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YouTube's quiet success for music companies.

Editorial Staff

It used to be that a video that got a few thousand views was a bit of an internet sensation. But Google's YouTube, which the company bought after it ran into difficulty paying for its bandwidth, has mutated way beyond those early days. Now, a million views is hardly worth mentioning - and what is fascinating is that some of the really big numbers are not for the stars you hear on the radio.

It was chance that brought us to The Chainsmokers' song Closer, because it's a collaboration with Halsey, a favourite singer amongst EDM crowds. And if you don't know what EDM is, you're probably reading the wrong article. The song, at https://youtu.be/PT2_F-1esPk, currently has in excess of 1,700 million views. That is spectacular but once videos get above 1,000 million, the numbers start to become almost meaningless. So Charlie Puth's We Don't Talk Any More, with Selena Gomez, at more than 1,200 million doesn't seem huge.

Ed Sheeran's Shape of You (https://youtu.be/JGwWNGJdvx8) has 1,800 million.

Is the next landmark 2,000 million? No: Charlie Puth is there already with Wiz Khalifa and See You Again from the film Furious 7. He's not the only one to break that barrier. Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk - https://youtu.be/OPf0YbXqDm0) has passed 2,500 million. Bruno Mars on his own, with numbers of around 1,500 million, is nowhere in comparison.

Being ubiquitous on TV and Radio doesn't guarantee YouTube success: Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj combined to record Bang Bang - posted by their record company in 2014, it's a relative failure and has failed - albeit not by much - to breach the 1,000 million barrier. Then again, the video is remarkably like a Pepsi or Coke promo.

The common feature of all of the above is that they are released by VEVO.

Other channels do not fare so well. This, for example, has gained just north of 3 million views since HIM records posted it in 2014. https://youtu.be/5gx4LiFCfUU yet it's still gaining radio play across South East Asia, it's requested by audiences of cover bands and it's set as the ringtone of many phones. And it's our boss's son, James Morris-Cotterill with Long Time No See (interest declared).

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