Justin Bieber’s docuseries sets YouTube viewing record

Justin Bieber: Seasons” has set a new record for YouTube: The docuseries’ first episode scored as the most-viewed premiere of all the platform’s originals to date in its first week.

Episode 1 of “Seasons” had 32.65 million views in the first week after its Jan. 27 debut, according to YouTube. That beat out YouTube’s original comedy “Liza On Demand” Season 2 debut (25.4 million) and the first episode of “Cobra Kai” Season 2 (21 million) over the same time periods.

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Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin together
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Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin together
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 17: Justin Bieber (L) and Hailey Bieber out and about on February 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on October 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG005/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on October 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG005/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber are seen on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG015/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber are seen on October 04, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG015/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen with a very public embrace during a walk in London's Hyde Park on September 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mark R. Milan/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen with a very public embrace during a walk in London's Hyde Park on September 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mark R. Milan/GC Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 17: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen at St James park on September 17, 2018 in London, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Eagle Lee / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read PALACE LEE / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin go to Starbucks on September 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin go to Starbucks on September 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen on the streets of Brooklyn on September 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen on the streets of Brooklyn on September 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on the street attending John Elliott during New York Fashion Week SS19 on September 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on August 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen walking on August 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen out and about in Manhattan on August 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber visit Cutler hair salon in SoHo on August 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Hailey Baldwin helps Justin Bieber with his haircut at Cutler Salon on August 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen at the London Eye on September 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil M/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen on the streets of Brooklyn on September 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast, listen plain and simple Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY. I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make. My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else. You make me so much better and we compliment eachother so well!! Can’t wait for the best season of life yet!. It’s funny because now with you everything seems to make sense! The thing I am most excited for is that my little brother and sister get to see another healthy stable marriage and look for the same!!! Gods timing really is literally perfect, we got engaged on the seventh day of the seventh month, the number seven is the number of spiritual perfection, it’s true GOOGLE IT! Isn’t that nuts? By the way I didn’t plan that, anyways My goodness does feel good to have our future secured! WERE GONNA BE BETTER AT 70 BABY HERE WE GO! “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains FAVOR from the Lord!” This is the year of favor!!!!
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen on the streets of Brooklyn on September 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber seen on the streets of Midtown Manhattan on August 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin visit Frankel's Delicatessen in Brooklyn on July 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber seen on the streets of Midtown Manhattan on August 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin (L) visit Frankel's Delicatessen in Brooklyn on July 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 29: Justin Bieber (L) and Hailey Baldwin are seen arriving at the Hillsong Church in Midtown on July 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 29: Justin Bieber (L) and Hailey Baldwin are seen arriving at the Hillsong Church in Midtown on July 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 29: Justin Bieber (L) and Hailey Baldwin are seen arriving at the Hillsong Church in Midtown on July 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin seen on the streets of Brooklyn on September 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber seen on the streets of Manhattan on July 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 12: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen heading to dinner in Dumbo on July 12, 2018 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 12: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen in Brooklyn on July 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber are seen in Los Angeles on April 23, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin out and about in Dumbo on July 5, 2018. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 05: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on July 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin out and about in Dumbo on July 5, 2018. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on October 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by JMA/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen on October 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by JMA/Star Max/GC Images)
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YouTube paid upwards of $20 million for the 10-part Bieber docuseries, making it YouTube’s most expensive acquisition to date, Variety reported. “Seasons” promises fans a revealing look at the making of the “Changes,” the pop star’s first new album in over four years.

Bieber, who famously got “discovered” on YouTube, is the most-followed music artist on the platform — and just surpassed 50 million subscribers for his channel. “Started as #kidrauhl and now this. Thank you,” Bieber tweeted Wednesday, referring to his original YouTube username.

YouTube has released the first four episodes of “Justin Bieber: Seasons” for free so far, available on Bieber’s YouTube channel, including Episode 4 on Wednesday. YouTube Premium subscribers can currently access episodes 1-6 in addition to early ad-free access to future episodes of the series beginning next week.

The docuseries is a lead-in to the Feb. 14 release of “Changes,” touted as “the most personal album of his career,” from RBMG/Def Jam Recordings, which precedes his 2020 tour, set to hit 45 cities this summer.

According to the show’s producers, “Seasons” takes viewers behind the scenes to show Bieber’s process of creating new music; the motivation for his fifth studio album; and the aftermath of his decision to cancel the final shows of his 2017 “Purpose” tour. The series also promises glimpses of Bieber’s private life — including never-before-seen footage from his wedding this year to Hailey Bieber — featuring interviews with Hailey, his closest friends and collaborators, and Bieber himself.

In greenlighting the project, YouTube was counting on Bieber’s global fanbase to drive viewers to the ad-supported “Seasons” series. As part of YouTube’s revamped programming strategy, new originals series and specials, including “Justin Bieber: Seasons,” are available for free in front of the paywall. YouTube once saw original programming as underpinning its subscription business, but it has abandoned scripted entertainment to focus on ad-supported originals in three categories: music; learning; and celebrity/personality-driven series.

Justin Bieber: Seasons” is directed and executive produced by OBB Pictures’ Michael D. Ratner with photographer Joe Termini set to direct additional episodes. The docuseries is produced by Bieber Time Films, SB Projects and OBB Pictures. Bieber serves as executive producer, alongside Scooter Braun, Allison Kaye and Scott Manson for SB Projects and Michael D. Ratner, Scott Ratner and Kfir Goldberg for OBB Pictures. Alex Piper, head of unscripted originals for YouTube, and Cara Casey, development lead for YouTube originals, oversee “Seasons” for the video platform. 

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