Vnunet.com has learnt that data supplied by The Viral Factory – which places Star Wars Kid at the top of its list of 10 most watched internet videos – was calculated using only an "informed approximation" of the number of people who emailed the videos to each other. This data was combined with information from video sharing sites.
The Viral Factory's estimate of 900 million views for the video was reached by "adding up views from a number of different sources combined with an informed approximation," Toni Smith, head of strategy and communications at The Viral Factory, told vnunet.com in an email.
"At this time it was more commonplace to send around video attachments via email to friends, something which we are unable to track exactly," she added.
"However, we approximate that it has been emailed around 600 million times over the last three years, with many people watching it more than once."
Video sharing sites are said to account for the rest of the total.
"We found over 90 million views on video sharing and community sites such as MySpace, You Tube and Google video. Most of these sites have only been around for a couple of years," Smith said.
"There are over 2.7 million Google search returns of websites linking to Star Wars Kid and views from video archive websites such as College humour, Kontraband, etc total to a further 250 million."
The top ten videos were:
- 1 Star Wars Kid (900 million views)
- 2 Numa Numa (700 million views)
- 3 One Night in Paris (400 million views)
- 4 Kylie Minogue – Agent Provocateur (360 million views)
- 5 The Exploding Whale (350 million views)
- 6 John West Salmon Bear Fight (300 million views)
- 7 Trojan Games (300 million views)
- 8 Kolla2001 (200 million views)
- 9 AfroNinja (80 million views)
- 10 The Shining Redux (50 million views)
Source: The Viral Factory for UKTV G2 Totally Viral