Latin star J Balvin is making waves on pretty much every digital platform: he even unseated Drake (briefly) as the most-listened-to artist on Spotify earlier this year. Now YouTube is celebrating his rise with its latest ‘artist spotlight story’ film, which debuted last night on the video service.

‘Redefining Mainstream’ covers Balvin’s path to reggaeton fame and fortune, and is hosted on his own channel. “I’m a YouTube artist, that’s how I started going to different places,” he said in a statement last night harking back to his early days. “At the time I didn’t have a label, everything was independent, so YouTube helped me a lot.  My first concert out of my country was Romania, and it was thanks to YouTube.”

YouTube video

Alongside the film’s launch, YouTube has published some data on Balvin’s performance on the platform. He’s the top dog on its Global Top Artist chart, with 211m weekly views – in fact, the top three of that chart is a Latin clean sweep with Ozuna (205m weekly views) and Bad Bunny (173m) joining him, with Drake down in fifth spot with 156m.

YouTube says that in 2018 so far, J Balvin has garnered 5bn views of his videos, while growing his channel’s subscribers to more than 17 million. The artist spotlight story isn’t having a drastic impact on that views total just yet: nearly eight hours after its debut on YouTube, it had been watched just over 177,000 times at the time of writing this bulletin.

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