Spreadable Media – The Analysis

Hello there,

This post is a work in progress as I get more chances to delve into the information. For now, here is the story with my spreadable media so far.

After a long Christmas break of Oreos, turkey, Genelecs and the Dubai skyline I have finally returned for a post or two.

Spreadable Media Results and Analysis

     Artifact 1 – The Supercut


My first artifact was a compilation based from the Father Ted series of programs by Channel 4 and Hat Trick Productions. It is a supercut of a characters select catchphrases. In this case it was Father Jack and the phrases were “feck”, “arse”, “drink” and “girls”. It was uploaded on the 29th of November and has a total view count of 2401 at the time of writing this blog. Inspiration for this came from the class on supercuts. Supercuts can only work with the right material and the Father Jack character is certainly one with a following in my home of Ireland.


Previous blogs outlined that I was conscious of the target market. After considering the module and discussions with the class and teachers I have come to  the belief that spreadable media does not have to have massive view counts to work. Smaller view counts and a well constructed, thought out and implemented piece of material can be considered spreadable as long as efforts are made to have the piece reach the target market.

The target market for this artifact was never going to nor was it ever designed to reach the status of taking over the world. Father Ted is a local program with colloquial  themes, jokes and settings based in a generation which has to an extent gone by. Where Gangnam style is a dance that anyone can do, only the Irish and in tune foreign nationals can really appreciate the jokes being made. That said the beauty of the show is that it has outlasts and appeals to generation after generation. The 2011 Channel 4 documentary about the impact, longevity and special nature of the show outlines how the young people who watch it laugh at jokes while adults laugh again at the context or subtext which young people do not understand. Certainly I find myself laughing at jokes which I “never heard” when I was younger. This means I have a fairly strong target market in Ireland and also the UK.


The viewcount shows a strong surge of views shortly after the time it was first published. Considering the time scale of letting the video perform was fairly short I deliberately made one distinct push to spread this around Twitter, Facebook and Irish message boards. I especially targeted Twitter when Father Ted was being broadcast. For better or worse I made the decision to let it perform itself after this push and each day after the initial spread it is getting in or around 20 to 30 views a day. Although any video can be pushed around the internet by the creator, I felt that simply getting it out their initially would be a good way to test its staying power and its spreadablility from person to person. Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 1 – Geographical breakdown of views

It can also be noted by the geography of the views that with a very general brush stroke it can be theorised that many of the views from places such as Australia, Europe and United Arab Emirates could be Irish or British who have left to find work in these countries.

Many views came from mobile devices and external players which could be Facebook and websites like The Journal.ie who both have mobile applications which reflects in Figure 2 which is a graph of external player sources.

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.1 – Sources of external player views which was the second highest source.

The video also suffers from good and bad audience retention with respect to time. Because it is a supercut the length of the video is quite long. Viewers would quickly get bored so I attempted to throw extra bits in to keep people interested. One instance of this in particular can be seen by the rise in relative retention in Figure 3.1 as I created a particular sequence into that time slot. This worked to an extent however it is not a huge hit as it came so late. Figure 3. YouTube does not allow for videos to be reuploaded while preserving viewcounts and other statistics like Soundcould does. Soundcloud enables you to make changes to your material and reupload that which retains the original link so people can then hear the new mix and make comments on that.

Figure 3 Figure 3.1

Figure 3 – Audience Retention                             Figure 3.1 – Relative Audience Retention

Special note should be made to the TheJournal.ie contribution, which was massive. The biggest view count surge of the video (447) came from when TheJournal.ie posted the video in an article which accounts mostly for the 4th dot of views in Figure 1. You can see that they have made reference to the extra bits which I placed into the video to make it more interesting. Figure 4

Figure 4

Figure 4 – TheJournal.ie

          Other Notes

The following or some notes and statistics of the video that I found interesting which include some mentioned above.

  •  559 total views from TheJournal.ie
  • 87 Facebook views
  • 41 views from www.boards.ie
  • 28 Reddit views
  • 14 Twitter views
  • 347 YouTube Search views
  • 9 Facebook shares


  Artifact 2 – Flegs


The second artifact comes under the first principles of spreadability which states that S=(C+L) or spreadability = (current affairs + lolz).

Recent unrest in Northern Ireland has been caused by the vote to fly the Union flag on designated days rather than all year round at Belfasts City Hall.

Despite the severity of the situation to public safety, international image and the local economy a significant amount of joke videos have been uploaded to poke fun at the protests. In particular videos have focused on one outraged protester who broke a window into the City Hall and shouted “no surrender”. The reason this was picked up on so much is the perceived invalidity of protesters as their use of violence and destructive protest does not reflect the consensus of the group they claim to represent.

Just over a week into the protests I was simply watching Father Ted. A joke was made where Father Ted says”those Protestants, up to no good as usual” which during the context of the flag situation was quite funny to us. From there I had the idea to combine a few lines of the show together to create a funny video. Given that I had all the source material within easy access from the previous artefact I went ahead and created the clip which also sourced audio from one of the original joke videos already on YouTube at the time.


