Star Wars launched the second trailer for the newest installment of the series “The Force Awakens” on April 16th, much to the joy of ecstatic fans everywhere. The YouTube channel that it was posted to was seeing slow growth prior to the posting, but since then it has absolutely exploded – and many other creators are seeing an uplift in views and engagement for content created around the buzz. As part of our weekly TubularLabs Insights series, we took a look at how the Star Wars channel was faring prior to posting this trailer. If you haven’t seen the teaser – here it is:

The official Star Wars YouTube channel was gaining around 200-600 subscribers each day at a fairly stable pace for the past 90 days (and earlier). Once the official teaser for ‘The Force Awakens’ was published, the channel immediately jumped up over 100k subscribers over the next 48 hours as the trailer generated massive buzz across the internet. According to exclusive TubularLabs data, that particular YouTube trailer has attracted over 41 million views in just 4 days (at time of writing). Official Star Wars teaser content across all video platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, has generated 87.3 million plus views in the last week.

star wars channel growth post trailer

Subscriber and View Growth – Star Wars YouTube Channel. (Data via Tubular Labs)

If you add views relating to EA’s ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ announcement, or user-generated content to the mix, then the numbers are even more impressive. Taking all video uploads relating to ‘Star Wars’ into account for the last 7 days, public’s appetite for video content relating to one of the world’s most loved film franchises has generated over 180 million views – and the numbers continue to rise.

Tubular Insights: Star Wars Content is Generating Huge Engagement for Many Creators

This sort of performance is absolutely expected when a major announcement is made, especially for something as iconic as the Star Wars series. The knock-on effects of posting the trailer online are tremendous though, as any channel/creator that even remotely talks about Star Wars is seeing growth. Perhaps the best example of this is director/writer/producer Óskar Arnarson and his fantastic video of Matthew Mcconaughey’s reaction to the Star Wars teaser. It has nabbed him nearly 7.5M views.

This video is a perfect example of how important it is to capitalize on trends as they happen. Óskar was quick to react to the posting, getting his creative spoof up the same day, so the closer the beginning of a major trend you can join in, the more likely you are to benefit from the effects of it. That’s why it is so important for marketers who wish to capitalize on trends to trust the content creators who live and breathe the video space. Any delay in production and the buzz around a trend could be quickly lost.

The official Star Wars’ channels also planned well enough for this event, by posting the trailer to 8 different channels based in various countries – and by posting new content to the EAStarWars account on the same day. The Star Wars main channel has also been quick to post related content from the Star Wars celebration in Anaheim to keep viewers stuck to the channel and engaged about the upcoming movie release. Following up a hit video with additional content helps viewers remain engaged and gives them reason to stay subscribed to a channel.

How Creators/Brands Can Create Content Around Major Announcements or Tentpole Events 

Everyone from Phil deFranco, to America’s Funniest Home Videos, to Nerdist created video content around the Star Wars trailer this week. We take a look at some at three creators and the videos they produced:

Jeremy from Cinema Sins couldn’t hide his excitement about the trailer and posted it to his personal channel, and this trending topic was able to give his channel one of the bigger boosts it’s seen since its initial promotion from the main CinemaSins channel. Trending topics are a great way to boost the profile of primary/secondary channels, regardless of the content you usual discuss.  I can only imagine the success the video could have had with the push of the main channel behind it, despite the fact the CinemaSins channel does not cover trailers.

HelloGreedo I find particularly interesting because the trailer directly caused a huge bump in his stats, despite the fact he didn’t even post anything that would capitalize off of the trend. Well, except his entire channel, which is Star Wars based.

The growth his channel enjoyed shows a statistic I’ll refer to as the “happy accident”. Despite your efforts, sometimes your best growth will come in the form of a “happy accident” when related content gains social traction. This is the reason why we advise content creators to continue the grind of posting content, even when the results in their statistics are not what they had hoped to see. If you are confident what you are posting is high quality, sometimes all it takes is the right trending topic to bring new fans to your content.

Star Wars HQ is a gaming channel that focuses on Star Wars Battlefront 3 related gaming videos. They posted a copy of the same trailer posted to the Star Wars channel on their own that served a two-fold purpose and was likely done in partnership with Star Wars. As their audience has a fair overlap, posting the trailer to their channel served to alert a core audience loyal to the Star Wars franchise that the trailer was out, creating buzz for the movie trailer. But it also served to give the channel itself a boost by sharing the popularity with the trending trailer and giving them credibility as a Star Wars related source of information.