Sunday, July 3, 2011

Buying YouTube Views - Top 5 Providers Reviewed

As an independent web consultant I am often posed the question "How can I increase my YouTube presence?".

This is generally followed by "Should I just buy a ton of views and subscribers?". 

Make no mistake my friends, these are dark, murky waters to wade in. There are even some people who would say it is unethical to boost your viewcount. I am not one of those people, to me it is simply a matter of numbers.
For example: Mark has a fruit stand with a lot of nice fruit on it, but no customers. John has a fruit stand with the same kind of fruit and a swarm of customers, which fruit stand will people be more likely to buy from?

The herd mentality is a simple fact of life. Even those of you who think you are immune will find yourself inevitable just going with the flow at one point or another. If you want more views on your video you have to make people think there is something really unique and special about it that makes it worth viewing. Nothing says unique and special like 50,000 views. 

Before I would ever recommend a service to a client I like to give it a run myself and really see what kind of quality to expect. Yes, this can be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as losing a regular client. 

I purchased views for various YouTube videos on various accounts I own from the 5 top providers I was 
able to locate via search engines. Please note that does not mean the top 5 in the listings, but the top 5 most prospective looking sites. One main point that people seem to overlook is the ability to quickly and easily
contact the company providing the views. Prior to even going in to the process of purchasing  views I requested information from each company and kept track of the response time, if they responded at all. 

The 5 Companies Reviewed were:

Before we dive headfirst into the pros and cons of each company you need to be aware of some recent changes at YouTube that have really altered the way View providers can do what they do. Prior to March of this year most anyone could hop on the web, download a $30 piece of software and blast their hits into the tens of thousands in a few short days. Getting wise to how badly this could damage their credibility Google
put some of their thinktank on the problem and re-wrote the algorithm that counts hits. 

Each hit, or view, has a unique set of numbers associated with it. Each number represents a different factor in regards to the origination of the view. This new algorithm carefully parses each section and matches it against other data to determine if it is a legitimate view. This is a very stringent process and results in only about 10% of most legitimate views being counted, especially when you get past 3,000. My quest here was to see, of these 5 which companies could deliver the views promised, in the time frame promised, without any technical problems or banning issues.

On to the reviews.

Mediablitzz - From the get-go their web presence made me feel at ease. The site is well designed and laid out in a way that makes it easy to navigate and easy to purchase. I was hesitant to use them, initially, as it took them a full 3 days to get back to me about the questions I sent. 

I decided to take the plunge anyway, and give them the benefit of the doubt. I purchased the "Starter Package" for $97.00, which promised 10,000 views. Payment was fast and easy, but again they were
slow to respond and begin the process. After a few days they did get back to me and we got the ball
rolling on a video with only 54 views. 

They were able to deliver all 10,000 views. The first 3,000 came on pretty fast then they started losing
steam and dwindled down to about 100 views a day. All 10,000 were delivered, as promised, in a 
timely fashion. However, I have seen little movement on the view count since then. I know that my
video is being viewed, but it seems that YouTube is simply not counting all the views. Which leads
me to question the methods used by MediaBlitzz to raise the viewcount. The other thing that was
strange to me is that I only received a few likes out of all these hits.

Rating: Out of a possible 10 I would give them a solid 6. The slow response and questionable view 
methods are concerning, especially on a package that includes no subscribers or friends. - Another well laid out Website, easy to browse, clearly explained, and
 really easy to buy from. Using my Visa to purchase a $99 package was a breeze. Unlike many of
the other companies I looked at DarkCloudPromotion bundles targeted friend requests and subscribers
into each package along with the views. The $99 package I purchased included 5,000 views, 1,000
targeted friend requests, and 500 subscribers.

They responded to my initial questions in less than 4 hours, and requested more details for the YouTube 
promotion within 12 hours of payment. They asked me who my target audience was, what my goal
in promoting this video was, and who I felt my most likely type of subscriber would be. This was
much different from the experience with MediaBlitzz. Their interaction was very limited, and even
though they claimed to be blasting my video out to the world they asked me none of these questions.

My hit count immediately started rising between 200 and 300 views a day, sometimes even more. 
It glided right past the 3,000 mark and maintained steam all the way to 7,500. That's 2,500 hits
more than I paid for. As the view count was rising my friend count was as well, going from 18 to
1,300. this resulted in 48 new comments on my channel page and 722 new subscribers. Although
they don't say anything in regards to numbers of likes my videos received more than 500. To say 
that the Dark Cloud Team far exceeded my expectations would be a massive understatement. 

