Carpool Karaoke: From Snackable Content to Viral Phenomenon

Carpool Karaoke: From Snackable Content to Viral Phenomenon

‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ has become massively successful in the three years since it premiered, due in a large part to its online audience. Considering the most-viewed ‘Late Late Show’ video has received a whopping 161 million views just over a year since it was first uploaded, one can assume most people have heard of the show segment called ‘Carpool Karaoke’ (and yes, it was the Adele round of karaoke that garnered all of those views): ‘The Late Late Show’ wasn’t the first program of its kind to create bite-sized segments that caught the attention of the online community (Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon have been entertaining us for years on various online platforms). Last August, ‘Late Late Show’ executive producer Ben Winston gave an interview with thedrum.com where he explained how the approach of the show is, “that it launches at midnight but ultimately it should be consumed how you want it – be it catch-up, digitally or on your phone.” Although the goal of show-related online content has always been to draw more viewers to the show, it is very rare that a program’s base audience is generated online and that online audience eventually becomes responsible for the TV show becoming a hit. We can also confirm what other ‘Late Late Show’ content has hit online and try and understand why that content has been so successful. 3 of those 4 carpools are the 3 most viewed ‘Late Late Show’ videos uploaded to YouTube in the last 90 days. The Harry Styles Carpool Karaoke, uploaded on May 19, was the most viewed ‘Late Late Show’ segment uploaded to YouTube in the last 90 days with a whopping 22.2 million views. If we go back and look at the most popular ‘Late Late Show’ videos uploaded to YouTube in the last 365 days, 9 of the top 10 most viewed clips are for ‘Carpool Karaoke’. 39.9 million of the former first lady’s carpool views occurred in the first 30 days from when the segment was uploaded and the video received 2.5 times the average engagements per view rate in its first 30 days online. So combining the movie elements with a video type that’s been proven to work online is a surefire way to fin success with ‘The Late Late Show’s’ social media audience. Take the fifth most viewed ‘Late Late Show’ video uploaded to YouTube in the last 90 days.

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‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ has become massively successful in the three years since it premiered, due in a large part to its online audience. Considering the most-viewed ‘Late Late Show’ video has received a whopping 161 million views just over a year since it was first uploaded, one can assume most people have heard of the show segment called ‘Carpool Karaoke’ (and yes, it was the Adele round of karaoke that garnered all of those views):

‘The Late Late Show’ wasn’t the first program of its kind to create bite-sized segments that caught the attention of the online community (Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon have been entertaining us for years on various online platforms). However, one could argue that ‘Carpool Karaoke’ is actually responsible for the attention and acclaim that the ‘Late Late Show with James Corden’ has received and that this juggernaut segment has become a mandatory part of A-list artists’ press appearances.

Last August, ‘Late Late Show’ executive producer Ben Winston gave an interview with thedrum.com where he explained how the approach of the show is, “that it launches at midnight but ultimately it should be consumed how you want it – be it catch-up, digitally or on your phone.” Although the goal of show-related online content has always been to draw more viewers to the show, it is very rare that a program’s base audience is generated online and that online audience eventually becomes responsible for the TV show becoming a hit. Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon began with television audiences and then added to those audiences via viral content, but Corden started his show on CBS as a relative unknown in the US and a huge number of people are now tuning in because they saw ‘Carpool Karaoke’ online and wanted more. This is a new model for growing a TV show’s viewership.

Of course, ‘Carpool Karaoke’ is now a stand-alone show (much like Lip Sync Battle is a spin-off of the popular Jimmy Fallon segment), but James Corden is still very much in the driver’s seat (literally), and the new carpools still act as a gateway to the ‘Late Late Show’. Using data from Tubular, we took a look at which ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segments had the most success online and why. We can also confirm what other ‘Late Late Show’ content has hit online and try and understand why that content has been so successful.

‘Carpool Karaoke’ Kings and Queens

4 of the top 10 most viewed videos uploaded by ‘The Late Late Show’ to YouTube in the last 90 days are ‘Carpool Karaoke’ clips. 3 of those 4 carpools are the 3 most viewed ‘Late Late Show’ videos uploaded to YouTube in the last 90 days. The Harry Styles Carpool Karaoke, uploaded on May 19, was the most viewed ‘Late Late Show’ segment uploaded to YouTube in the last 90 days with a whopping 22.2 million views. However, Ed Sheeran’s appearance on ‘Carpool Karaoke’, which was uploaded to YouTube on June 6, received 18.9 million views in just 5 days and is already in second place.

Katy Perry’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’, which was uploaded to YouTube on May 22, has received 12.5 million views.

If we go back and look at the most popular ‘Late Late Show’ videos uploaded to YouTube in the last 365 days, 9 of the top 10 most viewed clips are for ‘Carpool Karaoke’. Selena Gomez’s carpool, uploaded on June 20, 2016, is the most viewed ‘Late Late Show’ video uploaded to YouTube in the last 365 days with a staggering 70.6 million views followed by the Bruno Mars Carpool Karaoke, uploaded on December 13, 2016 with 61.3 million total views. Interestingly, the Selena Gomez carpool received 35.5 million views in the first 30 days from when it was uploaded and the Bruno Mars carpool received 36 million views in its first 30 days online. Not only that, the Selena Gomez carpool had 2.1 times the average engagements per view rate in its first 30 days online and the Bruno Mars carpool had 2.8 times the average engagements per view rate in its first 30 days online. This means people were not only watching these videos on YouTube, they were engaging with them and having genuine reactions.

Who is Watching ‘Carpool Karaoke’?

Of course, all of these top artists mentioned are very, very famous, but breaking down the demographics of ‘The Late Late Show’s’ audience helps us to understand why these specific singers rose to the top. ‘The Late Late Show’s’ online viewership is 55% male, with 26% of that 55% falling into the 18-24 year old age group. 16% of that 55% male viewership is 25-34 years old. The 45% female online viewership for ‘The Late Late Show’ skews…

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