BUSINESS

The Economics Of Pussy Riot On YouTube

09/24/2012 08:35 am 08:35:13 | Updated Nov 24, 2012

News flash: The jailed Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot "did not gain international fame through their musicality per se."

That insight--none too surprising if you've ever clicked on a Pussy Riot video on YouTube--appears in an academic paper (pdf) by three electronic-commerce researchers from the University of Texas, Austin. The 45-page paper, filled with equations and Greek letters, explains how being deliberately offensive can help a video break through the clutter on YouTube, where 72 hours' worth of video are uploaded every minute. "Most viewers were drawn to [their] videos out of curiosity," not a desire to watch a high-quality clip, write professor Andrew Whinston and PhD students Liangfei Qiu and Qian Tang.

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