Category Archives: YouTube

YouTube meditation videos: Exploding numbers

Next week I’m presenting to the DPPI conference a qualitative content analysis of viewer comments on YouTube videos tagged for meditation. As I’m putting the finishing touches on the presentation, I’m doing a little extra poking around in the numbers, just for curiosity’s sake. (I’ve always been curious about everythng; and that’s a good trait for a researcher to have. :-)

When I collected the data for the paper, I did a print-to-PDF (gotta love Mac OS X :-) of the YouTube search results for “meditation”. Those results showed “About 4,270,000 results” as of 3 May 2013. I ran the search again just now (29 August) and got “About 7,160,000 results” — an increase of 67% in less than four months. Now, I know that YouTube content as a whole is expanding at an astounding rate (YouTube says right now that 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute), and I have not (yet :-) taken statistics on other topics for comparison. (It doesn’t help that YouTube keeps to itself the total number of videos it hosts.)

I’ve just done a rough calculation, based on 100 hours of uploads per minute and assuming an average of 4.2 minutes per video (based on an early 2010 report by Sysomos, which is very old and possibly no longer valid, but it’s the only thing I found). From these figures I estimate that this period saw the upload of something on the order of 242.7 million videos in all, in which case meditation videos would account for 1.2% of the uploads.

I think I will keep an eye on the numbers for other keywords, for comparison. Stay tuned.