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What does Viral look like?

Do you know who Rebecca Black is?

Rebecca Black  is a 14 year old singer. She started attracting attention this month after a single she recorded and produced was released on YouTube and iTunes. The song’s video was uploaded to YouTube last month and received roughly 1,000 views in the first month. No big deal right? Then something happened. The video went viral. Really viral.  In mid-March it started acquiring millions of views on YouTube in a matter of days, becoming a top trending topic on Twitter and getting both good and bad media coverage. The operative word there being, coverage. As of yesterday, first-week sales of her digital single were estimated to be around 40,000 by Billboard, and the video had over 38 million views on YouTube.

38 Million Views

That’s what we call Viral.

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5 Responses to “What does Viral look like?”


  1. 1 Felicia March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    It’s worth mentioning that the video probably would have remained unseen by the mainstream if it hadn’t been singled out in jest by the Tosh.0 blog (tosh.comedycentral.com). A viral sensation generally requires a catalyst and in this case, Tosh was it.

    While we would like to imagine that viral=good content, this is not always the case as the woefully mediocre Rebecca Black phenomenon shows. Most of the time it means that someone was effective at creating curiosity. Isn’t that the goal of a good campaign?

  2. 2 marc meyer March 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    @Felicia Couple of good points here. 1) the catalyst, completely agree with that. 2) The goal should never be that something goes viral-The “hope” is that it goes viral. Not sure mediocre would be the right word for 38 million views-Something struck a nerve. My guess is that nerve resides in the digital fingertips of the 12-18 year old demo-unless of course 37 million views were comprised of marketers scratching their heads wondering why it went viral in the first place…:)

  3. 3 Cindi @ Chiropractic Marketing March 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Marc that is exactly what I’m doing…scratching my head wondering “what in the world”, but hey…it went viral and now I can say; “Oh yes, I’ve seen that…once” and that will be enough.

    Now…my next question; am I really that old? Even if and I mean if the 12 to 18? let’s be real, my 18yo would not share that video with anyone, I suspect my 15yo wouldn’t either, so 12-14 maybe…this is a scary thought. Who rules the social realm? Oh my, Oh my!

  4. 4 marc meyer March 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    @Cindi, it’s not your world, it’s theirs, you’re just living in it. 🙂


  1. 1 What does Viral look like? « Big Engine Media Trackback on March 24, 2011 at 4:48 am
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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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