25 February 2012 917 Views

NBC’s YouTube Clip for “Awake” Causes Controversy Because of Views

by Dan Koelsch

NBC’s new psychological crime drama Awake premieres this coming Thursday, but the network has made a big push online to build awareness. You can find the pilot episode on several websites, including YouTube, where it currently has less than 15,000 views. So how does a clip from the show posted 6 days later already have over 4 million views?


The real mystery isn’t why there are so many views, but the strange breakdown of likes and dislikes. Around the time of writing this, the video has 1,035 likes and 579 dislikes, totaling only 1,614 votes. That’s only 1 vote per 2,600 views, which you might guess is not exactly a YouTube norm. As a comparison, popular YouTuber Freddie Wong’s most recent video has around 1 vote per 26 views.

The reaction to this discrepancy has been strongly negative. The clip itself, as well the pilot, are actually pretty good, so the over 1/3 dislikes (and many of the negative comments) seem to be aimed at the idea that NBC bought views in some way.

So, what’s going on? It’s pretty simple, actually. When you look at the Awake video’s stats, over 2.7 million views have come from “ad”, which is usually the pre-roll ads and featured video ads on the righthand side. Once the video gets enough views, people will see it when they browse, and the video gets more views that way.

It’s understandable that this issue has gained traction, since even YouTube fanatics like myself don’t see this very often. However, if one stops to research a bit, it is easy to see that no foul play is truly involved.

Do you think this could have a negative effect on the new television series itself, or is this too isolated of an incident. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, if you’ve had a chance to check it out, let us know what you thought of the pilot.



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