Ariana Grande is having a barnstorming end to the year with her ‘thank u, next’ track. Its official video debuted on YouTube on Friday, and by Saturday had set a new 24-hour record on the service with more than 50m views. By the time this bulletin was being written on Monday morning, the total was more than 88m.
Grande’s new video also capitalised on one of YouTube’s newer features: a ‘premiere’ encouraging fans to watch it for the first time together, while chatting. The ‘thank u, next’ premiere attracted 829,000 simultaneous viewers at its peak, breaking the platform’s record. Fans sent more than 516k chat messages during the premiere – also a record (although also a sign that a lot of those viewers were watching not chatting).
‘thank u, next’ was already the fourth biggest track on YouTube according to the platform’s global chart, whose last week covers 23-29 November (i.e. before the official video launched). To date, the audio version of the track has 44m views, while its lyric video has 45m.
It’s also interesting to note that this hadn’t been enough to crack YouTube’s top-10 artists chart – Grande’s 115m total views in the 23-29 November week made her 12th in the platform’s rankings: eighth-ranked Queen aside, the top 10 was packed with Indian (Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Neha Kakkar, Kumar Sanu and Arjit Singh) and Latin American (Ozuna, Bad Bunny, J Balvin) artists.
That’s an exciting twist on common assumptions about who the biggest artists are on global music-streaming services, although Grande will certainly be high up in the top 10 this week once the figures for the ‘thank u, next’ official video are counted in her total views.
There is another significant platform where Ariana is the top artist, though: Spotify. That’s thanks to her 48.8 million monthly listeners on that service, pulling her ahead of Selena Gomez (45.4 million). A chart-battle that Spotify will surely approve of, given past criticism of the male-dominated year-end top-artist charts on its service.
(Not to leave platforms out: Pandora’s analytics show that Grande’s music has generated 50.6m streams from 8.3 million unique listeners over the last 28 days on that service, although ‘thank u, next’ is only 23rd in its rankings at the time of writing.)