If you have a little kid who likes to watch Youtube videos on a tablet or on your PC (under supervision, of course.) chances are you have already come across a number of ultra popular channels focused on random skits featuring people dressed in Disney character costumes, such as Elsa, Spider-Man, Maleficent, etc.
The videos themselves are nothing special – they’re clearly targeted towards kids, and there’s some effort towards production (we’re talking extremely low budget, but certainly not that much worse from the average Youtube sketch troupes.) And based on my daughter and some friends’ toddlers, the videos do provide entertainment to the kids. After all, it’s Elsa, Anna, Black Widow, and other kid-targeted characters running around to yakkity sax and doing silly things.
What’s really weird about the videos is how successful they are (it’s very easy. Just search Youtube for a relevant keyword and you’ll no doubt get one of their videos as one of the top results.) Look at one of the channels and take a look at their newest video. You’ll see view numbers that are ridiculously high compared to how old the videos are – for example, a 2-week old video with 50+ million views.
Why is that weird?
1. The Elsa/Spider-Man videos usually beat the official video uploads from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and other official IP owners despite the official videos being years older.
2. Even videos from the most popular Youtubers with very large fanbases (like Pewdiepie) take months (or years) before getting views in the tens of millions.
3. The videos have not been taken down yet, which is extremely odd given how aggressive some of the IP owners are when it comes to flagging content on Youtube.
Maybe they’re just really popular among kids?
Oh, they’re definitely loved by many kids, if my own kid is to be used as a barometer, but given the reasons outlined above, it’s very unlikely that they’re legitimately getting those numbers on Youtube, especially when you factor in the following:
1. The Elsa/Spider-Man videos will reach millions of views in a matter of days, while not getting any thumbs up or down. That’s a ridiculously large discrepancy between views and engagement.
2. The comments are equally weird. Most of the top comments are the generic “cool video,” or “lol” coming from other Youtube pages that – you guessed it – contain the same type of videos, which clearly point towards the owner(s) of these youtube channels being the same, and using all of their pages to boost each other’s comments and traffic.
3. Except, simply having multiple pages boosting each other’s performance is not enough. There’s clearly something shady going on, and we’re surprised that Youtube hasn’t twigged on this yet.
So basically, we have no idea why the Youtube or Disney hammer has not come down on these channels yet, because it is obvious that there’s some sort of M.O. that let’s them game the system. Is it a matter of time? Or are we missing something important?
Sound off on the comments with your theories.