How YouTube handles Gangnam Style?


With 617 million views and 4,7 million likes on YouTube so far since its July 15 release, Gangnam Style hits YouTube’s list of 30 most-viewed videos and broke the Guinness World Record for most YouTube “Likes.”

Thanks to parodies and Psy’s TV appearances on Saturday Night Live, Today, Ellen and the MTV Video Music Awards, it made “Gangnam Style” becomes more popular: it’s the third most-discussed  and eighth most-favorited YouTube video ever.

In the meantime, Viki users –who add subtitles to videos– have translated “Gangnam Style” into 17 languages, Business Insider wrote.

An interesting question raised on Quora: How much did it cost YouTube to stream Gangnam Style and how much revenue does that bring in?

Amar Prabhu answered:

Estimated cost for running the servers: $296,360
Estimated revenue from the ads: $348,285

No surprises, YouTube is projected to make a profit this year!

Shubham Agrawal explained:

Video Length: 4 min 13 secs
Effective video play length (assumed) = 5 mins (assuming advertisements, etc)
Number of views (as for this calculation) = 530,000,000

Total playing time = 2650,000,000 mins = 87632.28 3-weeks
i.e. Energy used = 87632.28 single load laundry
Energy cost assumed (commercial) = $0.2 per unit (assumed to be on higher side)
Electricity used per wash-load = 4.5 kWh (assumed to be on higher side)
Cost of each load = $0.9 (this is at commercial electricity rate)
Total cost = 87632.28 * $0.9 = $78,869

JSwaroop Repaka said:

So we arrive at an answer of $148 for 1 million views of an average youtube video
(And hence, $78,869 for 530 million views of an average youtube video).

But Gangnam style is not an average youtube video. It is quite popular.
Youtube caches some of the most popular videos at multiple servers in the locations where they are being watched.
Whereas for an average youtube video, youtube does not cache the video at multiple locations. It is only stored in the data centers.

Hadar Weiss highlighted:

Gangnam has about 175M views per month and thus 175*5/60 (5 min video) = 14.6M hours of streaming. 14.6 / 4000 = 0.0036. It means that almost 0.4% of all youtube bandwidth is Gangnam!

Okay, let’s dance! :-)


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