In the first 24 hours of Weezer’s YouTube invasion, timed to promote its new album Hurley, multiple videos featuring cameos by the band earned a combined five million views, with Ray William Johnson’s Ray It Ain’t So leading the pack.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Weezer’s presence had a huge impact on the performance of those videos: Johnson’s contribution to the project so far, for example, is his standard news roundup, which barely features the band and now has 2.2 million views. That’s on par with previous installments of Johnson’s =3 series; last week’s episode is currently at 4.4 million views.
However, those YouTube stats are going to climb even further, as not all of the Weezer/YouTuber collaborations have been posted yet, and two of the YouTubers who have yet to launch their videos are Mystery Guitar Man and Annoying Orange, both of whom command huge audiences.
But has the project actually done anything for sales? Well, Billboard won’t release its numbers for the first week of sales until next week, and the whole process is hard to track accurately. Based on first day sales, Hurley looks on track to sell 45,000-50,000 albums in its first week (way behind the new Linkin Park album).
Predictions based on first day sales may not accurately reflect where the album actually lands on the charts, but even 50,000 albums sold in the first week would still be low. The band’s last album, Raditude, moved 66,000 units in its first week. So we won’t know for sure until next week, but right now it’s not looking good.
Why haven’t those viewing numbers translated to album sales? Well, I have a humble theory. I’ve watched at least a half dozen of these videos, and I don’t remember hearing one Weezer song from the new album in any of them. Weezer is doing a great job of pushing their brand to the YouTube audience here, but they seem to have forgotten to sell the music while they were at it.
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