In just the few short weeks that the Internet TV Charts have been live, I’ve begun seeing some clear trends in online video.
1. YouTube and Google Video’s most watched videos are not neccessarily the best, or highest rated.
2. Google’s chart in particular doesn’t change a great deal from week to week.
3. Homemade karaoke-style versions of well known music videos are very popular.
4. Corporate types are beginning to seed videos on YouTube, particularly music and film promos.
5. The Digg and Videosift charts are generally more ‘high brow’ than YouTube and Google Video, and clips featuring Stephen Colbert or the Daily Show are extremely popular.

Highly rated is not the same as popular. While I personally prefer a chart based on popularity, and this is what the Internet TV Charts are based around, it is annoying to see low rated, poor quality videos creeping into the top 10. This is something I’m taking steps to address, but the reasons behind this phenomenom are pretty interesting.
The reasons are threefold…
a) Videos are sometimes titled in misleading ways, and a poor quality video with a provocative name like Girl Pwn, can easily make it into the charts, even if it’s not really a very interesting video.
b) I suspect there is some network voting going on, or at least swarm voting in the case of certain corporate videos like music promos.
c) A foreign language video can make it into the chart, simply for lack of any great similar content. Those speaking foreign languages are, in all likelihood, voting to encourage more similar uploads.
On the subject of Google’s staleness, the chart is definitely suffering from a bit of a positive feedback loop. Lots of people are going to their Top 100 chart and watching the most popular videos, meaning those videos are staying the most popular. YouTube’s social network effects are probably helping them avoid this problem, and they also don’t feature their chart nearly as prominently.
As an example the Shakira – Hips Don’t Lie spoof has been in the top 10 videos for several weeks now on Google, as have have two or three others like it. There’s no reason why Google can’t fix this, they simply need to deprecate links originating from their Top 100 page more (assuming they are already doing this).
I really like the trend in karaoke music videos, here’s a great example. They embody the current spirit of Internet TV more than anything else in my opinion.
The appearance of commercial music and film promos in the Google and YouTube charts is a little depressing, although probably inevitable. I hope the charts don’t get riddled with them, and if they do, I may begin filtering them out.
While I like Stephen Colbert and the Daily Show in general, this week, 5 out of 14 videos on Digg and Videosift were from that show, which is a little much. I notice some have been removed by YouTube for copyright violations, and I kind of hope that hinders too much more of the same.
More on what’s popular in Internet TV in a month or so…

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