Miley Cyrus’ semi-sexually explicit gyrating movements and Michael Jordan impression at MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards have certainly drawn a lot of attention. Questions of what implications the 20-year-old actress, recording artist, and pop star’s performance has on the current state of American race relations, slut shaming, mainstream news coverage, and proliferation of twerking almost instantaneously arose after Cyrus stepped off stage.
Web traffic related to Cyrus rose, too. Not since Billy Ray Cryus’ daughter graced the cover of Vanity Fair in April 2008, nor since she told the AP she’s “not trying to be ‘slutty’” back in 2010 has the internet been hit with this much ‘Miley Cyrus’ search traffic. A quick look at Google Trends shows Hannah Montana’s alter ego is trending at an all time high in popular culture.
Search traffic, however, isn’t the only online data point that’s increased significantly since Cyrus’ on-stage duet with Robin Thicke. Her YouTube views have increased just as much.
A quick look at our Tubefilter Charts reveals the week before her appearance at the VMAs, Cyrus’ YouTube channel attracted roughly 17.3 million views (making it the 17th most viewed YouTube channel in the world for the week). And a quick look at data from VidStatsX shows that in the week since Cyrus’ appearance at the VMAs, her YouTube videos have been watched roughly 26.3 million times (which is equivalent to a 52% week-over-week increase).
Cyrus spoke to UK magazine We Love Pop prior to her performance at the VMAs. “Haters are gonna hate,” she said. “But the haters are also gonna click on your YouTube video to watch it so I really don’t care.” Judging by the clicks she’s received so far, the 20-year-old Cyrus (while perhaps not culturally sensitive) is media savvy far beyond her years.