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Adele is Bigger Than Star Wars (According to YouTube)

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Adele certainly knows how to use the Force. Her video “Hello,” which was released a week ago today, has been viewed more than 90 million times. During the first 48 hours it was played more than 1 million times an hour. At its peak, Adele’s video was viewed 1.6 million times in one_hour! That beats the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had set a record of 1.2 million views during its peak hour.

For a video to have that kind of immediate impact online is extremely rare. Adele’s feat is even more significant because there were not months of hype and news releases over her album. It was pretty much – Hello, I’m back – and the entire world stopped to watch. For artists, this may be an example of the power of scarcity. We see so much of people like Beyonce and Justin Timberlake that we never have the opportunity to miss them. Adele had a smash hi, then made us wait 5 long years for her return, which in turn created another smash ht.

“Hello” also set a record for Vevo, another music video site. Vevo reported that its best single-day view total was on Friday, Oct. 23, with 27.7 million views. Vevo’s numbers combine data from their own Vevo.com site and their partner sites, including YouTube. The previous record-holder was Taylor Swift, whose celebrity-laden “Bad Blood” video debuted to 22 million viewers.

The video was shot by Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan and co-stars actor Tristan Wilds  who is best known from his role on HBO’s The Wire.  In addition to craving new music from Adele, viewers are clearly moved by the video’s story of broken love. This proves that people will still respond to a strong creative vision rather than an album, song or movie that seems test marketed to appeal to the widest possible audience. An artistic vision can still create a phenomenon, and in my book that’s a good thing.

Adele’s album “25” doesn’t come out until November 20 – unless some pirates get a hold of it and force an earlier release.

Bri is the founder and co-editor of What the Fangirl. She loves chai lattes, Disney and fairy tales.

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