YouTube video numbers don’t add up

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YouTube is investigating a sudden surge of traffic it received for a fan-made video clip featuring a Brazilian pop ban rocketing to the top of its most viewed video chart.

The clip, Music is My Hot Hot Sex by the electro band Cansei De Ser Sexy, has collected 40 million additional view in three weeks – pushing its tally to 89 million views.

In that period, it jumped from tenth place to first, overtaking the previous first place for 18 months “Evolution of Dance” by Judson Laipply, a motivational speaker. The band, Cansei De Ser Sexy (or CSS for short), means in Brazilian “I got tired of being sexy” – a comment attributed to singer Beyonce Knowles around the time the band formed in 2003.

The come-from-nowhere success however left many users asking questions about the traffic, with blogger Andy Baios‘ analysis suggesting inconsistencies as well.

He points out that comparing hits with the user ratings, it shows that the video has a very unusual 21,487-to-1 ratio” of viewers to ratings. Every other video in the top 10 has an average ratio of 590:1, which is consistent with the ration for the top 500 videos on YouTube, 545:1.

For those who didn’t get that: it means that fewer viewers are rating the video than watching it. This may also indicate a use of an automated, non-human method, also known as a bot, to inflate the clicks.

A YouTube spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald that it was investigating the matter.

The Hot Hot Sex video was actually made by an Italian music blogger and photographer called Clarus Bartel, after CSS fans invited Italian fans to use raw footage of the band to create their own videos using another song called Alcohol.

Bartel chose to remix the video with the Music is My Hot Hot Sex and uploaded the video to YouTube.

The song has become popular after it was featured advertising the latest iPod Touch in late 2007.

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