In less than a week, Adele's debut of her new single reached a milestone it takes most major music videos months to achieve. "Hello" crossed 100 million views in just five days, making it the fastest video to reach it in 2015. It's the second-fastest video ever to hit that mark, trailing only "Gentleman," PSY's 2013 follow up to the global smash hit "Gangnam Style," which did it in four.
Four of the five quickest videos to cross that threshold are from female artists. Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," Shakira and Rihanna's "Can't Remember to Forget You," and Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" all saw explosive viewership for their much-discussed releases.
The 100 million-view mark was famously first crossed by another female singer, Avril Lavigne, whose original video for "Girlfriend" crossed in 2008.
Adele's earlier singles took longer to hit 100 million, and the explosive speed at which her latest release took off speaks to the scale of the audience of fans she's developed since.
The numbers here also speak to the global fanbase Adele has acquired. Over the weekend, "Hello" was the most-viewed video in 92 different countries ranging from Brazil, Greece, South Africa, France, Canada, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Late last week, two of music's biggest stars dropped new singles, both of which saw explosive viewership numbers within hours of their release.
Over three years after her most-recent upload, Adele released the video for her new single "Hello" in the early hours of Friday morning (approximately 12amPT). Within 48 hours, it had been viewed 50 million times, making it the biggest debut of any video on YouTube in 2015 and one of the most-watched music video debuts of all time.
In fact, "adele hello" was, by far, YouTube's top search on Friday and Saturday, and the video garnered as much as 1.6 million views in a single hour, averaging over 1 million views per hour over the first two days.
(For comparison, the release of the massively anticipated full trailer for "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" peaked at 1.2 million views per hour.)
Meanwhile, Justin Bieber scored another massive debut -- third-largest music video debut of 2015 -- and did so... without being in the video. The release -- designated as a "dance video" -- for the song "Sorry" was seen approximately 20 million times in its first 48 hours.
Both releases also helped grow these artists' respective YouTube audiences considerably as well, with Adele gaining over 400,000 subscribers over the weekend and Bieber picking up over 150,000 in the three days following his new vid.
If you're one of the handful of people who have missed these two premieres, you can see them both below.
Wiz Khalifa and his video "See You Again" hit a milestone this week, becoming the tenth video ever to cross 1 billion views on YouTube. At 184 days, "See You Again" is the second-fastest video to hit 1 billion in YouTube history (after “Gangnam Style”), and the quickest of the past year. Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s tribute to the late Paul Walker joins what appears to be an ever-accelerating trend in billion-view videos.
For ten years, the Billion View Club was one of the most exclusive circles on YouTube, but in 2015, things changed. At the start of this past June, only two videos had reached that echelon. But in just the past six months, EIGHT additional videos crossed the mark. Here are the videos ranked by views with a graph showing the trajectory of these videos over the past five years.
As you can see below, the rate at which videos are accelerating to this milestone appears to be increasing as well. The average number of days it took for a video to cross 1 billion is 484 days, but of the videos that have done it, the three most recent crossed it at an average of 241 days.
Other fun facts:
In what may be a surprise to Americans, Enrique Iglesias' "Bailando" became the second non-English video to cross 1 billion views. According to YouTube Music Insights, one-third of Iglesias' views come from Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina alone.