“You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for you own pleasure.”
― John Berger, Ways of Seeing
Under Music News the Film Industry Network website just reported hours ago that “Pour It Up” twerk queen Rihanna is the first artist to reach 5 Billion views beating out Bieber and Eminem among VEVO YouTubers. Wait! They aren’t like us regular YouTubers. They got back! Big media junk in the trunk! So, all eyes on RiRi are not simply generated by her as a content creator! This is the big artillery of producing views as currency.
The average CPMs (cost per thousand views) on YouTube is $7.60. $7.60 x 5 billion views = 38 BILLION! dollars of ad revenues split by YouTube, VEVO, RiRi and her management. I think that answers the question in the title of her last single release What Now #ifitaintbroke. What Now, with its creepy, gothic video effects, has accrued over 93 million views since it was released on YouTube on November 15, 2013.
With nearly 14 million subscribers Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty (b. 1988), has the most popular VEVO channel among artists on YouTube. With 5 BILLION views she is just ahead of The Bieber who has 4.81 billion views but has over 4 million fewer subscribers. Lady Gaga has just over half RiRi’s total at 2.81 million viewers.
Rihanna has not released any new music videos on her VEVO channel this year despite breaking the 5 billion milestone. (Film Industry Network Staff).
MILEY SPOILER ALERT #youknowyoucare
In 2013, it was Miley Cyrus who snagged the title of the two most watched music videos of the year. The video of her twerking, “We Can’t Stop,” ranked No. 2 in a list of VEVO’s Top 10 Most Viewed Music Videos of 2013. Her music video “Wrecking Ball” came in No. 1 now with over 640 million views in 8 months. Rihanna’s “Diamonds” ranked No. 4 (thankfully well ahead of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and Pharrell) with 433+ million views accumulated since its 2012 YouTube release.
NET NEUTRALITY: INTERNET AS A PUBLIC UTILITY (remember Ma Bell)
As the challenge to net neutrality surfaces again, the issue of the Internet (incl YouTube) as a kind of public utility where the masses can exercise their free speech (and protest) unencumbered is about to be proposed to Congress again. This challenge if lost will “give mega-corporations like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon the green light to discriminate against content they don’t like,” according to Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorofChange.org. #searchaaronswartzandlearnmore
It is great that Rihanna has VEVO to drive eyes to her music videos as part of her image-making machinery. But most ordinary black girls won’t be able to use YouTube’s free distribution platform the same way is this issue gets passed they way the big corporations want it too as well as Obama (despite his campaign promises). Girls ages 13-17 and 18-24 may be able to make their own YouTube videos whether twerking selfies, hair videos, or other kinds of personal vlogs, but this net neutrality thing means reversing the inequality gaps that Twitter for instance has come to defy despite the existences of inequalities of race and sex (read about the power shift at the NYT this week). If net neutrality dies, it won’t hurt the few RiRi’s in the music industry–black women with power–but it will affect the Shaniquas trying to get locally paid via a YouTube channel.
WHAT NOW? WHAT I AM UP TO
This blog is becoming my platform to learn and to educate others about how YouTube, the music on YouTube and other aspects of participatory culture affects black girls content creation (or lack there of) esp. as it relates to the volunteer service I believe twerking as music videos provide for the likes of VEVO, mostly male rap artists like Juicy J (and his $50K scholarship contest) and now white female artists beyond rap, and even local brick and mortar and online businesses that trade on porn or strip clubs.
I found a playlist titled “Pretty Young Twerkers – Teen Black Girls Twerking Volume 2” on the channel MyBlackCrush that leads to a porn site. These were separate videos young girls made put into a playlist that brings views and surely ad revenues to a male YouTuber. Volunteer Service. Just giving it away and most girls probably don’t know it. I am trying to learn the discourse of YouTube to share here to educate girls how to better protect their online content, esp. content like twerking videos.
I am also exploring ways to upgrade girls video technical skills here with some how-to videos and a great idea coming real soon. What video techniques could black girl YouTubers borrow from Rihanna’s video to upgrade a twerking video beyond just vlogging with your back to the webcam? How might they give voice to the technical skills they could be developing their twerking videos.
That’s what I am thinking about tonight!
©2014 All photo copyright belongs to the blog author. Photos captured via iPhone.