How Performing at the Super Bowl Affects an Artist's YouTube Fanbase

AP Photo/Matt York
Beyoncé, Chris Martin and Bruno Mars perform during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif. 

For some, the Super Bowl halftime show is just as important as the actual Super Bowl. As a highly anticipated event featuring renowned musicians and unpredictable collaborations, fans sometimes tune in for the halftime show itself.

With last year’s game alone holding an average of 111.9 million viewers, it’s hard not to wonder what effects the overwhelming audience has on the fanbase of the performers.

Thanks to data YouTube has shared exclusively with BiIlboard, we have a peek at said impact in the form of the subscriber and view jumps each artist’s channel received following their halftime performances.

Looking at the acts spanning the past four years -- Beyonce/Destiny’s Child (2013), Bruno Mars/Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014), Katy Perry/Lenny Kravitz (2015) and Coldplay/Beyonce/Mars (2016) -- it was Destiny’s Child who gained the greatest number of channel subscribers, with an increase of 427 percent. (Note: Missy Elliott also performed with Perry in 2015, but she didn't have her videos hosted on a personal YouTube channel until later that year.)

The overwhelming increase possibly stems from Destiny’s Child’s long-awaited reunion, as they hadn’t performed together since 2007. Beyonce’s solo channel also saw a subscriber increase of 196 percent that year.

When Beyonce returned to the Super Bowl three years later in 2016, her subscribers jumped 145 percent, but Coldplay still drew most of the viewers from that night with a subscriber bump of 234 percent. The remaining acts all retained modest bumps as well, ranging between 39 and 109 percent.

Channel subscribers weren’t the only increases. Between drawing in new viewers and fans rediscovering songs they once loved, the songs performed also brought in views.

On average, the jumps in views weren’t as high as the subscriber rates. Beyonce’s 2013 performance held the most significant song views, with an increase of 54.8 percent, more than twice the increase of each other artist -- Bruno Mars (21%), Katy Perry (23.9%), Coldplay (27%).

It can be difficult to gauge what factors affected how much of a bump each artist received. The Destiny’s Child’s reunion could have impacted the scope of their jump. Similarly, the fact that Coldplay -- who also received some of the larger bumps -- was the only act reviewed that had released a new album (A Head Full of Dreams) fairly recently prior to their performance, which could have enticed fans as well.

As Lady Gaga is slated to take the stage for this Sunday’s Super Bowl LI halftime show -- on the heels of her last album Joanne and the possibility of an upcoming tour -- it’ll be interesting to see how her subscribers and views fare.

Super Bowl 51


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