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In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, our weekly chart of the top 50 most viewed US-based YouTube channels was occupied not by the nation’s biggest advertisers but instead by its most popular content producers and its most-watched TV shows. The upper echelon of our American ranking was filled out by the usual cadre of kid-friendly channels, and some notable legacy media companies found their own spaces further down the list.
For Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes, the first week of February brought the usual results: Second in the world in terms of weekly views, but first in the United States. The kid-friendly content producer, based in Southern California, collected 761.3 million weekly views, which was enough for it to hold onto the top spot in our US-based ranking.
This week’s US-based runner-up, however, was a bit of a surprise. Like Nastya claimed the #2 spot, moving up two positions from where it finished last week. The Russian-American family vlog earned 429.4 million weekly views, which represented an 8% week-over-week increase and was good enough to move past two other kid-friendly channels with Slavic roots. Kids Diana Show dropped one spot to third after suffering a week-over-week viewership dip of 12%; that decline brought its seven-day total down to 390 million weekly views. Vlad and Niki, which saw its own traffic drop by 10%, ended up in fourth, despite amassing a still-impressive total of 373.6 million weekly views.
The usual fifth-place finisher, at least in the 2021 era, returned to its typical position in our US-based ranking. Toys and Colors was the number-five YouTube channel in America this week thanks to its 291.4 million weekly views, which represented a 14% week-over-week viewership jump.
Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy and singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers are two of the buzziest stars in the US, so in a week when they hosted (Levy) and performed on (Bridgers) Saturday Night Live, it’s not a shock to see the venerated NBC sketch comedy show drawing a big YouTube audience. What’s more interesting is that the most-viewed SNL clip of the week didn’t come from the Levy/Bridgers bonanza, but from the show that aired seven days prior.
The viral sketch in question is titled “What Still Works” and features SNL regular Kate McKinnon as an interviewer who chats with prominent Americans (including QAnon-supporting Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Facebook czar Mark Zuckerberg) in an attempt to determine if any of the nation’s public institutions still function as intended. The verdict, for everything other than Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady, is a resounding “no.” The clip has received 5.1 million views since arriving on YouTube on January 31.
“What Still Works” led the Saturday Night Live YouTube channel to 30th place in our US-based ranking. The NBC sketch show snagged 67.7 million weekly YouTube views in all, an increase of 48% over what it pulled in during our previous measurement period.