Creating a viral sensation on YouTube

Sarah Greene

"Its a crazy amount of views," says Walk off the Earth member Sarah Blackwood. "But more and more people are watching YouTube now, so those numbers are going to be normal in the next 1 0 years." The band recorded the video at band member/producer/multiinstrumentalist Gianni Luminati s studio in one shot, a technique they often use to avoid complicated edits. Blackwood says the band tries to do things that people haven't done before in their videos. "Having tons of people on one instrument was an idea Gianni had wanted to put in a video for a long time," says Blackwood. "And when he heard that song, he said, 'this would be perfect.'" Music industry folk told [Dave Carroll] to enjoy his 15 minutes of fame, but the impact on his career has been much broader. "The real success isn't in the numbers on YouTube, it's the spinoff and exposure," says Carroll, who has since published a book about his experiences, created a website called Gripevine and done speaking engagements. "I'm told that over 1 50 million people know the story now," he says. "YouTube is just the thin edge of the wedge." "I got a call from my manager saying, 'You're not going to believe this, but "Cigarette" has been posted to the front page of YouTube,'" says [Jeremy Fisher]. The video went from 1,000 views to 100,000 views in hours. It's now at about 2.5 million.

Journal Words and Music
Year 2013
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 22-24

Greene, Sarah (2013) Creating a viral sensation on YouTube. In: Words and Music, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 22-24. Available at


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