This approach to YouTube promotion makes so much more sense to me than just raising the viewcount.
It's clear to me that the team running DarkCloudPromotion is experienced in promotion and take
the job seriously. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone. 

Rating: Out of a possible 10, they get the full 10. - The first thing you notice when you get to the website is how plain it is. I think a site is a direct reflection of the company and this one is a poor reflection. However, there is much
more to any company that just the site so I moved forward. The second this you notice is how many more views they are offering for the $100 price range than other companies. This seemed odd to me, so I sent a message asking why there was such a big difference. I received a canned cut and paste response in about 48 hours that was just a Q & A list. 

Unlike the previous 2 companies their payment system was based on PayPal, which I don't care for and I'll tell you why. They are a questionable company, building fees into everything, constantly trying to get you to sign up for an account. I was able to make payment but I don't know that I could say it was a super smooth experience. 

Shortly after submitting payment I was contacted for details and I gave them my video url. In about 3 hours my views had gone from 12 to 347 and then stuck. I have read about the 300 freeze before and thought it would be wise to just wait and see what happened. 2 days later the counter still had not moved. I was getting concerned and sent an email. I received the very same canned Q & A as before. 2 weeks later and still no movement on the counter I began to feel like I had really gotten ripped off. I sent more email, to no avail. 

It has been 3 months and I have not received my views or a refund.

Rating: Out of a possible 10 they get a big fat 0. I strongly discourage you from doing business with this company. - First impressions, nice site. Easy to navigate, easy to buy. I purchased the small business package for $80. 5,000 views, 100 comments, 100 likes, and 100 subscribers. They said
these views would be delivered at a rate of 1,000 per day. 

They were responsive, processed the order quickly, and delivered exactly what I paid for, although not at
1,000 views per day. It was closer to 300. While I can't say I was disappointed it just seemed like they
weren't interested in going the extra mile. I received exactly 100 comments, 100 likes, and 100 subs. No
more, no less. The comments, while flattering, were nothing special. My feeling is that they owns hundreds
of accounts and they just commented on my vids from their own accounts, and subbed as well as creating
the likes. To me this seems pointless. For the $80 price point it would have made more sense to pay the
extra $20 for a similar plan with and get real comments and real subs, but 
more importantly all the friends. 

I feel like the views that were delivered should have resulted in a higher response from the people seeing
them. If real people were seeing these views they should have atleast hit the dislike button a few times. 
I don't have any idea how they are delivering views but for the money I admit to being frustrated with
the experience.

Rating: Out of a possible 10, I give them a solid 6.5. The low number of subs, likes, and comments that look a bit spammy is concerning. - Despite my best efforts to review them upon contacting them they said they no longer were able to deliver views and offered me a subscriber package instead. I declined and have heard nothing from them since. - What is with this website? It's 1988 all over again. I am not impressed with the spinning globe or the clustered interface. In addition to a canned Q & A to my questions I had to try 3 times to get my payment to process through their interface. I ended up going with the small business package for $99. This offers 5,000 views, 100 subs, 100 comments, and 100 ratings. 

Once they had my information the views started coming in, they ranged from 200-500 a day, pretty much the same as every other provider. I received a little over 5,000 views and exactly 100 subs, comments, and ratings. For the $99 I feel about like I did when I got done with the package from I guess I just felt like another set of numbers in the company bank account.

I have seen little movement on that video since, and it's clear to me they used some very similar techniques

Rating: Out of a possible 10, they get a 4. The website is pure dredgery, payment is a pain, and for the money they really don't deliver anywhere near as high grade of a product as I would expect. 

Summary: YouTube really turned the tables on view providers when it changed things up. It's clear to me that many view based companies are struggling to stay afloat, as evidenced in the above reviews. It's a tricky road to walk down when seeking quality promotion for your videos. Of the listed companies I would only consider working with Mediablitzz and DarkCloudPromotion again. Period. One of the most impressive things about
these 2 companies is the variety in their packages. Although, DarkCloudPromotion has many more offerings than MediaBlitzz. It's safe to call it the clear winner in every aspect. I would strongly urge contacting them if you are looking for some serious promotional power. As a side note their site also mentions Search Engine Optimization. They were in fact, the only site that did. 

I hope this helps you in your search for quality views. Thanks for reading!