Did YouTube's Comedy Week, the company's attempt at a sweeps-like stunt aimed at exciting consumers and advertisers, work? It's hard to say. There weren't any runaway breakouts, at least according to the available data. But there were definitely some winners to be found.
One of those winners was Arnold Schwarzenegger. But here's the problem. His clip (see below) was viewed nearly 3.8 million times last week, according to the analytics firm Visible Measures. But that clip was a promo titled Arnold Pumps You Up for YouTube Comedy Week, not an actual original comedic clip.
Ryan Higa's Google Glass Human yielded 3.3 million views during comedy week. Even better, the Fine Brothers' YouTubers React to Try to Watch This Without Laughing or Grinning generated 6.4 million views in just five days. But Higa and the Fine Bros. are established YouTubers, and the React series is a major pre-existing YouTube franchise. Does that count?
Reggie Watts spoof of Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up grew steadily in popularity throughout the week. But in terms of momentum as the week unfolded, YouTube newbie Sarah Silverman and YouTube giant Freddiew exhibited the biggest gains, per visible measures. While Watts' clip jumped 424 percent from May 20 through May 25, Freddiew's Guitar Warfare surged by 453 percent, landing at 767,529 views on May 25, per Visible Measures.
But that was nothing compared to Silverman. Her video Perfect Night featuring Will.i.am jumped 932 percent over the course of the week, netting out at 689,331. Huge growth, but not Higa or Arnold territory (see Arnold below)—at least according to the highly imperfect data we all have available at the moment.