The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Frumpy Scottish Singers

April 20, 2009

Like most of my friends and family, I was dimly aware of Susan Boyle last week from stories I was ignoring in various media.

Then while reading the Saturday New York Times I stumbled upon “Unlikely Singer Is YouTube Sensation,” and finally got a handle on what all the fuss was about. I watched the YouTube video, and will gladly admit I found myself deeply moved for the myriad reasons that the press has been reporting.

The U.K.’s Guardian featured an excellent commentary on the tale by Tanya Gold last week, which begins: “Is Susan Boyle ugly? Or are we?”

Then in today’s Advertising Age I found a column that makes the story pertinent to the future of publishing, and gave myself permission to join the Boyle chorus. Called “Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned From Susan Boyle,” and subtitled with the name of my blog entry, columnist Simon Dumenco “lays out how you too can glean insight from a 47-year-old woman who lives with her cat, Pebbles, and, oh yeah, sings.”

Point #7 in the column is the most interesting, pointing to a press release issued today by Visible Measures. You can read their complete analysis on their blog, which reports that “As of this morning, Susan Boyle has officially crossed the 100 million views mark in viral video. She’s done this with over 850 clips related to her performance on Britain’s Got Talent, interviews with numerous news organizations, and her rendition of “Cry Me A River” from 1999. These videos have produced 290,000 comments.”

An article on Reuters Blog, also quoting Visible Measures, states that “Boyle has yet to reach the Internet success of singer Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body,” a video that has been seen 164 million times since it was posted online a little more than a year ago.”

Boyle video views grew from under 50 million last Friday to over 100 million today. My money is on this becoming the most-viewed video ever, a unique phenomena as we continue to reinvent publishing.

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