May 25, 2010

Ray Stevens and those Viral Videos

Here's a glimpse of the plays that Ray Stevens' music videos on You Tube have obtained so far. As most longtime readers are aware I'm only factoring in the videos from "We The People" onward...

1. Come to the USA: 1,224,334
2. Throw the Bums Out!: 188,686
3. Caribou Barbie: 113,143
4. Thank You: 136,157
5. We The People: 3,106,658

Ray's been busy over the last several days...earlier today he participated in an interview on the Steve Gill radio program. A few days ago the first verse and chorus of "Come to the USA" music video was played on Bill O'Reilly's television show. There is a write-up featured on Ray's web-page in the News section and it's about the viral video success that Ray's been enjoying. In reality he's always had some success on You Tube...nearly all of the music videos that he's uploaded have at least a hundred thousand hits or more...but it wasn't until "We The People" and the millions of hits that the video enjoyed that more focus was given to Ray's on-line music videos.

So we come to the most recent video, "Come to the USA". I'm not above bragging...I was one of the people wishing that the song would become a music video when I heard it for the first time and to see it become a music video a couple of weeks ago was wonderful. I had this gut instinct that if it were released that it would possibly become as big of a viral video as "We The People" and from the looks of things that's indeed what may happen. For those who may have forgotten...the "We The People" music video achieved over 2,000,000 hits in a month's time. "Come to the USA" has been uploaded for almost 2 weeks and has 1,224,334 hits so far. Will history repeat itself? It certainly looks that way!

The fact that Ray's had million hit success with two music videos in the span of five months time, without the help of a major record label pushing the video's popularity, is an even bigger story. The fact that all of this viral video success has come without a mainstream advertising campaign is something more for critics to analyze. As was the case with "We The People", the cable television publicity and talk-radio publicity for "Come to the USA" didn't happen until the video reached nearly a million hits. It's tempting for the critics to say that the videos are only popular because they've been exposed on a Fox News program but the truth is the videos were highlighted on O'Reilly's show after they became sensations on the internet.

By-passing the conventional method of advertising is not something new to Ray Stevens. Think back to the early and mid 1990's...Ray was selling millions of home videos thanks to magazine, newspaper, and television commercials. Today it's almost the same scenario...Ray is getting his music out there by way of You Tube and in some cases millions of people are tuning in.

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