How exactly do I approach this?  What we’re seeing from PSY’s new video, “Gentleman,” is that it’s breaking lots of records when it comes to “view count in such-and-such amount of time.”  Kevin Allocca from YouTube Trends made note that “Gentleman” set the record for most views in a day, with 38 million, on April 14, beating the previous record set by KONY 2012, which took in a measly 30 million one day last year.  Many noted last week how incredible this new video was doing.  But what we’re seeing here is a simple phenomenon: after 1.5 billion views from “Gangnam Style,” records were inevitable.

PSY Enjoys Another Huge Hit: But Do People Like It?

“Gentleman” has a lot of the same beats and goofiness of “Gangnam Style.”  It’s currently looking at about a 5:1 like-dislike ratio, which I think is normal for a pop star who probably irks a great many people.  By comparison, “Gangnam Style” sits around 10:1 in that category.

I’ve seen this phenomenon quite a bit in the movie industry.  Many times, you’ll see an original movie do really well at the box office after it gains an audience over time.  Then the sequel comes out and everyone who enjoyed the first movie comes out to watch the sequel on the first weekend.  It’s that audience that took months, possibly years, to build all coming in at once in three days.  Therefore, you see record-breaking weekend numbers for a sequel when the original did not accomplish any major feats.  And many times, the sequel is far inferior to the original.  The amount of money made in a certain period of time does not tell us how good the movie is.  I think the same thing can be applied to videos and views.

When a video becomes a huge hit, and becomes part of the culture, as “Gangnam Style” did, and it plays for months without anything new (but basically keeping people clicking and watching), anticipation builds for a second video.  Honestly, PSY had already done this somewhat when he released a second “Gangnam Style” featuring the pretty lady that we saw briefly in the first video:

It also saw a pretty big rise (over 300 million views), based entirely on the success of the first video, and “more of the same, with more pretty girl singing.”  PSY not only got the 1.5 billion views from the original video, but hundreds more millions from different versions.

So “Gentleman” sits at 217 million views after 1 week.  Here’s the chart YouTube Trends made for the video’s daily views:

psy chart

It had a huge peak on April 14, one day after its release.  And the number is going down, but realize that on April 21, it was being watched 10 million times.  Still amazing.  I think the tune is catchy enough, and the video bizarre enough, for this to be a special kind of hit.  It does seem, though, that PSY is a fad, and this whole thing should lose steam over time, because it doesn’t seem like he has a following for his music, exactly.  But I’m sure more records will fall in the next few months with “Gentleman.”  It might not mean as much as everyone is making it out to be, but it’s still an interesting success story.