K-pop group BLACKPINK breaks YouTube records, foretells the future of music

Mark Reynolds
Staff Writer

K-pop group BLACKPINK broke several YouTube Records when they released their single “Kill This Love” on April 4. 

“Kill This Love,” the first single off their new EP, debuted on YouTube Premiere, a service that allows artists to release a pre-recorded video that people can watch together live. The song peaked at 979,000 concurrent viewers and reached 56.7 million total views in its first 24 hours.

This surpassed the previous record-holder, Ariana Grande, whose single “thank u, next” had 829,000 concurrent viewers and 46 million views in the first 24 hours.

While the song itself has received mixed reviews, with some people saying that the song feels dull or underwhelming, there’s no denying its success. And a big part of that is due to how it was released.

YouTube Premiere is a prime example of the evolution of the internet. It combines the ease of access that the internet provides with the sense of community that you might get from going to a movie theater or a concert. It creates a sense of community. 

But live streaming is nothing new. Twitch.tv, a video-game focused streaming website, has been growing for many years, reaching 15 million daily active users as of May 2018. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have all adopted live streaming as well.

YouTube Premiere, however, has the benefit of being pre-recorded. This saves the creators the effort of committing to a live show, making it closer to a TV broadcast than a live stream, while still retaining the live chat features.

Interacting with like-minded people in real time creates powerful bonds. When Facebook released their live service, founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way.”

This personal connection is something that many people long for in an era where many of us have been separated from social situations because of the internet. And it makes sense that the music industry would want to do whatever they can to make more connections with and between fans.

In fact, Coachella has been streaming the festival to YouTube for nine years.  This year, Childish Gambino will premiere his new film “Guava Island,” co-starring Rihanna, during the stream. More filmmakers are sure to follow in his footsteps. 

YouTube’s data shows that “on average, when a creator premieres an upload it is more likely to perform better in terms of views compared to uploading normally.” So, it’s not surprising that almost every top pop star is using the feature. 

It’s clear that the internet is changing everything about music: from how we consume it, to how we create and share it. It seems that after such removal from physical media, like CDs, Vinyl and live music, people are searching for ways to reconnect. And in an over-crowded world, finding a community is becoming more important than ever.

Header photo courtesy of BLACKPINK’s Twitter.

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