The release of PSY’s new single ‘Gentleman’ is understandably being seen as a key test for the South Korean rapper, in terms of his ability to match (or at least not fall too far short of) the ‘Gangnam Style’ phenomenon. Yet it’s just as big a test for YouTube, whose eagerness to trumpet itself as the platform that made that previous phenomenon brings its own pressures with the follow-up. No surprise, then, to see YouTube hailing the early performance of ‘Gentleman’ on its service, with 200m views in its first week, including setting the record for most views ever in a single day – 38m on 14 April. “For some added perspective, ‘Gentleman’ was seen 100 million times in less than 4 days in regions all over the world, a milestone that it took ‘Gangnam Style’ nearly two months to achieve,” explains YouTube’s blog post. What’s left unsaid, though, is that ‘Gangnam Style’s rocketing growth came *after* that point, whereas YouTube’s own graph of daily views shows ‘Gentleman’ declining steadily since 14 April to 10m daily views by 21 April. That’s still a big number, of course, but it’s too early to tell if YouTube’s belief that ‘Gentleman’ “raises the bar” will hold true in the longer term.
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