Video virality is acknowledged by many marketing professionals as an integral aspect of digital marketing. It is being mentioned a lot as a buzz word but there has not been any definitive terminology ascribed to what exactly it is. It is common to hear a phrase such as, “this video has gone viral”. However, this raises fundamental or philosophical questions such as, “what exactly is virality – Is it a video with large views or shares, or both”? If it is “How many views or shares must a video have to be considered a “viral” video? “How quickly must a video be passed on from person to person to achieve “virality” and how long must a video stay viral? Is there a relationship between a videos views and shares, likes and “share though rate” and dislikes and “share through rate”? These questions pose a conundrum and hence to piece the missing puzzle an amalgamation of literature needs to be synthesised to answer these questions adequately. The current study reviews the extant literature on viral marketing, explores the differences of opinions presented and associated challenges each of the definitions has in order to develop a working definition for video virality and how it can be measured. It also brings to light a much less focused construct identified as popularity whose emphasis is on the staying power of viral videos. The virality growth model was developed to predict the level virality and compared with other models in literature. In order to derive the working definition for virality, data from a pre-selected range of viral YouTube videos were collated. New formulae such as the STR (Share Through Rate), Relative Likes and Relative Dislikes was created to assess the extent of virality. Based on the STR formula, a threshold for virality was established and then categorized to give a greater insight on the different levels of virality. Next, the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was used to measure the relationship strengths among the set of video viral drivers i.e. between views, shares, share through rate, likes and dislikes. The Spearman’s rank correlation was preferred for the analysis as the data is monotonic (nonlinear). This paper offers a conceptual and practical understanding of video virality. The concept of viral video marketing is advanced by introducing a “Share Through Rate” and “Relative Likes Rate” to the definition of viral video marketing as well as the distinctive categorizations. Finally, and most significantly, the study provides an exhaustive answer to the key fundamental questions such as what is used as a basis for virality and what it takes for a video to go viral.
Asamoah, Joseph; Galpin, Adam; and Heinze, Aleksej, "WHAT IS VIDEO VIRALITY? AN INTRODUCTION TO VIRALITY METRICS" (2016). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2016. 8.