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Vevo releases highlights of annual year-end recap with top artists, pop culture moments, and key trends of 2021

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Karol G
Vevo, the world’s leading music video network, today released part one of its annual year-end look back on music video viewership, with more end-of-year insights to come this month.
Globally, Karol G tops the most-viewed artist chart of 2021, with 3.11 billion views, followed closely by The Weeknd, with 3.10 billion views.
In the U.S., Lil Baby is Vevo’s most-viewed artist of this past year (770 million views), followed by The Weeknd (558 million views). Newcomers to this year’s top 10 most-viewed artist list include Doja Cat and Lil Nas X (full U.S. and global charts are below).
Both in the U.S. and worldwide, Lil Nas X secures the top spots in the Vevo Engagement Chart, which ranks videos according to the most likes, shares, and comments across the Vevo network. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” was #1, with “INDUSTRY BABY” featuring Jack Harlow in the second spot. Lil Nas X’s success can be attributed to his consistently creative releases and imaginative marketing efforts, such as his sneaker launch in partnership with art collective MSCHF ahead of the release of the MONTERO album, which drove the viewership of Lil Nas X music videos six-fold.
Another notable mention is singer/songwriter Olivia Rodrigo has grown her viewership 8x to 357 million views in the U.S. in 2021, after breaking into the mainstream with her debut album, SOUR.
“Vevo is the music video destination for artists of all genres and career stages. Our charts feature both established stars, such as Taylor Swift and Future, and newer names who also made big headlines this year, like Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo.
“In 2021, fan consumption and engagement with music videos continued to yield many insights about the vital nature of the music video in driving, shaping and reacting to cultural moments. And artists such as The Weeknd, Doja Cat, and Ariana Grande collaborated with Vevo to further develop their visual catalog and storytelling through Vevo’s original content series, such as LIFT and Official Live Performances,” said Alan Price, Chief Executive Officer, Vevo.
Music videos served as soundtracks to events throughout the year. Here are some of the top pop culture moments and themes of 2021 through Vevo’s music video viewership:
Cultural Zeitgeist
With this summer marked by celebrity romances, Jennifer Lopez saw U.S. viewership lift following news reports of her rekindling with actor Ben Affleck, who appeared in Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block” music video. In September, viewership of Machine Gun Kelly’s “Bloody Valentine”, starring actress Megan Fox, doubled in the U.S. after he and Fox hit the VMAs red carpet.
Big Artist Returns in the Fall
During the fall, there were several new recordings from beloved artists such as ABBA, Adele, and Taylor Swift. In October, Vevo saw Adele’s catalog trending following the announcement of her new studio album, 30, with a 10-fold lift in views, and “Easy On Me” generated engagement with fans, becoming the #7 most-engaged-with Vevo music video of 2021 in the U.S.
That same month, ABBA announced a reunion and their first new album in 40 years, and their hits, such as “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me”, saw a 170% lift in U.S. views. In November, Taylor Swift’s catalog also jumped 5x as she released “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” the first 10-minute song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Remembering DMX and Young Dolph Through Music Videos
Fans turned to music videos to remember rappers DMX and Young Dolph, who passed suddenly this year. In April, DMX’s music video catalog saw 19x its usual viewership in the U.S., particularly around “I Miss You” (210% lift) and “Slippin’” (200% lift). Young Dolph’s catalog saw a 550% lift in the U.S. following his tragic shooting in November.
Social Media Platforms Foster Music Video Discovery and Rediscovery
The increasing popularity of social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram fostered the discovery of new music in 2021, in turn driving the search and viewership of music videos on Vevo. This was especially evident in reviving music videos from years, and even decades, prior, bringing previously-released music videos to new audiences in 2021. Some of this year’s top rediscovered Vevo music videos in the U.S., fueled by the likes of TikTok, include Mitski’s “Washing Machine Heart” (310% lift); Trinidad Cardona’s “Dinero” (520% lift); and J. Cole’s “She Knows” (710% lift), all of which were first released in the 2010s.
Coupled with this, consumers are increasingly seeking out and enjoying nostalgic content, evident in Vevo’s decades-based linear TV channels, such as Vevo 70s, Vevo 80s, Vevo 90s, and Vevo 2K, which consistently deliver high viewership. Older hits such as Boney M.’s “Rasputin (Sopot Festival 1979)” (270% lift), and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove Tonight” (580% lift), are also examples of music videos from prior decades that have made a comeback in 2021 in the U.S., particularly via TikTok dance challenges by younger generations.
More data and trends from Vevo’s 2021 review, including the most viewed music videos of the year, are set to be released later this month.
Vevo identified and analyzed music video viewership spikes from the end of 2020 through December 2021, comparing the current two-week rolling average vs. the prior two-month rolling average. The dates of these spikes were then matched with the current events and developments that drew viewers to these music videos.
(Source: Vevo Internal Analytics, Global and US 12/1/20-12/1/21 views.)
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Akon sued for $4 Million by former business partner

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Akon’s former business partner is suing the singer for refusing to pay him $4 million. (more…)

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Netflix Commits $1 Million towards Scholarships in Africa

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Netflix , the world’s leading entertainment streaming service, has  announced a commitment of US$1 million towards the newly-established Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF) for film and TV students in Sub-Saharan Africa. The scholarship fund forms part of Netflix’s global Netflix Creative Equity Fund  launched in 2021 to be allocated to various initiatives over the next 5 years with the goal of developing a strong, diverse pipeline of creatives around the world.

