Rebecca Black May Be Making Big Money Off 'Friday'

Also: Watch a 'Friday' parody by Conan O'Brien and a cover by the Jonas Brothers

March 22, 2011 5:55 PM ET

Rebecca Black's viral hit "Friday" is still going strong over a week after emerging as the song the internet loves to hate. Black has been a consistent presence in Twitter's trending topics list, the video has been viewed over 34 million times on YouTube and the single has been among the Top 40 best selling tracks on iTunes for nearly a week. For a song that inspires so much over-the-top revulsion, "Friday" has become a surprisingly durable fluke hit.

Contest: Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone

Along with the producers at Ark Music Factory who wrote the song and produced its video, Black stands to make a lot of money off "Friday." Forbes estimates that given the details of YouTube's revenue sharing program, Black and Ark have likely made at least $20,000 in advertising money from the video. The sales for the "Friday" digital single are less easy to quantify, particularly since the iTunes store does not release its sales data. But considering that Black's parents reportedly paid Ark only $2,000 for the song and video, they've already made back their investment – and then some.

Photos: Random Notes

Since there isn't a precedent for the Rebecca Black phenomenon, it's hard to predict when interest in "Friday" will taper off. It is possible that the song may be crossing over from internet novelty to actual pop hit, which could be a harbinger of things to come as the internet and YouTube become more central to listening habits.

Of course, as the song gets more popular, it inspires more covers and parodies. Here's video of Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers performing a brief snippet of the song at a recent Jonas Brothers gig:

And here's Conan O'Brien performing "Thursday," a prequel of sorts to Black's hit:

Why Rebecca Black's Much-Mocked Viral Hit 'Friday' Is Actually Good
Rob Sheffield: Why Rebecca Black is a Demon-Wizard Child Piper

Rebecca Black's Viral Hit 'Friday' Breaks Into iTunes Top 100
What You Need to Know About Teen Viral Phenom Rebecca Black

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

More Song Stories entries »