I updated the stats in my social media presentations and these are the top 10 YouTube videos by most views as of October 16, 2013. Not too long ago Charlie was number 1. It is the oldest video in this list and the only non-music viral video. I have also included the upload dates to YouTube for each of these videos.

1. PSY – Gangham Style
1.8 BILLION
Uploaded July 15, 2012

2. Justin Bieber – Baby ft. Ludacris
913 Million
Uploaded February 19, 2010

3. Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor ft. Pitbull
698 Million
Uploaded March 3, 2011

4. Eminem – Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna
607 Million
Uploaded August 5, 2010

5. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
580 Million
Uploaded March 8, 2011

6. Charlie bit my finger – again !
577 Million
Uploaded May 22, 2007

7. Gentleman
564 Million
Uploaded April 13, 2013

8. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
561 Million
Uploaded July 4, 2010

9. Bad Romance
540 Million
Uploaded November 23, 2009

10. Ai Se Eu Te Pego
529 Million
Uploaded July 25, 2011

 

 

19 Comments
  1. It’s interesting to note that 9 out of 10 of the top ten Youtube videos are all music-related. If you think about it, Youtube has really become the successor to MTV, one that is democratized and easily accessible by everyone. This freedom also paved the way for videos like ‘Charlie bit my finger’ where anyone could literally become famous with just a simple click.

    On a side note, all videos are familiar to except for the 10th one. Anyone care to explain who that guy is and why he’s popular?

    • Rather interesting how a non-American video has taken both the engine and the caboose of the top ten train. It’s true, though, this really is the new MTV/radio. Can you help but wonder why, though? The ability to choose an infinite amount of anything that you actually want to listen to, not just go along for the ride.. seems like a great recipe for a good time.

      On a side note, it’s quite curious that three PayPal employees are the ones who developed the website.

      • Funny, I just remembered the the doomsday scare last year that connected ‘Gangnam Style’ with a Nostradamus quatrain. The quatrain referred to a ‘dancing horse’ and ‘9 circles’ and was supposed to coincide with PSY’s viral video going 900 million views, signaling the end of the world. It was a hoax, of course, one of probably thousands lurking around in the uncharted regions of Youtube. It really proves the power of the site as an agent of mass media.

      • Yes, YouTube has definitely taken the place of MTV and other television channels that once were leaders in this regard. MTV is now almost strictly reality TV and documentaries about music artists that are already famous.

        It’s wonderful, in contrast, that YouTube has provided an opportunity for emerging music artists. So many have been discovered on YouTube, and this continues to happen to this day. Look at the recent example, how Ylvis’ Fox video went viral and now they’ve got a record deal.

        And of course YouTube is much more than music. Think of the many tutorial channels that have had success, such as Khan Academy.

  2. PSY remains an unbeatable on this list. We need another media impact to achieve shake the might of the korean singer. However, the rest of the videos on this list have very similar numbers.

    The “virality” of the videos, is a key factor in some cases, but as we can see, this isn’t necessarily the key to success. There is a complex combination of factors, such as luck, weather, economy, fashion, which is decisive for the emergence of a video in the Top Ten. I think we can’t figure out which is the secret that lies behind the success on YouTube.

  3. Ooch! We all had a baby bite our finger before, as in #6. That did rate high.

    Youtube has become an avenue for musicians to sell their music, since Vh1 and MTV aren’t showing that many good videos. So right now a lot of us go to youtube to see and hear the new releases.

    Youtube is also mass media for your own videos, TV video clips interviews, program instructions and video gaming.

  4. I guess it’s unsurprising that the most viewed videos are music-related. Until I found Spotify I exclusively listened to music on YouTube. It’s free, relatively quick, and usually high-quality. While the longer, non-musical videos are always appreciated, they often don’t reach as many people, and they’re often harder to sit down and watch. People always want their music, sometimes regardless of who it’s from. That’s a luxury other types of videos can’t afford.

