Monday, March 4, 2013

No 'SNL bump' for Macklemore...but it doesn't really matter

Macklemore on SNL March 2nd, 2013

My earlier post compared the Macklemore Thrift Shop phenomenon to Psy's Gangnam Style, the first video to achieve 1 billion views on YouTube. With Macklemore's recent exponential growth on YouTube and topping of the charts in approximately a dozen countries, I wanted to compare the 2 examples and use the numbers to date to speculate whether or not the video for Thrift Shop was headed in the same direction. 

At the time of that writing Macklemore had just started netting a personal best of 2 million+ views a day for Thrift Shop, even though the song had already been out for 5 months. As is often the case with such phenomena it's not a single event that sends them into the stratosphere, but, rather, a coming together of factors like relentless touring, fan base cultivation, social media outreach, mainstream press coverage, and, yes, network television appearances.

Macklemore & Producer/DJ Ryan Lewis get their name on the big title card, SNL, March 2nd, 2013

This past Saturday Macklemore and his crew (he always bills himself as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, his DJ and producer, and with whom he reportedly splits 50% of revenues), were the musical guests on Saturday Night Live. While the show itself was not roundly loved by critics, Macklemore's energetic performance was well- received

Overall the show did well in the ratings, coming in as the #1 show of the night, beating out all prime time telecasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. In the recent past, Macklemore's appearances on network televisions shows such as Ellen and Late Night with David Letterman have created a significant lift in metrics such as YouTube views and iTunes sales. Being the musical guest on SNL often has a similar effect, particularly for up and coming acts.  So I watched the numbers closely, seeing if Macklemore would get the SNL bump and be rocket into the Gangnam region of 5 million YouTube views per day.

Here are the numbers for YouTube views of Thrift Shop for the past week:

New Views
Total Views
Sat. 2/23
1.96 million
119.4 million
Sun. 2/24
1.92 million
121.3 million
Mon. 2/25
2.29 million
123.6 million
Tues. 2/26
1.55 million
125.2 million
Wed. 2/27
1.84 million
127 million
Thurs. 2/28
1.83 million
128.8 million
Fri. 3/1
2.2 million
131 million
Sat. 3/2
2.2 million
133.3 million
Sun. 3/3
2.7 million
135.9 million
Mon. 3/4
2.46 million
138.4 million

While it is still early days, as you can see the SNL bump turned out to be more of an SNL nudge. On average, over the past week the daily view count for Thrift Shop increased from approximately 2 million to 2.4 million.  Nothing to sneeze at, of course. Numbers like these put the video in something like the top .00001% of all videos currently posted on YouTube.

This chart, retrieved at and current to 5 p.m. Eastern time on Monday March 4th, 2013 shows that searches on terms related to Macklemore continue to climb, so no plateau in sight yet.

For those seeking additional Macklemore edification in the meantime, there's this articlewritten following the SNL appearance, on his journey from the indie margins to the center, and this video that teaches you the sax part of Thrift Shop.  

Find the next post in this series here.