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Vevo’s Year-End Review Reveals How We Watched Pop Culture Moments in 2023

Ahead of its annual “most watched” charts, Vevo compiled the music videos that saw major viewership lifts around current events this year

NEW YORK, NY – November 30, 2023 – Vevo, the world’s leading music video network, today released its roundup of the top pop culture moments that drove music video viewership in 2023.

“Vevo is at the center of major pop culture moments, from what’s going viral on social media to awards shows on TV. Additionally, our vast global distribution means we are everywhere and audiences can turn to music videos no matter the device,” said JP Evangelista, SVP, Content, Programming & Marketing, Vevo. “Music videos show no signs of slowing down, driving trends and acting as a cultural lexicon for consumers. In fact, according to recent Vevo research, 84% of people say music videos play an important role in pop culture, with 63% trying to stay current with music videos to know what everyone is talking about.”

Viral Tracks on Social Media Boost Vevo Viewership

Social media remained a touchstone for music discovery in 2023, with 57% of people finding new music and artists on social platforms, according to the annual Vevo Media Tracker survey in the US. Further, 76% of consumers who discover new music on social media were likely to seek out and watch the music video for that song or others from the artist/band they discovered.

Examples of new releases that stirred up major social media buzz, include Tyla’s “Water”, which benefited from a viral dance challenge, and Victoria Monét’s “On My Mama”, due to its nods to southern rap and r&b music videos from the early 2000s. Victoria Monét's overall catalog also saw a massive +810% increase in global viewership on the day that the video for "On My Mama" released.

Older music videos that also benefited from social media include:

TV’s Halo Effect: Shows, Performances, Sports and More

In addition to social media, TV has also greatly aided discovery of music videos. In reality TV specifically, one couple’s joint love for Lee Ann Womack’s ‘00 hit “I Hope You Dance'' on Netflix' original series ‘Love is Blind’ gave the music video a +116% bump in global daily views. In October, on an episode of “The Kardashians'' on Hulu, momager Kris Jenner provided viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at starring in the music video for Meghan Trainor’s “Mother”, and Kardashian stans revisited the finished product the very day the episode aired (+165% lift in US views that weekend).

In sports, Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII iconic performance boosted the star’s overall music video viewership in the US 4.5x on Super Bowl Sunday alone. Notable video lifts include “Diamonds” (+327% lift in US views) and “Umbrella” (+629% lift in US views).

Nostalgia - Older Music Videos Rediscovered and Re-lived

Many classic music videos on Vevo were rewatched this year due to TV shows, films, comeback tours, anniversaries, and more. Per the Vevo Media Tracker, 79% of consumers said they love how music can help them remember and re-live the past.

For George Michael and Wham!’s music video catalogs in particular there were lifts following documentaries about the artists. When Channel 4 aired an emotional documentary in the UK about George Michael’s struggle with the tabloids in the late ‘90s, fans revisited his groundbreaking video for “Outside” (+1,003% lift in UK daily views, +606% lift in global daily views).

In July, when Barbie-mania took the world by storm, lifts were seen for Aqua’s classic “Barbie Girl” (+242% lift in global daily views), as well as for songs featured in the movie, like Indigo Girls‘ “Closer To Fine” (+556% lift in global daily views).

September marked the highly-anticipated return of groups, such as Blink-182, RBD, and *NSYNC. Blink-182, for example, channeled the energy from their reunion into new music, releasing multiple brand new songs from their upcoming album. On the release day of “One More Time,” the band’s Vevo viewership saw a huge spike, with over 6x their average daily views. After *NSYNC reunited on stage at the VMAs, fans rejoiced by visiting their music videos on Vevo, with a +82% lift in global daily views. Mexican group RBD, also known as Rebelde, embarked on their reunion tour after a 15-year hiatus, setting off a chain reaction in their Vevo viewership (+372% lift in US daily views, +180% lift in MX daily views, 221% lift in global daily views).

In October, pop legend Britney Spears released her memoir, and as fans finally read Britney’s own take, they turned to Vevo to watch the videos featuring the pivotal moments in her life, including “Everytime” (+2,612% lift in global daily views), “Me Against The Music” with Madonna (+122% lift in global daily views), and “Overprotected” (+102% lift in global daily views).

From Regional to Global

2023 was a big year for global music gaining new audiences. Vevo Media Tracker data revealed that language itself is no longer a barrier for enjoying music from other cultures. 61% of people in the US surveyed said they are interested in checking out music from around the world, with 59% saying they don’t need to understand the words in order to enjoy a song. 67% of consumers also said that music represents the best way to connect with and explore other cultures.

One example of this is the global exposure that Regional Mexican music is seeing this year. While the overall Latin genre remains popular worldwide, it has been especially influenced by a growing new wave of banda, corridos, sierreños, norteño, mariachi, and other Mexican subgenres from the likes of Ivan Cornejo and Christian Nodal, as well as through cross collaborations by stars, such as Maluma and Shakira.

“Music videos bring an artist’s vision to life, telling the stories of their music the way it was intended. At Vevo, we know the power of being able to light up sight, sound, and motion, giving audiences a place to watch culture unfold with new releases or a sense of nostalgia with our endless decade channels,” said Julie Triolo, SVP, Sales Marketing & Research, Vevo. “Further, music videos break barriers and provide a glimpse into other cultures and traditions around the world, leaving three-fourths of people feeling that music videos are representative of the world around them.”

African genres like Afrobeats and Amapiano have also expanded their audience through cross-genre collaboration, from pop to r&b to reggaeton. Newcomers Libianca (also on Vevo’s DSCVR Artists to Watch for 2024) and Tyla, as well as Tems, Davido, and Oxlade, are some of the most popular African artists on Vevo.

In Memoriam

In 2023, we said goodbye to several legends, including Tina Turner, Jeff Beck, Tony Bennett and Jimmy Buffett, and music fans celebrated their legacies through their music videos.

In July, for example, Sinéad O’Connor fans paid tribute to the trailblazing Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor by re-visiting her entire catalog on Vevo, with a +4,237% (or 43x) lift in US daily views, +4,318% (or 44x) lift in UK daily views, and a +3,985% (or 41x) lift in global daily views. Viewership also spiked for her iconic “Nothing Compares 2 U” video, which saw +3,941% (or 40x) lift in US daily views, +3,981% (or 40x) lift in UK daily views, and +3,999% (or 41x) lift in global daily views.


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