11 Viral Video Secrets From The Cofounder Of Khush

LadidaPrerna Gupta, a cofounder of Khush, shared 11 secrets of creating viral videos in a recent SXSW Interactive presentation. Gupta helped Khush promo videos achieve over 180 million views based on her intensive analysis of hit YouTube videos. The success of Khush apps such as LaDiDa and Songify, fueled in part by their YouTube promos, led to their acquisition by Smule though their Songify-powered merger video was not itself a hit.

Love The Way You Lie Parody Using LaDiDa

Keep in mind that Gupta is presenting approaches focused on the creation of what would have to be considered novelty videos. Yet, unlike this peculiar campaign for Howler, their videos have a direct relationship to their products.

6 Content Building Blocks:

  1. Music
  2. Surprise
  3. Cuteness
  4. Boobs
  5. Humor
  6. Celebrity

When I think of music videos that have gone viral, they contain many of these factors but not necessarily all of them. In fact, when one looks at Khush's video, some of the more successful examples, such as the autotuned Annoying Orange, only contain some of these building blocks. But they're easy to identify in the video which makes this list an interesting analytical tool.

What also strikes me is that many heavy metal videos of the 80s immediately come to mind as do a number of more recent hip hop videos if one substitutes Ass for Boobs. In both cases, sex sells and juvenile male behavior takes the place of Humor and Cuteness.

5 Key Actions:

  1. Choose a compelling thumbnail image for your video.
  2. Catch the audience's attention within the first 10 seconds.
  3. Connect your video to current events.
  4. Kickstart viewership with outreach on other channels.
  5. Collaborate with established YouTube players.

These pointers are perhaps more directly relevant to any video maker. For example, catching the audience's attention right away is key not just for videos but for any online content. However, as a whole these tips speak more to novelty videos and promotional work than to original music videos. In fact, they raise similar questions as does the use of cover songs to capture people's attention.

Though I've been an advocate of using cover songs to build a following, it's pretty clear that while one or two might be useful to capture attention, an album's worth will define you as an artist. So if you do find a way to leverage Gupta's insights and create a truly viral video, consider following it up with something that speaks to the rest of who you are.

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. While these insights sound about right, we need less artists trying to “game” the system and more artists just creating authentic and real content. It seems like music has become a game now instead of an artform. I definitely agree with capturing the attention of viewers within the first 10 seconds though.

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