- Childish Gambino’s video for “This Is America” is taking the internet by storm and has 34 million views after two days.
- Its number of views has already surpassed that of some videos YouTube labeled the top trending uploads of 2017.
- “Trending” videos are classified by more than just views, as the ones with the most views are almost exclusively pop songs.
- It has 6 million more views than “Children interrupt BBC News interview,” which was No. 10 on the list, and it’s fast closing on the No. 9 video.
- The level of buzz and coverage “This Is America” has generated suggests it is likely to go some distance more.
Childish Gambino’s viral hit “This Is America” is taking over the internet with its infectious combo of catchy pop and searing commentary on gun violence.
And data from YouTube shows how the video, posted over the weekend, is blowing up faster than some of the top trending videos of last year.
At the time of writing, “This Is America” had a view count of 34,295,632 and was the No. 1 video on YouTube’s “trending” page by a substantial margin.
That puts it ahead of some of the videos YouTube judged in December to be the top trending videos of 2017.
It is worth noting that YouTube uses criteria other than total views – such as shares, comments, and likes – to define whether something is trending.
“This Is America” is not yet in the same league as pop videos like “Despacito” and “Gangnam Style,” which have billions of views.
The sheer dominance of pop music in YouTube’s all-time views charts is most likely part of the reason YouTube maintains a tweaked “trending” ranking, to be able to highlight content with social impact.
In this arena, “This Is America” is already asserting itself.
It already has more views than the No. 10 trending video of 2017, “Children interrupt BBC News interview,” in which the North Korea expert Robert Kelly is interrupted mid-commentary by his kids. The official version of that video, published more than a year ago, has 27.7 million views.
“This Is America” is very close to the No. 9 video on the 2017 list, the short animation “In a Heartbeat,” which has a total of 36.1 million views after nine months.
Based on the acres of commentary and coverage “This Is America” has generated – and its relatively long-term themes – it could be around for a while yet. Or the video could peak, stall, and sit at a total not much greater than the one it is at already.
YouTube and Vevo, the company that put the video on YouTube, did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for more information.