How many people are watching Gangnam Style right now?
Pretty good approach to how many people are watching a popular Youtube video at a given time…
Answer by Ryan Hardy:
Gangnam Style reached reached 500 million views on October 19th, 2012 and reached 1 billion views 63 days later on December 21, 2012. A change of 500 million views over 63 days implies that the video is being viewed an average of 92 times per second in that period. Given that the video is 4:13 long and assuming that 1 view equals 1 person, this means that, on average, about 23,000 people worldwide are currently mesmerized by PSYs dance moves. This is comparable to the population of a small town or the attendance at a very large indoor concert.
Here is the calculation on Wolfram Alpha
This is an average, but how much does this vary during the day? I warn you that the following is extremely preliminary and somewhat lazily done by my usual standards.
I extracted the data from this image to generate an approximate distribution of the world’s population by longitude using edge detection and a handy data extraction tool for Google Chrome ( ). I’m too lazy to go and find geospatial population data.
After duplicating the histogram and normalizing, I then calculated the fraction of the world’s population in a moving 12 and 16 hour range of longitudes to determine how many people are awake and how many people are in daylight.
Here’s what it looks like.The way to read it is to say that at approximate local noon in the time zone on the x-axis, y of the world’s population is either awake or in daylight. I’ll admit that determining the proper amount to shift these plots horizontally is confusing, so this plot might change in future edits. I assume people wake up at 8 am worldwide and go to bed at midnight, though this varies considerably around the world.
Regardless of the proper shifts, approximate univariate statistics can be derived from these data. The average The standard deviations of both quantities is 0.04. Awake fraction and daylight fraction can change by 0.17 and 0.23, respectively in the course of the day. The means of these are 0.51 and 0.67. The 2.5th and 97.5th percentile awake fractions are 0.6 and 0.75.
I therefore predict hourly Gangnam Style views have a standard deviation of 6%, or +/-1,400 views and that 95% of the time, the number of people watching is between 20,600 and 25,800 people.