The target market here is huge as the video concerns current affairs. A second consideration are the negative aspects to putting up a video with the line described above. I feel that this joke could only ever have worked using Father Ted as the medium. The video went up relatively early on to see how it would compare and at the time of writing it has gained 19,454 views.


The success of this video has been phenomenal. It has not gained the views of similar videos which use the same joke (which was posted just after my video) so it would be interesting to see how they got such high counts.

I made no effort at spreading this video around myself aside from initial posts on Twitter and an accepted request to have it as a video response to the source video which I took some audio from. Unfortunately the date in which the response was accepted was not given however once can assume it contributes towards the second bump of views in the count in Figure 5.

Figure 6

Figure 5 – View Count/Geography

The video has gained 2887 views from Facebook. It must be stressed that no attempts were made to spread the video on Facebook. 94 views came from Twitter where the video was trending for a considerable amount of time as a top video for various related hash tags. The video has also had some traffic on email services as can be seen from mail.live.com and mail.yahoo.com. Figure 6 and 6.1

It should also be noted that the most significant views during the initial rise of approx. 2600 total per day were achieved from Facebook, mobile devices and embedded players. No external sites made as a significant contribution which TheJournal.ie provided with artifact 1. This shows the video has an inherent spreadability without the use of outlets with their own high volumes of users or “followships”.

Figure 7                               Flegs 2

Figure 6 -Traffic Location Breakdown                                           Figure 6.1 – Twitter Trend

          Other Notes

The following or some notes and statistics of the video that I found interesting which include some mentioned above. Some of the notes have associated figures below.

  • 10,221 views were made from mobile devices. Fig 7
  • YouTube suggested video lists with 3014 views being sources from there. Fig 8
  • 1577 views came from the YouTube search engine.
  • It has had 46 likes and 2 dislikes, each from India and Russia.
  • It has been favourited 27 times with no removals.
  • It has received 9 comments and shared 12 times on Facebook.

Figure 8                              Figure 9

Figure 7- Traffic Locations                                                              Figure 8 – Traffic Sources

          Contrast in Attention

Audience retention is at 89.3% and relative retention is High to Average as the video plays.When compared  to the first artefact, which is much longer, you can see how shorter videos with better punch can keep the audience attention for longer.Fig 9

Figure 10

Figure 9 – Audience Retention



Although the video did not make it onto a place like TheJournal.ie it has spread very well by itself with no help from me. It solidifies the view point that current affairs, which are inherently one off events, can spark much more interest than a more specialist video like a supercut.

A supercut would generally appeal to people who are fans of the show or movie the cut has been derived from. Current affairs appeal to everyone in a locality by extended definition so the immediate impact of a video targetted to this genre is more significant.

The unrest in Northern Ireland is still going on at the time of writing. Where the video would have an initial spike of interest I would expect it to drop away fairly quickly to a handful of views if any after the event has passed. This can be seen with the first artifact which had the initial spike of TheJournal.ie and once that article had passed the videos views settled down to more general searches where people have only been inspired to look for those types of videos via their own interests.

With the NI protests still going on the video is getting fairly significant and consistent views each day. This shows that the outside and internal interest of people has died down as the protest drags on. This could be an indicator of the lack of interest which is produced by subjectively invalid means of protests. Although one can only hope that the trouble ends as soon as possible, an interesting side effect will be what happens to view counts when it actually does stop.

            Artifact 3

The main artifact which I had planned to publish was a stereo sound recording techniques guide. A lot of work has gone into the guide however due to personal time constrains over the holiday period I was unable to get as much of it done as quickly as possible. That said, the principle behind its spreadablility is worth noting.

Going back to my believe about content specific spreadablity characteristics, this sort of document would spread very slowly. It would spread slowly on in terms of view count which I feel is not a reliable measure of the spreadability. The guide would be posted on the Sound on Sound forums and any other places where people who could use the guide would frequent. This genre is extremely specific. It is not by any way in the current affairs catagory and fans of big name movies who would appreciate a supercut would outnumber by far the students, hobbiests and other sound engineers interested into a guide about stereo sound recording.

This type of thinking puts more weight or emphasis on the quality of the work rather than the quantity of its views which results in signifying its usefullness and significance. My hope was that it would slowly rack up views over time, time which I never had when my idea was first conceived. It was also my hope that people could contact me through the channels I have used to spread it and suggest alterations, ask further questions and ultimately improve the work greatly.

It was very important for me that the educational content of the guide was as good as it could be which means it was never going to be rushed out of the factory. This said, I do hope to have it published before the submission date of this assignment and hope that its quality of writing shows that its spreadability through a naturally small target market will be quite high.


4 thoughts on “Spreadable Media – The Analysis

  1. Thanks for a very informative read! I believe that your analysis has served as an example for the rest of the group since it is very well-structured and has a lot of attention to the details. Great post!

  2. “…current affairs, which are inherently one off events, can spark much more interest than a more specialist video like a supercut”
    Definitely a big point which I don’t think anyone else has made. A lot of the retechsocial video are niche, like cover songs, and while I think that niche is good on YouTube and YouTube, as well as other internet sites, has encouraged the growth of niche culture, we tend to forget that there are an awful lot of people out there not involved in those niche markets, who use the internet for non-internet stuff.

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