The scholarship fund will cover the costs for tuition, accommodation, study materials and living expenses at institutions where beneficiaries have gained admission to pursue a course of study in the TV & film disciplines in the 2022 academic year.

The Netflix CESF is targeted for rollout across the region in the academic year commencing in 2022, starting with an open call for applications in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, in partnership with social investment fund management and advisory firm Tshikululu Social Investments (https://bit.ly/3qLORX2) as implementing partner/fund administrator in Southern Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced in due course.

“Netflix is excited by the potential of the next generation of storytellers and we’re committed to investing in the future of African storytelling in the long-term,” says Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa. “We believe there are great stories to be told from Africa and we want to play our part by supporting students who are passionate about the film and TV industry so they too, can ultimately contribute to the creative ecosystem by bringing more unique voices and diverse perspectives to African storytelling that our global audiences find appealing.”

How it works:

The Netflix CESF is designed to provide financial assistance, through full scholarships, at partner higher educational institutions (HEI) in South Africa to support the formal qualification and training of aspiring creatives from a SADC region country that wish to study in South Africa, and are able to obtain the necessary permissions to do so. The following countries will be eligible: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the SADC region, the fund will be available to students who have obtained admission to study in various film & TV-focused disciplines, for the 2022 academic year, at the following partner institutions:

Students interested in applying for scholarships for the 2022 academic year will be able to find additional information, application criteria, a list of partner higher education institutions (HEI) and will be able to apply online on our fund manager and advisory partner, Tshikululu’s website (Tshikululu.org.za). Applications are now open until 04 February 2022 at 23h59 CAT.

The Netflix CESF will also benefit students from other parts of Africa – particularly East Africa as well as West and Central Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced, along with the calls for applications, in due course.

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Cummings Blasts Weah After Unprovoked Attack On Peaceful Protest

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Liberian opposition leader Alexander B Cummings has launched a stinging attack on President George Weah after government forces today launched an unprovoked attack on peaceful protesters in Monrovia, injuring multiple people.

 

The protesters displayed banners and posters calling for justice and indicating solidarity with Cummings, the leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), who is being prosecuted by the Government of Liberia on discredited, politically motivated charges of “forgery and criminal conspiracy”.

 

Cummings accused the Weah administration of abusing its authority to restrict Liberia’s political space ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.

 

“Today, thousands of Liberians took to the streets of Monrovia to exercise their right to peaceful assembly. This right is one of the cornerstones of Liberia’s democracy, bestowed to us through our constitution. These peaceful, lawful protesters have been tear-gassed, wounded, and arrested by police,” Cummings said.

 

“I have stood firm and calm when the government has violated my own democratic rights, through the manipulation of courts and casting false accusations. I cannot remain calm when the democratic rights of my fellow Liberians are violated, and law-abiding citizens are left bleeding on the streets on Liberia.”

 

Footage and pictures of the protest have been circulating widely on Liberian social media, showing multiple injuries and abuses by police.

 

Cummings, a former international business executive, called on Weah to govern in line with international democratic standards, or move aside in favor of others who can.

 

Cummings said, “The weak leadership of President Weah has brought the Liberian economy to the brink of collapse; the events at this protest, combined with the bogus charges levelled against me, is further evidence that he is now abusing his position and using every tool, including democratic institutions, at his disposal to cling to power. Enough is enough.”

 

The ANC leader called on his countrymen to defend the country’s young and hard-won democracy.

 

He said, “Now, I speak to all Liberians – whether my supporters or critics. Liberia cannot continue in this downwards spiral. Our democratic rights are not guaranteed. We – the upholders of democracy – need to protect them. Our chance to choose the government we deserve, and deliver the future we deserve to a future generation of Liberians, comes in 2023. I stand with you. I hear you.”

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Social audio platform Stationhead launches new web interface, a first for live social audio

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Live social audio platform Stationhead is now accessible via its new web interface, making it the first entry in the social audio space to allow users to broadcast their own streaming audio shows—fully integrated with streaming music—directly from the web without using an iOS or Android app. In the wake of the new web interface launch, host engagement has increased by 50%.
Stationhead’s new web platform provides users with the ability to integrate premium recording hardware, giving professional creators even more options. With over 3.5 million active users and 20k+ active hosts spending an average of more than two hours on-platform per day, Stationhead continues to expand and improve its capabilities for all users.
“Stationhead has exploded in popularity this year. Our exponential organic growth is a testament that radio needed to be reinvented for the world we’re living in today,” Ryan Star, CEO and co-founder of Stationhead, tells Billboard. He goes on to explain about the new web interface, “As we continue to grow, it is critical to give our users even more ways to stay connected with each other and for our hosts to be able to take it to the next level.”
Stationhead continues to see extensive adoption by top tier artists since its launch, with Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Megan Thee Stallion, Brandi Carlile and Raekwon all making live appearances on shows. Coldplay is now using Stationhead as their primary radio outlet, featuring broadcasts from members of the band, and Ed Sheeran and Halsey have also held listening parties via Stationhead while The Maine and Vanessa Carlton have established their own artist stations on the platform. Most recently, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak joined guest host D-Nice for a listening party debuting their new record as the superduo
Silk Sonic.
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2022 Grammy Awards rescheduled to April 3 in Las Vegas

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The 64th annual Grammy Awards have a new air date. (more…)

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Actors, Keith Powers and Ryan Destiny split after dating for 4 years

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Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers are calling it quits. (more…)

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