference NameWorld Wide Web: Proceedings of the 21st international conference, (WWW '12)
ISBN Number978-1-4503-1229-5

One of the most popular user activities on the Web is watching videos. Services like YouTube, Vimeo, and Hulu host and stream millions of videos, providing content that is on par with TV. While some of this content is popular all over the globe, some videos might be only watched in a confined, local region.

In this work we study the relationship between popularity and locality of online YouTube videos. We investigate whether YouTube videos exhibit geographic locality of interest, with views arising from a confined spatial area rather than from a global one. Our analysis is done on a corpus of more than 20 millions YouTube videos, uploaded over one year from different regions. We find that about 50% of the videos have more than 70% of their views in a single region. By relating locality to viralness we show that social sharing generally widens the geographic reach of a video. If, however, a video cannot carry its social impulse over to other means of discovery, it gets stuck in a more confined geographic region. Finally, we analyze how the geographic properties of a video's views evolve on a daily basis during its lifetime, providing new insights on how the geographic reach of a video changes as its popularity peaks and then fades away.

Our results demonstrate how, despite the global nature of the Web, online video consumption appears constrained by geographic locality of interest: this has a potential impact on a wide range of systems and applications, spanning from delivery networks to recommendation and discovery engines, providing new directions for future research.

Refereed DesignationUnknown