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YouTube's Top Channels Mostly Feature Music

Harlem_shake-313x218By Eliot Van Buskirk of

Last week, I ran into Billboard senior branding correspondent Andrew Hampp at the Digital Media Wire Music awards dinner (I was on a panel there), who dropped some interesting news: Billboard was announcing that night that it had begun integrating YouTube into its charts, which instantly put the “Harlem Shake” song atop the charts.

So not only do the kids consider YouTube the best unlimited music service in the world, but now, the most traditionally authoritative music sales chart is counting YouTube views. As if we needed any more evidence of how important music is to YouTube, check out this list of its most popular partners, from the latest ComScore report. We’ve color-coded it as follows:

  • Green: purely music
  • Blue: partially music
  • Red: not music
Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
January 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 48,875 552,443 37.6
Fullscreen @ YouTube 35,409 242,739 20.5
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 34,760 446,899 46.2
Warner Music @ Youtube 25,949 144,377 18.7
ZEFR @ YouTube 25,615 112,028 12.0
Machinima @ YouTube 24,322 473,355 66.4
BroadbandTV @ YouTube 15,523 98,394 19.0
UMG @ YouTube 14,655 38,955 7.5
The Orchard @ YouTube 13,636 41,410 8.0
rumblefish @ YouTube 10,878 20,716 4.5

*YouTube Partner Reporting, starting with January 2013 data, gives credit to YouTube Partners for views of their single-claimed user-generated content.

As one might expect, given that YouTube is for videos, some of these partners are closely aligned with the film, television, and videogame worlds. But what’s really striking is how many of them are either totally (5 out of 10) or partially (3 out of 10) about playing music. In other words, well over half of the top partner videos on YouTube are songs.

Image via YouTube