Taylor Swift's ME! breaks YouTube, Vevo and Amazon Alexa request records

"Alexa, play the new Taylor Swift!"

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
3 min read

Taylor Swift dropped ME! the first song off her new album late Thursday, along with a pastel-hued confectionary feast of a music video -- and surprise! It's already broken a whole bunch of records.

YouTube tweeted on Sunday that the video had broken the record for highest female and solo 24-hour debut for any music video on the platform with 65.2 million views (closing on 90 million at the time of writing). Vevo also said Sunday that ME! broke the record for the most views in a single day.  Amazon added that ME! broke two records -- one for most first-day streams, and one for the most on-demand voice requests with Alexa than any other single debut on Amazon Music.

We've detailed how to stream and buy the new single in our How To here. A little bonus: If you stream the song through Spotify's mobile app, you get cute, exclusive vertical videos, just as you did for Delicate during the Reputation era.

For a week and a half prior to the song's release, Swift teased the launch of... something pink and sparkly on Instagram. On Thursday evening she put Swifties worldwide out of their misery, announcing a new single ME! featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco. The music video for ME! premiered at midnight ET, April 26 on YouTube and features Swift speaking in French and unveiling a new pet cat named Benjamin Button after the F. Scott Fitzgerald character.

Renowned puzzle fan Swift also hid a whole bunch of Easter Eggs, references to her past work and classic movies in the video for ME!, leading her fans on a merry dance in search of visual metaphors and symbols like the Pied Piper of Nashville. Before, during and after the video dropped, she moved deftly between Twitter, Instagram , YouTube and Tumblr, interacting with fans, answering their questions and generally being more active across social media than she has for many years.

She also extended the trail of breadcrumbs by hinting that the name to her next album (currently referred to as TS7) and her next single are hidden within the video. Swifties have been exploring theories on social media -- the most convincing of which posit that the album and single names contain the words "heart", "home" and/or "kaleidoscope".

The single announcement is the end result of a 13-day countdown Swift posted to Instagram and our first glimpse of what to expect from her new album (for now being referred to as TS7). It's the first music the multi-Grammy winner has released since 2017 and the follow-up to her bestselling album Reputation.

Taylor hearts Tumblr

Ahead of the announcement, Swift spoke Wednesday about her obsession with another social media platform: Tumblr . For Swift's fans, Tumblr is the place they can go to interact with the star, share jokes or news from their lives and maybe even score an invite to hang out at her house.

Tumblr is one of Swift's top three inspirations (along with Paul McCartney and cats), she told Time in an interview. "It's like a window into what my fans are going through," she said. "It makes me feel like I can know them better."

In an essay for Elle last month, Swift detailed the ways in which she manages negativity on social media. Tumblr seems to generate less negativity for Swift than perhaps other social networks do, but that doesn't mean it's not as addictive.

"I definitely go down the Tumblr rabbit hole a lot -- sometimes so much so that I need my brain to take a break, but then I just go right back," she said. "It's just, like, can't stay away."

In an exclusive video for Apple Music , Swift described how she'd built the idea of celebrating individuality into ME!, in part as a rejection of the negative thoughts and feelings people have about themselves due to what they see online.

"It's about not feeling like you're replaceable," she said. "We're sent so many messages that there's a better version of us on a social media app, with better abs, in a better vacation spot. You're the only one of you -- that's it. There's just you."

Updated 4/28/19 8.15 A.M. PT: Added details about YouTube and Amazon streaming stats.
Updated 4/28/19 2.15 P.M. PT: Added stats from Vevo.