YouTube is the largest video platform in the world and the second largest search engine. But despite the platform’s popularity, most YouTube videos do not even reach 1,000 hits – and that is not even due to the quality of the films. A thought experiment.

We all know it: The YouTube videos that generate millions of hits within hours. They are the ones – as so often – that give us the wrong picture. It’s the idea that it’s easy to reach many people quickly with a clip.

91 percent of all YouTube videos have less than 1,000 hits

The reality, however, often looks different. This is shown by a study of the video and music search engine Pex. The experts have studied the video platform and all relevant factors in detail. This starts with the number of uploads per user and ends with the retrieval of individual clips.

There are a few exciting findings here:

  • 91 percent of all videos have less than 1,000 hits.
  • 96.9 percent of all videos reach less than 10,000 views.
  • 99.3 percent of all videos have less than 100,000 views.

Or put another way: Only 0.64 percent of all videos have more than 100,000 views. Even more amazing: Rounded (!) 0.0 percent of all videos reach more than ten million views.

Is the YouTube dream a farce?

For many video producers, media makers and budding influencers, the sobering question now arises: Is it even worth getting started with YouTube? Often the answer could well be: No.

Because the videos with the low number of views are not badly produced or uninteresting. They just get lost in the unbelievable mass of new content. By 2018, there were already more than five billion clips on YouTube.

So good content is not enough in itself. Anyone who wants to set up a YouTube channel in a hurry will probably be disappointed quickly. Without strategy and basic knowledge in SEO optimization on YouTube, the (big) success will probably not come.

Why doesn’t YouTube actually delete the videos?

This question is of course only hypothetical. After all, the platform lives from the fact that hundreds of thousands of hours of new content are uploaded every day.

But from a purely economic perspective, most YouTube videos are of no interest to the platform. With less than 1,000 or 10,000 views, monetization is mostly uninteresting for advertisers and YouTube itself.

Similarly, YouTube could massively reduce its own operating costs for storage, playback, review and the like. So in theory, YouTube would benefit if the platform focused only on successful videos.

However, in practice the situation is of course different: Because with only a few, very successful contents, YouTube would lose all relevance as a search engine and contact point for videos at one go.