“Gangnam Style” achieved 1 billion views in just over three months, a milestone that took Justin Bieber’s “Baby” two years to achieve. Korea is a very active YouTube market and an obvious factor in its success, but what else accelerated that virality?
It was the expansion outside Korea that really made the difference, since he was always popular in Korea. I think it was the acceleration driven by social networking today. It’s possible that if Justin Bieber’s “Baby” had come out tomorrow it might have had much more rapid growth — if you just think about, in the last two years, the number of people joining Twitter, joining Facebook, there’s just that much of a greater multiplication effect of anything that happens to become popular at that moment. But it does show art and culture and talent is not limited to nor should it be dominated by any geographic culture or country — it’s completely an open playing field for the next big star. It gives people hope to experiment and try. The other important thing is our technology has developed in the last few years. If you get that link sent to you on an email, or it’s embedded on a Facebook page or a text message, if that link arrives to you no matter where you are in which country it should just work. We’ve spent a lot of time on our technology so that the consumption experience is seamless to the user. It should be completely device agnostic. Two years ago we did not have as many connected TV apps or as robust of an iPhone app as we do today. We did not have all the different tables that we now have.
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