Nearly a year after officially stepping back from their royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have returned to the public eye–on their terms–with two high-profile moments that were both broadcast by CBS: a candid, in-depth interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple’s first since exiting “the Institution,” as well a segment with just Prince Harry on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Of course, the excitement wasn’t limited to live TV: CBS made strategic use of social video to promote and share content related to both broadcasts.
A week and a half after the Feb. 15 announcement that CBS would air Winfrey’s interview with Harry and Meghan, the prince appeared on the Feb. 25 episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden. The segment, titled An Afternoon with Prince Harry & James Corden, was uploaded to YouTube the following day, and has racked up 19.2 million views so far, with 11 million occurring within the first three days of posting, according to social video analytics company Tubular Labs. The clip is The Late Late Show with James Corden’s No. 4 most-watched video on YouTube in the 365 days, and CBS Corp.’s No. 1 most-viewed YouTube video in the last 30 days.
That was just the beginning: Excitement and view counts continued to rise leading up to and after Winfrey’s interview aired on Sunday, March 7 in the U.S., and Monday, March 8, in the U.K.
Overall, according to Tubular, from March 1-10, YouTube videos related to Meghan and Harry have generated over 162 million views. A week before the interview aired, CBS released a 30-second Oprah With Meghan And Harry First Look on YouTube, which has generated over 5 million views, 2 million of which occurred in the first day and 3.9 million in the first three days. It’s CBS Corp.’s No. 8 YouTube video across the last 30 days.
Looking at the top recent videos related to Meghan and Harry, the most watched one for March 1-10 (13.9 million) came from CBC News, while the No. 2 video was posted to CBS This Morning’s YouTube page the morning after the interview and featured a clip of Meghan opening up about her family and her father working with the tabloids. It’s CBS Corp.’s No. 6 most watched YouTube clip across the last 30 days.
Fallout regarding Harry and Meghan’s accusations of racism hasn’t been confined to the royal family: Just two days after the interview, British TV presenter Piers Morgan got into a heated argument with his Good Morning Britain cohost Alex Beresford about racism, and the clip has already generated 4.2 million views. Morgan abruptly stormed off set during the argument, and hours later either quit or was fired from the show (depending on which press reports you choose to believe).
And four royal commentators are under fire after pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners released a YouTube video in which the commentators were tricked into giving reactions to the big interview–before it even aired—including reacting to fake topics that Winfrey never brought up. The video, posted two days before the CBS broadcast, has generated over 1.1 million views, 916K of which occurred in the first three days, making it Pieters and Manners’ second most-viewed YouTube video in the last year.
Other top YouTube videos related to Harry and Meghan include a recap from BBC Breakfast that has generated 3 million views, and a clip from CBS This Morning’s exclusive interview with Winfrey reviewing moments from her conversation with the couple, which has generated 2.8 million views.