2 Million Views and Going

This week, the Acquia-sponsored Drupal 8 beginner training reached 2 million views – – a giant milestone. Two years after it was originally published, it is still going strong with 62,000 views and over 145,000 minutes in watch time during the last 28 days.

In this blog, I analyze how it became so successful and come up with the top 6 reasons, in order of importance.

Reason #1. Comprehensiveness

Sixty-three high-quality training videos, placed on YouTube for free, for the world to see, no strings attached. You don’t see that every day. This was a wonderful gift Acquia gave to the Drupal community and the world.

Make no mistake though, at 63 videos, it was a huge course. Larger courses get exponentially more views than shorter courses. For example, the least seen video in the course has over 10k views, and there are 20 videos with more than 25k views, 10 videos with over 50k views, one with over 90k and one with over 230k views. It’s easier to get 2 million views when you have so many videos.

The large and extensive scope of the subjects covered by the course made it a remarkable resource and one that clearly, has been taken advantage by droves of developers.

We have often discussed in this blog that developers are three times more likely to try a new technology when they see that there’s high-quality training available for it. This is the best example of this.

The evidence suggests that more people decided to watch this course and start learning Drupal because this course was so comprehensive.

Reason #2. Timing

Drupal 7 was released on January 5, 2011. After that, maintenance on Drupal 5 stopped, with only Drupal 7 and Drupal 6 being maintained.

By the time Drupal 8 was officially launched on November 19, 2015, it had been almost a full five years since the last major release and anticipation for Drupal 8 was enormous.

With a great deal of planning, we were able to publish this course on YouTube on November 18, 2015 – – no small feat!

To achieve this, we started working on this course while Drupal 8 was still in beta. Making a great course available at the same time as the release date made a significant impact.

An end of life for Drupal 6 for the end of February 2016 also forced more folks to embrace Drupal 8, but it was not as many as one would think as we will see in Reason #6.

Reason #3. Social Media Support

At the time of the launch, almost every influencer at Acquia and Drupal.org tweeted about the training.

This helped get the word out, but shortly after that, it was the community that continued and still rallies to tell people about this wonderful free resource.

Reason #4. Complimentary Training

Parallel to the launch of the Drupal 8 training on YouTube, OSTraining developed additional intermediate and advanced Drupal 8 video courses to be released through YouTube, OSTraining.com, and Acquia Academy.

These courses where a nice complement to the free training on YouTube and their availability further convinced developers to learn Drupal.

Reason #5. CMS Migration

CMS users used to be incredibly loyal. After all, it’s not unusual to find folks with tattoos of one of the 3 major CMS’s: WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla.

However, for the last few years, we have noticed that many have been freely migrating between CMS’s. We are able to see this more clearly than other people in the industry because at OSTraining.com we teach all of them side-by-side.

WordPress and Joomla folks have started learning Drupal. And Drupal and Joomla folks have started learning WordPress.

It’s not unusual today to find a small web development firm that uses at least two if not all three CMS’s depending on the size of the project. Five to ten years ago this was unheard of.

When the Acquia-sponsored Drupal 8 beginner training was published, we started noticing a significant shift in the CMS migration. We saw a lot more developers learning Drupal than before.

The views of the YouTube course are evidence that during the last two years more people have been learning Drupal than almost any other CMS out there. The course has been seen more than even the most popular WordPress tutorial videos on YouTube.

Today, in anticipation of Gutenberg, we are starting to see a similar migration toward WordPress.

Reason #6. Drupal 8 Adoption

It is remarkable that we have obtained so many views when usage statistics for Drupal 8 are still so low.

As of March 18, 2018, Drupal.org estimates that only 19% of the 1.166 million sites running Drupal are running Drupal 8 while 76% are still running Drupal 7. Almost 6% are still running Drupal 6.

Perhaps it’s this slow adoption rate that has continued to feed the YouTube course with a steady stream of tens of thousands of new views each month, even a full two years in!