Tiny Cameras Lead to Big Chart Gains for Andrea Bocelli and Rammstein

Andrea Bocelli

Giovanni De Sandre

Tiny cameras are making a big impact on Billboard's Streaming Songs chart this week, as two songs earn high debuts thanks to two popular viral videos.

Up first, Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli’s “Time To Say Goodbye” debuts at No. 10 thanks to a viral video of a drone flying through a fireworks display. The video, filmed with a GoPro camera, re-surfaced thanks to online activity around July 4. A copy of the video was re-posted to GoPro’s YouTube channel on July 4, helping spur the resurgence of activity centered around the stunning video which drove more than 4.1 million plays in the U.S. towards the title in the week ending July 6.

The original video was posted by Jos Stiglingh, who flew a drone mounted with a GoPro Hero 3 silver over a fireworks display over West Palm Beach, Florida. However, both his video, and the video on GoPro's channel, have since had their music changed — removing "Time to Say Goodbye." (Stiglingh commented that it was due to "copyright reasons.")

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It’s unclear if the copyright claim was rejected because of Bocelli’s rights holders or because the content creator wanted their video to not be blocked in certain countries (as happens frequently with videos on YouTube that contain copywritten materials), but it is clear that more than 8 million global plays (plus the 500,000 from the GoPro video) isn’t exactly chump change.

It’s also worth noting just how influential GoPro’s channel was in initiating the spike in activity around this particular fireworks video. The tiny HD camera brand has turned their channel on YouTube into a powerful marketing tool that’s attracted more than 2.2 million subscribers who have watched their videos 544 million times, placing it among the top 350 subscribed channels on the entire platform, a subscriber base that’s grown by 60 percent between 2012 and 2013.

Farther down the Streaming Songs list, at No. 29, Rammstein’s banger “Feuer Frei” enters with more than 2.4 million plays in the U.S., all coming from the most unlikely of wedding proposals. In this particular viral video — filmed using dashboard cameras -- what appears to be an aggressive altercation between a driver and a motorcycle gang (set to the hard-driving sounds of Rammstein) turns into a romantic proposal soundtracked by Robbie Williams' "She's the One." (Rammstein's track earns the gain this week, as it's the song identified on the YouTube clip.)

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Dashboard cameras in cars are commonplace in Russia, and sometimes, these cameras have captured exceptional phenomena: in February when a meteor landed in the Ural mountains made the news because it was filmed by so many dashboard cameras.

But mostly, the mass proliferation of dashboard cams in Russia has led to a surge in the popularity of videos of people fist-fighting with each other on the highway. (Hence how the Rammstein video started off with a plausible narrative: a fight on the side of the road.) Videos like this have grown in popularity in the past year, thanks to exposure on sites like like Reddit’s /r/Justiceporn subreddit or Worldstarhiphop.com.