What turns a normal video into a viral video? Does it have to be funny, eccentric, engaging, or all of the above?
Out of the 7 most watched YouTube Videos of all time, only one is an amateur video. All the rest are professionally produced Vevo music videos by popular artists. Even if you don’t like all of these YouTube videos, it’s pretty hard to ignore them. Watch and see…
7. Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!
“Ouch Charlie! Aaaaaah! Charlie, that really hurt!”
Howard Davies-Carr, father of Charlie and his older brother Harry wanted to capture them growing up. He uploaded the video to YouTube so that their godfather, living in the US, could watch it. The video quickly became the most watched YouTube video that is not a professional music video. Davies-Carr keeps uploading new videos of his boys as they grow. There are also Charlie bit my finger T-shirts and even mobile apps on offer!
6. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
The sixth most watched YouTube video is Shakira’s song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa). The song was chosen as the official anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Although the South African band Freshlyground is featured in the music video, some critics were dismayed by the choice of a non-African performer. The upbeat music video contains archive footage from past World Cups with football legends such as Ronaldo, Pelé and Diego Maradona.
5. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
“On March 1, LMFAO’s Redfoo and Sky Blu slipped into comas after excessive party rocking. Their new single “Party Rock Anthem” was released to the world.”
28 days later Redfoo and Sky Blu woke up from their comas. Music video director Mickey Finnegan describes what followed: “There’s been an epidemic, the world has gone crazy, as soon as the song came out, everyone got possessed and all they want to do is to shuffle…” Featuring British singer Lauren Bennett, the fifth most watched YouTube video is a parody of the 2002 horror movie 28 Days Later. The video was featured in the 2012 movie 21 Jump Street and won the MTV Movie Award for Best Music.
4. Eminem – Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna
“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that’s alright because I like the way it hurts…”
Starring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan, the fourth most watched video on YouTube, Love the Way You Lie was received with mixed reactions by critics and women’s organizations alike. Dealing with domestic violence, Eminem’s music video Featuring Rihanna was controversial. Rihanna felt she could relate to the theme of the song as she and Eminem had experienced domestic violence with ex-partners on “different ends of the table”.
3. Jennifer Lopez – On the Floor ft. Pitbull
Premiered simultaneously on Vevo and on American Idol on March 3, 2011, the third most watched YouTube video, On the Floor quickly went viral on YouTube, increasing the traffic to Lopez’s official Vevo channel by 1000%. The Latin pop dance floor gained commercial success and reaped critical acclaim for its lush production and J.Lo’s sexy performance. Featuring rapper Pitbull, the original video had three alternative endings that fans had to choose from.
2. Justin Bieber – Baby ft. Ludacris
“You know you love me, I know you care
Just shout whenever, and I’ll be there…”
Part of Justin Bieber’s debut album My World 2.0, Baby has become the most watched YouTube video in 12 July, 2010. It remained the most viewed until it was surpassed by Psy’s Gangnam Style, in November 2012. Baby is a sugary sweet love story of a guy who desperately tries to win his girl back. Taking place in a bowling alley, the video includes a cameo appearance by fellow Canadian rapper Drake and some less suggestive Michael Jackson moves.
1. Psy – Gangnam Style
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard Psy’s Gangnam Style at least once, even unintentionally. After all, how could you not? With over 1.6 billion views and counting, the South Korean eccentric (and somewhat annoying) musical video has become the most watched YouTube video, surpassing Justin Bieber’s Baby. What started as a parody on the lifestyle in Seoul’s Gangnam District has quickly become a global phenomenon with countless parody videos and flashmobs inspired by Psy’s amusing dance moves, shooting the Korean singer into world stardom.