Saturday, August 05, 2017

Gangnam Style is Dethroned on YouTube

Psy looses his crown to Wiz Kahalifa's tribute video

I have to admit, I've never once seen one of the Fast and The Furious movies.  While I am not their main target audience (males ages 18 - 45), I'm still astounded by the franchise's continued success.  The movies have achieved impressive world wide box office numbers - the 8 movies since 2001 have grossed more than $5 billion in sales- and there seems to be no end to the franchise's story lines, with the release of the a new movie every 2 years for the past 8 years including the most recent in 2017 and with another one scheduled for release in April 2019.  There have also been other brand extensions with video games, movie shorts, and theme park rides.  So the latest success of the brand should not come as a surprise but it still is.  Recently YouTube, the video sharing website behemoth, announced that it had a new #1 most viewed video on its website - the song See You Again by  Wiz Kaleefa and Charlie Puth from The Furious 7 soundtrack.  This dethroned the previous #1 video, another world wide hit - Gangnam Style by Psy.  To give you some context, the song Gangnam Style was released in 2012 and quickly became one of the most annoyingly catchy and successful pop songs globally putting it in the same category as The Macarena and Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On.  That See You Again (released in May 2015) could achieve in two years the same number of views globally that Gangnam Style did over 5 years is impressive and also shows the reach of YouTube into the mainstream.  YouTube is no longer a website for people to upload funny pet videos (although it still has millions of those) and has instead grown to embrace the paid content providers (music and movie companies) on its site by becoming the prime place to view video content.  People no longer watch music videos on MTV or VH1 (I'm dating myself here) and instead go straight to view artist's videos on YouTube.  Studios have embraced this trend and release music content straight to YouTube as one part of a comprehensive marketing campaign for musicians and in this case for a song tied into a movie.  With the addition of viewers also being able to access YouTube easily on mobile, I expect the rate of views of videos to reach the status of top 10 views on YouTube to be able to be achieved at a much higher rate then previously was possible.  I'd like to think that the reason for See You Again's impressive YouTube viewership was that it was a great song and also a touching tribute to the late Paul Walker who died while Furious 7 was in production, but that would be naive to discount the successful marketing campaign for the Fast and Furious global brand.

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