How do you get 160 million views on Youtube with one single video, as Rebecca Black did with her mind-blowing, music-industry-redefining vid 'Friday'?
Rebecca came from nowhere to being one of the most watched Youtube videos ever. She is only just shy of the top ten despite only being live for a few months. Rachel has a third of the views of the most watched video on Youtube of all time - Justin Bieber's Baby with 530 million hits, (as of April 2011).
'Friday' was taken down from Youtube yesterday due to a copyright dispute between 14 year-old Rebecca and her "label" Ark records. It lives on in our hearts though. And our minds. But besides reminding us to "get down" on the weekend and giving us minutes of harmless fun every once every week
What can we learn about making hit Youtube videos from Rebecca Black? Here are 10 takeaways from 'Friday'
1) Make it about something everybody experiences
We all experience Fridays. Other common human experiences include breathing, eating and thinking baby animals are cute. Focusing on something like this widens the the pool of your possible listeners to the whole world.
2) Make it about something everybody likes and likes to talk about
I guess we all experience pain and the common cold etc, but they are not good experiences we like to dwell on. "Looking forward to the weekend" is a good experience, so are looking at kittens, talking about first love - that kind of thing.
3) Tie it to a recurring event
You know the way Christmas songs always come out at Christmas? That Wham! song has been every year since its release in 1984. In a master-stroke of genius, Rebecca chose an event that recurs every week. That means that in offices and bedrooms across the world, Friday gets played every Friday - until someone swears at whoever is in control of the office stereo.
I'm not saying that the music or the concept are quality with Rebecca Black's video. Consensus is that they're pretty shit. But the basics of easy watching are there: it's nice camera-work, it's recorded properly, the sound is good. Get this bit right if you want lots of people to watch it again and again.
5) Make it quotable
People love to quote on the internet. They also love to make remix videos and these will boost your legend more than anything else. If you have little quotable chunks that other people can pick up and remix, that will help your spread.
6) Make it meme-worthy..
Kind of similar to quotes, this will guarantee you a spread way beyond your original youtube vid.
7) Make it a music video
We really love tunes. It's noticeable that of the top ten most watched videos ever, 8 are music videos. Stick in a catchy tune even if you aren't doing an explicit music video.
8) Make it stupid but enjoyable
The tune is good. The words are stupid. I don't know exactly how to hit this balance - but you know it when you see it. Think lolcat factor.
9) Make it genuine..
It's hard to define this quality - but you want your video to be genuine, about something real. That's why babies and cats do so well on the internet, because they're not acting, they're not faking - they just like doing their stuff. AND IT'S CUTE.
Rebecca has a naive genuine quality that is somehow compelling. She really does care about "having her bowl" and choosing the right seat in the car. So just, you know, do your thing.
10) Get some haters
Much better than lots of people loving you, is lots of people hating you. And best of all is having both people who love you and hate you having massive endless arguments in the Youtube comments sections and across blogs all around the internet. That creates something viral.