YouTube powers BRITs 2019 to record livestream figures

YouTube powers BRITs 2019 to record livestream figures

YouTube’s livestream of the BRIT Awards pulled in a phenomenal 3.98 million unique views – almost as many as watched the show on terrestrial TV.

The figure was up from last year’s 1.5m viewers and set a new livestream record for the event as the BRITs posted a host of impressive digital figures that illustrate the event’s growing international appeal.

The number of followers across the BRITs’ social media accounts grew by 12% to 3.375m, while the Facebook red carpet livestream received 5.9m views in its first five days for an overall reach of 34.5m, up 14% on 2018. Views on the BRITs Instagram story were also up 46%, while specially produced gifs from Giphy reached total views of 96.2m. On Twitter, nearly 750,000 tweets were sent about the show (+224%) while video views totalled 5.2m and there were 2.6m likes.

But it’s that livestream figure that will really catch the eye of the industry, falling just short of the live TV audience of 4.1m and justifying the BPI’s partnership with YouTube Music as the official music app of the event, despite the chequered history between the two companies. YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen spoke exclusively to Music Week last week about the importance of UK music’s flagship awards ceremony, while the huge international views came despite a UK-centric artist line-up that nonetheless managed to generate plenty of highlights. Mexico, the US, France, Italy and Brazil provided the Top 5 biggest international audiences.

“The BRITs is such an important moment for the UK and the global music scene and we are so pleased to see such incredible viewership of the livestream on YouTube,” said Cohen. “Ensuring that people all over the world have access to recognise the incredible talent coming out of the UK is hugely important and we are happy to support both the artists and the industry on this effort."

“It’s great to see all our strategic planning and hard work rewarded with such a large increase in the BRITs online audience - a positive trend we hope will continue to build strongly in line with our commitment to constantly evolve the show so that it always serves the fans that watch it,” added the BPI’s director of digital, Giuseppe De Cristofano. “I would like to thank all our partners, not least YouTube Music for their campaign integration and support and for their fantastic promotional activity around the BRITs, which really helped us to move the needle. We will continue to strive to promote British music around the world and to bring fans ever closer to the artists they love.”

“I’m thrilled to see a boost in online audience for the BRITs 2019,” said Dorothy Hui, VP of digital for Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative division, who worked on the campaign as chair of the BRITs digital committee. “We’re grateful for the massive on- and off-platform support from YouTube Music to help us achieve this. With the incredible continued support from our social partners over the years, the BRITs have continued to build stronger connections with fans around and beyond the show, enabling the dialogue around British music to continue year-round.”

Meanwhile, Lusi Fonsi's Despacito has set a new YouTube record for becoming the first video to reach 6 billion views on the platform. At its peak the video racked up 25.7 million views in a single day, and is averaging  2.8 million daily views in 2019 so far. 

* To read the full, exclusive interview with Cohen, see this week’s edition of Music Week, available now, or click here. To read showrunner Jason Iley's views on the future of the BRITs, click here. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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