Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today’s statistical map - our first look this year at how the school of ‘17 are faring on Youtube. As in previous years, we’ll be looking at the videos uploaded on the official Eurovision YT page and, over the next few months, tracking the amount of views and proportion of likes to dislikes they get, the latter of which we’ll be focusing on today.
The percentage of viewers on any given video who bother to leave a like - or dislike - tends to be quite small. So far this year, the average percentage of viewers who reacted is only 2.6% - with the most reacted to video, that of Spain, only reaching 6.3% reactions-to-views - but despite this, for the past 5 years, the proportion of likes has often served as one of a few good indicators of a song’s level of success at the contest or not. Last year, all of the 5 most “liked” songs ended up in the final, with Australia, Bulgaria and France being particularly successful; whilst amongst the 5 most disliked tracks, four crashed out (San Marino, Switzerland, Albania and Slovenia) with only one of the five, Sweden, doing well.
So, what of this year’s selection? For the second year running, Bulgaria are top of the likes list with a whopping 93.5% of their video’s reactors leaving likes rather than dislikes. They are joined by two nations who were on the other side of the scoreboard for most of last season - Switzerland with 93% likes, far outshining its neighbours, and Belarus, by far the most liked ex-USSR country’s entry this year to date, with 92% likes. The top 5 is rounded out with a warmly-received British revamp, netting the UK 89.4% likes, almost 10% more than Joe & Jake managed at their best on the site last year, whilst Macedonia have the same proportion of likes as them, a marked improvement on the 74% the underrated Kaliopi did at best with Dona.
Wherever there are winners, there are also losers, and particularly ignominy goes to the bottom 5, the only 5 nations who have a like-dislike ratio of 60% or less. Georgia and Spain, who recently had more dislikes than likes, have improved their ratio slightly recently and are now no longer under 50% likes. Their comrades in the bottom 5 are not so lucky in avoiding the fate of being mostly “disliked” by reactors: the none-so-subtle Montenegrin offering (48.6% likes), the public-overruling jury’s choice in Slovenia (45.7% likes) and the aurally challenging Lithuanian effort (45.3% likes).
Most songs tend to garner more and more likes, and improve their like-dislike ratio, the closer the contest gets - perhaps because of hardcore fans “getting used to” the songs; perhaps because casual fans start checking out songs and have a different idea on what is good from the year’s pick; perhaps because more nationalistic-minded folks get involved to like their nation’s status. It will be intriguing to track how the likes proportion changes over the next few months - I wonder whether any of our current top 5 by likes stands a chance at grabbing a win in Kiev?