Boyle Embeds Banned As Talent Follow-Up Nears Another Record

YouTube has begun blocking embedding of all Britain’s Got Talent clips at TV rightsholders’ request, just as Susan Boyle’s follow-up performance has come close to setting another record for video views.

The move affects not just clips from the current round of semi-finals but also the early rounds that made Boyle an internet star. Whilst her I Dreamed A Dream rendition became the fastest growing viral video ever, YouTube now displays the message “Embedding disabled by request” on hundreds of Talent videos uploaded over the course of the ITV (LSE: ITV) series – effectively killing off the “long tail” of views the videos would have continued to enjoy from third-party sites carrying YouTube’s video player – and limiting the likelihood the latest clips will propagate in the same way.

If you thought the online video record set by Susan Boyle’s first Britain’s Got Talent couldn’t be matched by her follow-up, check these stats published by the company that best measured her ascent first time around…


Five days since the TV performance, Boyle’s semi-final stab at Memory has already hit 90 percent of the viral video views that her debut I Dreamed A Dream clocked up in the same period last month, says Visible Measures – that’s 16.8 million views, over 30,000 comments and over 700 embeds.

In other words, the buzz Boyle picked up first time around meant her sophomore effort nearly equalled her original, which itself was the fastest growing viral video ever. I Dreamed A Dream has a long tail – it’s now up to 235.5 million views, says Visible Measures, which monitors more than 150 video sharing sites.

Britain’s Got Talent distributor FremantleMedia has a non-UK YouTube partnership in which it uses the site’s ContentID system to find and “claim” Talent videos, even unofficial copies, on which to place its own ads. It’s not clear what the thinking is behind banning embeds; ITV could gain from its stated aim to push traffic instead to and YouTube, whose in-stream advertising efforts are nascent, could benefit from display ads around Talent videos on its own site. We’ve asked for comment…