Are viral videos really viral?

by Mark Johnson

Buy-Youtube-Views-TV-Dollar-Sign-300px-WEB10 years ago, probably half of the population wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘viral’. In 2012, thanks to Youtube, this word has become common, and describes news, videos, photos, content or people that experience overnight fame and become instant celebrities, mostly through social media exposure.

My question is: are viral videos really viral? Or are they the results of a planned social media marketing strategy? Wouldn’t a few marketers out there take advantage of this new trend? In my opinion, viral videos are not what they used to be.

We all are aware that many famous musicians’ careers started on Youtube due to the viral video effect. (Justin Bieber, Rebecca Black, PSY’s ‘Gangnam style’) For this article, let’s focus on PSY’s ‘Gangnam style’ Youtube video (since it is the second most watched Youtube video ever, with over 760 million views), dividing the facts into simple steps:

STEP 1: (July 15th 2012) PSY uploads ‘Gangnam style” on Youtube.

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