Sunday, 8 February 2015

A West Midlands YouTube Top 50: February 2015

If you don't know already, you'll be amazed at what goes over BIG from our patch

February 2015 is here, so here's this blog's six-monthly roundup of West Midlands artists, ranked by viewing numbers on YouTube. There's a couple of surprises, and a fistful of impressive new entrants. 

This is statto heaven, and you can pick out seriously interesting patterns if you compare results over the time I've done these charts: links to earlier rankings are at the bottom of the post. 

Winners, losers, runners and riders after the jump.

House rules 

  • West Midlands acts, who are still involved locally, only. Tax exiles excluded.
  • Proper videos only: smartphone and fan clips are out, official vids are in.
  • The two most-viewed videos uploaded in the past three years count.
  • The cutoff number has risen - you now need 15,000 to get in. 
  • No live videos unless specifically commissioned.
  • Only one version of a song - no remixes.
  • No videos of albums ripped to YouTube with just one image to try to score ad revenue.
  • Video numbers totted up at the start of this past week. 

How accurate is this?

In truth, it shows trends rather than absolutes. I'm the last one to claim that this chart is a definitive ranking by popularity, and there's a number of reasons for that: 
  1. YouTube's numbers do tend to wobble. Some acts' numbers have actually gone down by YouTube's reckoning since the last survey six months ago. Go figure. 
  2. The formula - views earned by an act's two most successful videos over the last three years - works well for people with a few well-produced clips. It works against those who flood YouTube with lots of videos of them doing the same song. 
  3. It's really difficult to be fair to all genres, as some genre videos perform very differently. Live rap clashes tend to do well, but there are tons and tons of these – they are super-cheap to produce, after all. And all the metal variants continue to do enormously well. We are talking about a strutting young male demographic here, aren't we? 
  4. I do this on my own, and it's perfectly possible I've missed someone. For example, I found that Cracked Actors should have been in the rankings for two and three years ago. Now, their three year numbers aren't enough to get in, but that's still a mistake on my part. The moral of the story: if you think you should have been on this chart, and I missed you out, message me though the blog! 

Winners all over. Maybe a couple of losers too...

Up at the top, kudos and props to George Barnett, who continues to do very well indeed, with a rotating set of videos, all pulling in respectable numbers. Lady Leshurr also has this pattern of success, as do Electric Swing Circus. It suggests very strong audience loyalty. So it's interesting to see long-established acts like UB40, Robert Plant and the Editors demonstrate the loyalty of their audiences. 

It's also fascinating to be able to include a live DJ clip for the first time: check Mr Switch having a ball at the DJ championships. 

And hello! to Under A BannerJohnny Foreigner, Tom Aspaul and Ekkah. 

Bubbling under? I really expected to see Call-Me Unique and Dead Sea Skulls in the rankings, but it was not to be. Probably next time.  

Another useful indicator is the overall growth in numbers from this survey to last. There's a top growers list to look at too. Discounting big jumps because a video might be relatively new (UB40, Robert Plant), there are also patterns of success to pick out from acts that are earning their views through hard graft. In fact, for my money, the most interesting stuff happens at the bottom of the chart, where local bands are generating followings through that hard graft. That work is deeply impressive: well done to one and all. If you dig more closely into the figures, it's also not too difficult to spot those artists who have actually stagnated. That, emphatically, does not include Editors, who make it all look effortless.

So, here's the full list:

Act Video 1 Video 2
Laura Mvula Green Garden That's Alright 3,888,515
Editors A Ton Of Love Formaldehyde 3,323,315
George Barnett My version of Drank Where The Devil Sleeps 1,796,773
Swim Deep Honey King City 1,638,550
Peace Wraith Bloodshake 1,571,242
Robert Plant Rainbow Lullaby & Ceaseless Roar promo 1,352,447
Oceans Ate Alaska No Strings To Catch A Flame 1,035,198
Napalm Death The Wolf I Feed Breed To Breathe 762,268
UB40 Blue Eyes Cryin' In the Rain - 760,180
The Enemy Like A Dancer Saturday 717,864

Malkit Singh Desi Beat Chal Hun 473,144
Lady Leshurr SHURRAQ Freestyle It's On Me  441,411
Electric Swing Circus Bella Belle Valentine 367,968
Anaal Nakraath Forging Towards The Sunset Todos Sono Humanos 254,214
Dexys She's Got A Wiggle Nowhere Is Home 239,035
Jaws Toucan Surf Stay In 216,537
Mr Switch DMC Championships 2014 - 175,590
Radio Riddler/Ali Campbell Purple Rain - 148,294
Claire Maguire Paper Thin Changing Faces 146,563
Troumaca Lady Colour Layou 101,502

Superfood Melting Bubbles 100,807
No Americana Washed Out Summer Wax Poetic 96,306
Mahalia Let The World See The Light Goldrush (with Ed Sheeran) 95,889
The Twang New Love Mainline 93,607
Soweto Kinch Help A People With No Past 85,705
Swami Do It Again - 51,027
The Wonderstuff Planet Earth Oh No! 49,586
Scott Matthews Elusive Virginia (Guild Lounge) 48,291
Templeton Pek Wake Me Up Slow Burn 48,005
Midnight Bonfires Lights Out Exhale 45,457

The Traps Calypso The Honeydrip 40,077
God Damn Heavy Money Shoe Prints In The Dust 39,580
Tom Aspaul Good Together Indiana 39,530
Destroyers Hole In The Universe - 39,145
Goodnight Lenin Wenceslas Square Record Store Day '14 promo 36,691
Ekkah Last Chance To Dance Figure It Out 29,462
Mistys Big Adventure Aggression I Want A Biscuit 29,009
Hanging Doll Carnival Of Sin Sacred and Profane 28,506
Rebecca Downes Basement Of My Heart Messed Up 28,137
Stone Foundation The Way I Want To Live My Life To Find The Spirit 26,490

1 Eye Mr Bailiff - 21,709
ADO Power Waterfall 21,381
Broken Witt Rebels Shake Me Down All Worn out 21,172
Dumb Dive Retina 20,632
Erica Nockalls Cut Them Out Manikin 19,689
Boat To Row Tightrope Grassmarket 17,988
Johnny Foreigner Le Sigh Beatcast Special 17,796
Musgraves The Way You Make Me Want You So Sophia 17,042
Under A Banner Some Stories Back To The Sea 16,542
Brothers Groove Treat 'em Mean My Guitar 15,898

Looking at it another way

And here's those artists who have posted serious increases in numbers, two tables, by percent and by gross numbers. Take these figures with a pinch of salt - Ali Campbell's gigantic percentage increase is simply due to to the pretty small figures he posted last time out. In terms of numbers, his ex-colleagues at UB40 do rather better. Overall winner here: Mr Plant, methinks. And Claire Macguire is doing very nicely too.

Artist percentage gain
Radio Riddler/Ali Campbell 715.88
Claire Maguire 178.60
Robert Plant 175.55
Jaws 66.69
Goodnight Lenin 60.52
Dexys 50.78
UB40 50.14
Superfood 46.35
Stone Foundation 44.83
Napalm Death 37.36

Artist numbers gain
Robert Plant 861,630
Editors 604,592
Laura Mvula 458,212
UB40 253,854
Swim Deep 222,796
Napalm Death 207,308
Radio Riddler/Ali Campbell 130,118
Peace 118,039
George Barnett 104,046
Claire Maguire 93,956

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1 comment:

Neil Spragg said...

Great to see Misty's in there :-)