When you look at certain YouTube channels, you’ll see some healthy views here and there that number into the tens and hundreds of thousands.  You’ll see a consistent amount of views across every video.  Every once in awhile, one will spike, and there’s usually a reason for that.  One reason is when a channel decides to parody a popular song.  Captain Sparklez has a channel that is pretty much dedicated to showing him play Minecraft.  He gets a great amount of views just from that, usually in the hundreds of thousands.  But when he marries Minecraft to a huge hit song, the views skyrocket.

Captain Sparklez’ Minecraft + Hit Song = Giant Views Formula

Captain Sparklez hasn’t done this all that much, really.  He collaborates with Try Hard Ninja (among others), who does the vocals and actually has a channel dedicated to combining songs and video games.  He does a whole lot of video games, though.  With Sparklez, it’s all about the Minecraft.  And this week he unleashed what might soon be his biggest hit, taking on PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” a video that has garnered over half a billion views since it was unleashed in July.

This one currently sits at over a million views after 1 day.  But it will be much higher in the future considering the first one Sparklez ever did took on Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” and blasted off to over 44 million views.  This one is called “TNT:”

His biggest hit to date took Usher’s “DJ Got Us Falling In Love.”  He called this one “Revenge” and it blew up to the tune of 66 million views:

And for good measure, he also leveraged Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and called it “Fallen Kingdom.”  This one garnered 35 million views:

Spiking Video Views via Unique Channel Entertainment Events

When you take something as popular as Minecraft and combine it with something else super popular, and can do it well, it can be a huge boon to your channel.

In all, Captain Sparklez’ channel has over 400 million views, and more than a quarter of them are due to these four videos.  There is something to be said for how infrequent he does this.  First off, the collaboration and the amount of work probably takes a very long time.  There’s a lot of planning, animation, music production: each of these videos shows a collaboration among at least 4 different channel creators.  It’s tough getting a bunch of people’s schedules lined up to do something like this.

But this also makes each one that comes out more of an “event.”  Captain Sparklez has no problem creating content.  His channel has over 600 videos, and they all do pretty well leveraging one popular form of entertainment.  Because he has only done four of these in two years makes them events, something to look forward to, and something very likely to be shared (it’s the kind of thing that the Gymkhana videos do: one big stunt video a year).  If he did this all the time, it would be tough to excite a bunch of people to share it week-to-week.

This kind of thing is something to keep in mind when running a channel.  You have your weekly content that keeps your fans and your future fans happy, but maybe you plan two or three “special” videos throughout the year that take advantage of tent-pole opportunities and popular entertainment.  Plan these videos like brands plan their Super Bowl ads, which is to say, far in advance in time for the big event getting leveraged.  It’s a good way to score a hit and get some more channel exposure.