The latest artist having a spotlight shone upon their work by YouTube is Shawn Mendes, tying in with his new (self-titled) album. YouTube has produced an ‘Artist Spotlight story’ about Mendes, who like some of the other artists picked out for YouTube marketing content in recent times, picked up an audience early on the platform.
Although YouTube’s claim that Mendes’ fanbase “stemmed from his early YouTube uploads covering other artists” is rather writing Vine out of history: Mendes came to many fans’ notice with his cover clips on Twitter’s shortform-video app.
Anyway, the emphasis in the YouTube mini-documentary is on that platform’s role: “I wasn’t dreaming about stadiums, or Grammys. I was dreaming of my friends being like, ‘That’s very cool. I love that. You sounded great.’ I just wanted to be that guy who sang and played guitar on YouTube,” said Mendes in YouTube’s launch blog post.
YouTube notes that Mendes has 15.7 million subscribers to his channel and 2.2bn views in the last 12 months. Two and a half days after its launch on his channel, the Artist Spotlight story has just over 1.7m views – which suggests that the audience for these stories may be a bit more limited than for his music videos.