"Unlikely" singing sensation Susan Boyle is now a bona fide Translatlantic internet celebrity. Online analytics firm Visible Measures, which on Friday told Mashable it had recorded 47 million views for videos of the Britain's Got Talent contestant, now tells the blog it revised the measure to 93.2 million by Sunday night, likely busting through the 100 million mark today. On Saturday alone, Boyle got 15.6 million views, and another 30 million on Sunday, with video comments also doubling to 250,000.
ITV (LSE: ITV) told paidContent:UK: "Page views on ITV.com topped 1.6 million on Saturday and 1.7 million on Sunday. Video views went over the one million mark on Sunday for the first time (960,000 clips, 125,000 via catch-up), beating the total for the final last year of 900,000." This year's first week of Britain's Got Talent has seen video views rise to four million, uniques to 1.4 million and page views to 7.6 million - each around a sevenfold increase from the same time last year.
With interviews on Larry King and Oprah and front-page newspaper stories all in the space of a week, Boyle has not only become a phenomenon at home - thanks to internet video, she's become successful in the US quicker than The Beatles. Piers Morgan told King: "What's astounding is the speed and the breadth of her success. I've been getting calls from China, Russia, Australia, all around America, all around Europe - Susan Boyle has gone from total obscurity, in the space of five days, to global superstar. (Simon Cowell's) eyes have been going kah-ching... I think we're going to see a number-one album around the world, a world tour."
Boyle-Mania certainly validates ITV and format owner FremantleMedia's talent franchise - but, with so many outlets getting their piece of Boyle, and YouTube - rather than ITV.com - driving her fame, they will want to ensure they both take learnings and get their fair share. Last week, ITV told us: "We understand people will go to YouTube, but it starts with the TV content. Without the TV content, they wouldn't have anything to put up there. Social networks have a role to play in driving that content - but it drives people back to TV and to ITV.com - it's pushing people back to find more professional content online. Our video views for Britain's Got Talent are up over 200 percent from last year."
By Robert Andrews