The immediate impact of being on the YouTube homepage

On Tuesday, the trailer for Typeface was vaulted to the front page of YouTube thanks to one of the film's fans (read more about it here). Since this was a new experience for the film, we thought we'd share the stats on the impact this immediately had on our site traffic and sales, and also some thoughts on what it was like to have a mini-breakout into the mainstream away from the design, typography and letterpress community that has been such a huge supporter of the film from the start.

~ Before yesterday, the video only had a humble 1,679 views. In a single day, it became our YouTube channel's most watched video ever with 51,357 views (according to YouTube's analytics). It is still gaining large amounts of views today, though not at that pace. A number of our other films also received above average daily views as a result.

~ With those viewers came comments: from 0 to 50 in a single day (not counting obvious spam). Interestingly, the majority of these comments are from people who seem to have no discernible interest in the film's subject matter (or were even aware that there was a film) and so some of the comments were negative. A debate even seemed to break out between typography fans and casual viewers over the very validity of the project. This was new thing for Typeface, which has benefited previously from finding an adoring niche audience who have done a lot of positive marketing on our behalf, such as creating their own posters or spreading the word on twitter. Added to this were the many strange videos and friend requests we suddenly received. The perils of being popular...

~ Happily, YouTube also exposed us to typography lovers who hadn't yet found us. In a single day, we saw a traffic increase of +1,042.39% to the Typeface website, and a +733% increase in visits to the DVD's page in the Kartemquin store, resulting in one of our highest-ever sales days for DVDs (all proceeds of which go to outreach funds for the film and future Kartemquin documentaries). Not bad considering the DVD has been available for pre-order since April 28th 2010, is available on iTunes and Netflix, and has already screened over 50 times around the world.

~ The best part of all this? Karen Kavett, the fan who selected us for the YouTube homepage, told us on twitter that she hasn't even seen the film yet! She will soon though; we're sending her a free copy as a thank you.

So, overall we are of course extremely pleased by the greater exposure YouTube offered our film. What has been most exciting about bringing the film to the public is that each stage of growth has been as much led by our fan base as it has by our own efforts, and the YouTube impact is just the latest example of this. In that spirit, we're trying to embrace the crowd even further by launching a page where people interested in the film can request a screening near them. Check it out and hopefully we can bring Typeface to you!