The million dollar 13 year old … Meet Rebecca Black

No one seems to like the song, except the singer/songwriter and to be honest I am not one of the 30 million views, although I have been fascinated by the viral nature of the story. But When Forbes jumped on the band wagon, well I had to post. Read it and weep my little toiling mobsters.

The girl is Rebecca Black, a 13 year old who composed and wrote a song about … umm … Friday? There’s nothing steller about the singing and the lyrics are exactly what you would expect from a 13 year old with all the emotional experience of a … umm … 13 year old.

But it’s ordinariness apparently has made it a hit … to the tune of $1 million big ones?

It would seem that the investment paid off, many times over. Although the YouTube/Google party line on video ad revenue is vague (“There are no guarantees under the YouTube Partner agreement about how much you will be paid.”) some digging turns up speculation on potential profits.TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld reported today on Google and YouTube’s revenue figures. Looking at 2010’s actual numbers, the site makes about $1 per thousand page views. For videos running ads as part of the revenue sharing program, that revenue is then split between YouTube and the content creator. Content creators, or partners, take 68% of the profit. At 30,000,000 views, that lands Black and Ark Music Factory $20,000 – a 1000% return on investment. That number matches the figure reported by Damian Kulash Jr., the lead singer of indie pop band OK Go, who have made a name for themselves via viral videos.

The revenue doesn’t stop there, though. Where Google has had a notoriously tough time monetizing YouTube content, Apple’s iTunes has had significantly fewer problems. Since hitting the online music store last Monday, “Friday” has amassed a staggering number of downloads,reportedly topping 2 million; the song currently sits at #45 on the iTunes Top Singles chart. According to 101 Distribution, an independent music distributor, iTunes pays out $.70 per single download in the United States.

I am not sure why people would be willing to pay, much less watch … but you watch and tell me what you think. Am I missing a piece of the new instant culture? Come on my younger mobstas … what’s going on here? Come on … hit that comment section.

Here’s the video. Enjoy?


UPDATE: I just remembered this post from HotAir from last week … if you think the MSM will let this teenager get away without a whack, you’re crazy. Shameless. “Canning … is a 38-year-old woman who bullied an eighth grader on national TV.”


21 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Jim, remember I told you about my daughter's friend, Kyle?  The one with a traumatic brain injury after getting in a horrible car accident in March of 2009?  Here's a text he sent me the other day about this ridiculous song:  "The only thing she has to worry about is whether to sit in the front or back seat…?  I wish that was my only problem."  Vocals aren't impressive, nor is the subject matter of the song.  But then again, I'm not a 13 year old girl anymore.  And when I was a 13 year old girl, it was the 80s and I listened to way better music than this.  Everyone thinks they can be a star. *sigh*  Put her in front of Simon Cowell and he'd eviscerate her.

  2. rbross
    rbross says:

    I have to agree with what you said in your blog Jim, "Am I missing a piece of the new instant culture?". I just don't get it either. I guess it just shows what young people think is important in the day we live!

  3. kipitwic
    kipitwic says:

    After watching this I am left with the question, "What is so special about this?"  I guess it must attract her own peers and they are making it a hit.  It sure doesn't do anything for the adult generation. 

  4. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    Cute kid,the song's no worse than many others I've heard lately. The blonde acted like a 12 year old-a jealous 12 year old.

  5. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    It is just another extension of the group think, lemming effect that is exacerbated by the new and overly prevalent social media.  How about a song about going to class and doing homework?  😉


    It sounds suspiciously like she used one of those  machines that could make Kermit the frog sound good….

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Now that I think about it, anyone that could make class and homework popular with a song deserves a cool million!

      • GdavidH
        GdavidH says:

        That first version was definitely auto-tuned somewhat. The extent of the over ride can be controlled. I know she posted a version that was her real voice, but I haven't heard it. Google "auto-tune the news" for some interesting Katie Couric.

         I know full well how this happens having 3 teenage boys, several computers, and a broadband connection in the house ( all in 1 supervised room by the way). My kids look at this random crap all the time because a friend of a friend will post a link on facebook usually. They mostly view it out of curiosity, and sometimes this stuff spreads around for the "crap factor" ," punish myself for watching" reason. In my house, I've seen my kids and a group of their friends huddled around a computer laughing their fool heads off at this stuff. On youtube a hit is a hit, for good reasons or bad.

         What I can't imagine is someone I know, or that my kids know, PAYING MONEY for this. Parents need to get more controll of their kids I-tunes accounts. Most of the purchases my kids make on I-tunes are made with pre-paid gift cards, and I believe therein lies the problem.

  6. Bogelmtman
    Bogelmtman says:

    Regarding going to school on Saturdays….No, but consider this:  Go to school year round with NO Homework.  My kids would go for it.  Gives them plenty of time for after school activities.  Teachers would love it??


  7. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    This teen-ager is a shameless capitalist who produced a product – a video – which millions of people have voluntarily viewed, and for this, she made money.  This should not be allowed in a free society. There must be some way to tax these viral videos out of existence so that young people can be exposed to more beneficial videos endorsed by the FLOTUS.

  8. BEA
    BEA says:

    Let me just start by saying she sounded MUCH better singing the Star Spangled Banner!!! And she's very sweet and articulate when interviewed.

    That said, having 3 teens at home, I've been exposed to their ridiculous and vulgar music, (ever hear Enrique Iglesias, Tonight I'm ****ing you…yea, real charmer. They have a "clean" version that says "loving". I'm pretty strict w/ what they listen to, but they love to see my reaction when trash like this comes out). I'm constantly telling them, "Back in the olden days (lol) musicians had talent. There was substance to the lyrics and music!"

    Seriously, I grew up listening to my parents 45's from the 50's and 60's. Then when I was in HS it was all classic rock and some dance music from the clubs. The stuff our kids listen to today…garbage. And it takes NO talent what so ever…more evidence of the dumbing down of our public schools?!

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:


      Technology today has made the only "talent" required in today's entertainment industry is the talent of marketing.  This is why there is a problem with the current crop of "role models" being hoodlums, goons and gangsters.

       By the way…. K-9 web protection is a great filter, but does not always work on youtube. See my comment above  

  9. djt
    djt says:

    We are reading WAY too much into this.

    Of course we don't like the song, we are not its intended audience. Everything has a target audience, and I think its safe to say this tune is targeted a little younger than we here tend to be! I agree with what GDavid said, that most kids buy these tunes with itunes gift cards. That fact, coupled with the fact that they can buy the song for less than a pack of gum, explains a lot.

  10. Carol
    Carol says:

    I conducted my experiment…showed the video to my sons, ages 8 and 11.  The eleven-year-old walked away half-way through the song, told me it reminded him of Justin Bieber.  The eight-year-old stayed until the end, and said he liked it.  There you go.  To me, it sounds a lot like the music they listen to.  I didn't find a lot of substance in the lyrics, but that's just my opinion.


  11. Eric
    Eric says:

    I don’t get it… the music is terrible, the lyrics are just as bad. I guess you have to be an eighth grader to like this sort of thing!

    • winnie888
      winnie888 says:

      JollyRoger–I know exactly what video that is without even clicking the link…lol

      It's a perfect example of how videos go viral because they're so flipping funny.  My kids nicked this from their friends' facebook walls and we all had a ginormous laugh. 🙂


Comments are closed.