    • That’s a good point. Youtube’s design could be highly conscripted not only as a place for videos but for just for playing pure audio as well. This is a great example of how people redefine products by using them to different ends. This might be the reason why they started the video playlists — as a proxy for the usual music playlist.

    • Another good point of YouTube: everybody knows it, and nobody needs to log in for it!

      Also there are no Charlies biting fingers in Spotify. One of the marvels of Youtube is that, by clicking on the recommended videos of the side, in the matter of minutes of hours you get to some pretty obscure weird video. It’s fascinating.

  5. I personally feel happy to see this list because all my favorites are in it, no matter whether they are all related to music or the rest. The only thing which I couldn’t digest till now is how come this Gangham style take the first place leaving the third position to Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On The Floor ft. Pitbull’ which is outstanding all the time. One of my all-time favorites is ‘Charlie bit my finger’ and it makes me a bit disappointed to see it in sixth place, but took its place in top 1o though being an old one.

  6. I’m actually happy to see that Justin Bieber isn’t at the top of this list. Is that bad? Haha! I am also really happy to see two of my favourites on this list as well, Eminem and Rihanna! PSY is awesome too! Love that Gangham Style! I had never even heard of Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Teló, but I gave it a listen. It’s catchy!

  7. Wow! Gangnam style will soon reach 2 billion views!
    This video is really a phenomenon.

    Then Justin Bieber has the 2nd place no real surprise. I also think it is the video with the most dislikes on Youtube.

    Then there other major hit music. I wonder how they manage to reach that number of views and become so popular. But the video of PSY is the only one who approaches this number view!

  8. Along with PSY’s apparent apathy for other countries (not sure if it was actually true), the views on the song makes the others look like amateurs. I admit that it’s a pretty catchy tune and just trying to perform the dance move is like working out on a treadmill for 30 minutes.

    With things like the Harlem shake and other viral dance moves that were rehashes of the originals, it’s not too surprising YouTube is the go-to source for anyone to become famous. I’m surprised there weren’t any kitten videos on that list, or even any baby videos as well because those usually garner attention pretty quickly.

  9. I can’t believe it, PSY still dominates?! Well, I should not be surprised, I for one has been helping him stay on top I admit that until now I still play it on You tube every once in a while because my 2 yr old son looks really cute and adorable every time he dances with the tune. PSY’s domination won’t probably last any longer. By the way, The Fox is my sons favorite video now, so I guess I will be helping them reach the charts soon enough. (or maybe not).

  10. Wow! PSY is the current ruler of YouTube, even though he isn’t a real YouTuber. Pretty unfair, but that’s how the world works.

    Interestign list, David, I like it. Also, I’ve noticed that the majority of these are music videos… MTV anyone?

  11. Majority Music related it shows you what our word regards as entertaining and worth while spending there time on. I can’t believe that PSY – Gangham Style is number 1 but when you look at the rest of the top 10 it makes sense. What also surprises me is the difference between number 1 and number 2. Massive!

  12. I can’t believe Justin Bieber is ranking at number 2! There are so many interesting and much better videos (whether it’s music or others) out there… I just can’t understand why teenagers are still crazed about him. He doesn’t seem to be a nice person at all and after all the things he has done to some of his fans you would think his popularity would start to crumble.

    Anyway, it’s clear that a lot of people are looking for music videos when they come to Youtube and more and more artists are creating music clips with this in mind. It’s also a great way to go from being an unknown artist to a world wide popularity just like PSY did. Not many can get as many views as he did but getting over 1 million views is really great for someone who is starting out.

  13. Now that it’s nearly a year later this is a cool little time capsule 🙂 You should post them regularly! I had a really fun time watching these videos and remembering some good times. There is so much to see on youtube that I prefer to browse lists like these so I don’t get overwhelmed.

  14. Justin Bieber is in the top ten.
    I’ve lost the will to live.

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