Posted by: theartspj | October 26, 2015

The “Stickiness” and “Spreadability” of “Hotline Bling.”

Last week Drake, a popular Canadian-born rapper, posted to YouTube the music video for his current hit song, “Hotline Bling.” The video features Drake dancing as if no one is watching in front of a plain background that is constantly changing colors. Speaking of the video, John Caramanica of the NYT writes,”No celebrity understands the mechanisms of Internet obsession better than Drake. Online fandom isn’t merely an act of receiving–it’s one of interaction, recontextualization, disputed ownership and cheek. For the celebrity it’s about letting…the hive take control. For Fans, it’s about applying personalization to the object of adoration.”

So, how does this relate? Well, if “‘Stickiness’ broadly refers to the need to create content that attracts audience attention and engagement,” and “spreadability” refers to the “technical resources” like YouTube, Vine, and other social media sites that “allow people to share links quickly and efficiently,” then Drake fully encapsulates both of these ideas. Almost overnight there were dozens of spin off videos, gifs, and memes stemming from “Hotline Bling.” Realizing his fans would do more to “spread” him across the internet than he could do on his own, Drake put together a video with tons of negative space, corny dance moves, a slow, catchy beat, and offered himself up to the Internet. Folks ran wild with it, and almost overnight there were dozens of spin offs edited to produce comical reactions, and further “spreadability.” Does Drake know what “stickiness” and “spreadability” are?  Looks like it to me. 


  1. This is for you, Donna, because I know how much you love rap music. 😉

  2. Tiara, I think these techniques would work really well with ‘Hello’ by Adele, as well. In less than 72 hours since the song arrived online, it made a huge splash on the social media world. Thinking of it, she announced her comeback through social media and the video was shared, tweeted about and spoken about so many times. I remember going through my tweeter, Facebook and Instagram feed and there was either a picture of Adele, an article about her or her new single. Everybody is talking about how happy they are that she’s, or how ‘Hello’ is the new ‘break-up song.’

    Yet, what really seems similar about Adele’s ‘Hello’ and Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ are the meme’s and the comments about something seen in the video. On Drake’s video everybody was talking about his dance moves, but in Adele’s video everybody was talking about her out-of-date cell phone!

    People on social media started criticizing Adele for her choice of technology, just because she was using a flip phone! From comments on tweeter like “Why is Adele still using a flip phone? No wonder it’s taken her 4 years to call” to an edited video of Adele having a smartphone instead of a flip Phone. Social media went above and beyond the call of duty on Adele’s Flip-phone and her new single, which takes me back to Spreadable Media; without the social media and the engagement and participation that Adele’s fans had, her new single wouldn’t have surpassed 67m views on Youtube/Vevo, within 72 hours.

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