The Power of YouTube: Adele's 'Hello' Reaches Over a Billion Views

Adele has set records that the music industry believed no artist could ever approach. Her latest album, “25,” topped the Billboard 200 for six weeks and had sales in excess of 7.4 million in 2015. Her U.S. tour, which will last from July through November, will be sold out at every stop. Her most impressive achievement, however, may that the video for the album’s most popular song, “Hello,” has reached 1.02 billion views on YouTube.

The number does not just show the power of Adele. It also says something about YouTube, which Google bought in August 2006 for $1.65 billion. The amount now seems to be a ridiculous bargain.

Put in context, Michael Jackson’s wildly popular video “Thriller” has been viewed 295.3 million times on YouTube. Katy Perry’s “Road” has been viewed 1.23 billion times, but it has been on the video site for over two years.

The YouTube numbers are not just a testament to Adele. They also show the power of Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) video site, which is by far the most widely visited in the United States. comScore’s tally of video visits each month puts the total of Google video activity (almost all of which is YouTube) at 181 million unique viewers in December. That is against the total U.S. Internet unique viewers of 197 million. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) ranked second at 88.4 million unique views.
Quoted in the Telegraph:

“If anyone deserves it, it’s Adele and that song,” said Susanne Daniels, the head of original programming at YouTube.

Deserved or not, it is a record.