YouTube was launched in 2005, with its first video upload – Me at the Zoo – posted by founder Jawed Karim on 23rd April 2005.
Since then, approximately 1.3 billion individuals have set-up YouTube accounts. By 2018, people had watched almost 5 billion videos every day. Several hundred hours of videos are being uploaded to YouTube by the minute; these are just a few of the many incredible YouTube stats that will blow you away and this also indicates just how far YouTube’s service has come since April 2005.
The first YouTube video to garner a million views was Nike’s 2005 advert featuring Ronaldinho. Less than ten years later, YouTube’s first video with a billion views was Gangnam Style the 2012 hit by Psy which surpassed Baby by Justin Bieber to become the most viewed video on YouTube ever.
But is Psy’s Gangnam Style still holding the record? Here is a breakdown of the 10 most viewed YouTube videos of all time.
10 Most Viewed/Watched Videos Of All Time
10. Lean On by Major Lazer and DJ Snake (2.5B)
Lean On is from the third album of Major Lazer titled “Peace is the Mission.” The song is a house ballad.
LeanOn was the most streamed track on Spotify by November 2015, although One Dance by Drake overtook it the next year.
The Lean On music video’s director was Tim Erem, the location was India. It shows a series of scenes where Major Lazer, DJ Snake, and MØ performed snake dance sequences. It placed
9. Hello by Adele (2.5B)
British singer, Adele, released the hit song Hello in October of 2015 being the lead single off her third album titled “25”.
It was popular in many countries, it even reached the top position globally, including both the US and UK.
The Hello music video, starring Adele and featuring Tristan Wilds, had Xavier Dolan as its director. It easily smashed the existing record for the fastest time to get one billion YouTube views– just 88 days.
Hello currently boasts more than 12 million views, making this one of the most popular videos on YouTube.
8. Sugar by Maroon 5(2.9B)
Sugar by Maroon 5 from their fifth album titled “V” was released first as a single on 13th January, 2015.
Maroon 5 worked on the music video with David Dobkin a film director who directed the film “Wedding Crashers,” and made use of that as his inspiration for the Sugar video. Sugar rose to Number 2 on America’s Billboard 100.
The band discovered it was an awesome experience. Although they were nervous since they would be taking the attention away from the couple’s big days. A few of the grooms developed cold feet and they needed to be talked back into allowing such activity take place.
Everyone loved the surprise though.
7. Sorry by Justin Bieber(3.1B)
It should not come as a surprise that Justin Bieber still has a most viewed video on YouTube. Justin is a very visible symbol of today’s YouTube generation. It should perhaps be surprising if he cannot lay claim to more top videos.
Sorry is from Justin’s fourth album titled “Purpose.” It debuted on October 23rd, 2015. Sorry climbed to the top of music charts across 13 countries, including more than seven weeks at the summit in his native Canada. Globally, over 10 million copies were sold in 2016.
Sorry became the 5th fastest video on YouTube to get one billion views, and also the 4th fastest to reach two billion views.
6. UpTown Funk by Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars(3.52B)
UpTown Funk was released by British music producer, Mark Ronson, together with American singer and songwriter, Bruno Mars on 10th November 2014 as a single.
The song spent 14 straight weeks at the Number 1 spot on America’s Billboard 100 chart, and also attained Number 1 on the top music charts across several other countries.
The music video hit the market on 17th November 2014; showing Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, and some Hooligans walking around city streets, kitted out in nice and flashy chains and suits. It was filmed within a range of towns and cities where Bruno was on tour.
The video has gathered over 2.8 billion YouTube views to date.
5. Masha & the Bear: A Recipe for Disaster(3.56B)
This is certainly the most unique video on our list of most watched YouTube videos. It isn’t a music video, neither is it an official video (some official copies are existing on YouTube) plus, it’s in Russian!
This specific video is technically known as Masha and The Bear (Маша плюс каша, since it is the Russian version).
This Russian children’s TV show, has four series which include 68 episodes each. Some episodes of its English-language edition are on Netflix.
All of the Masha and The Bear episodes have over time been uploaded to the YouTube website, and three have currently exceeded one billion views.
It is believed that a major reason for the popularity of the show is that the girl Masha is modestly dressed in folk costume and headscarf. Her legs appear to be covered. This has made the show acceptable among Muslim audiences, which include populous countries, like Indonesia.
4. Gangnam Style by Psy(3.576B)
It should be safe to assume that Psy’s Gangnam Style was truly an unprecedented mega-hit, song that broke and set records on YouTube, which some users believed could never be bettered.
The video depicts Psy as poking fun at Seoul’s Gangnam-gu style; which is known to be, “an extremely flashy district with accompanying high expectations, high rent, and high-end lifestyle.”
The official YouTube account of Psy uploaded the video initially on July 15th, 2012. By the 24th of November that year, Gangnam Style had overtaken Justin Bieber’s record 803,700,000 YouTube views to claim the coveted #1 position.
Gangnam Style maintained that spot as the most popular video on YouTube for a remarkable 1,689 days.
It did not take long to claim another accolade of the first YouTube video to attain 1 billion views; that honor was received by December 2012. It got to 2 billion YouTube views in June of 2014, and then 3 billion by January 2018. It Ranked 4th in our list of Most Watched Youtube Videos.
3. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran(4.1B)
Ed Sheeran experienced a very successful 2017. Everywhere you went, there was always likely to be some Ed Sheeran song in play. He even got to perform as a cameo in a “Game of Thrones” episode.
Ed Sheeran released the hit track Shape of You originally in form of digital download on 6th January 2017. Sheeran also included the song in his 3rd studio album.
Ed Sheeran released the lyric video for Shape of You on his YouTube channel. People have watched that version more than 750 million times.
On 30th January 2017, the Shape of You official video got uploaded on YouTube. It was rated among the fastest music videos to reach one billion YouTube views. It reached this milestone by 8th of May 2017, only 97 days after being released.
2. See You Again – Whiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth(4.12B)
See You Again maintained YouTube’s Number One spot from July 10th – August 4th 2017; this was the video which finally ended Gangnam Style’s reign on the top position.
The primary reason for the success of See You Again was its commissioning as the official theme song for the blockbuster movie, “Furious 7”.
See You Again was written and released in tribute to the late Paul Walker; actor and fan-favorite.
See You Again eventually became the best selling track all over the world by 2015. ranked 2nd in our list of Most Viewed Youtube Videos.
1. Despacito by Luis Fonsi Featuring Daddy Yankee(6.1B)
The rise of Despacito to the summit of our list in 2019, illustrates two vital points about YouTube.
First, it tells us that the popularity of YouTube appears to be forever on the increase. There was once a period when nobody imagined that anybody could overtake Gangnam Style by Psy.
It is also a demonstration of how YouTube has now become a phenomenon all over the world. Despacito, being the Spanish term for “Slowly,” is performed in Spanish by Luis Fonsi, a Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, featuring Daddy Yankee, a Puerto Rican rapper. Despacito’s music video shows the two artists performing in the neighborhood of La Perla in Old San Juan, inside the local pub La Factoría.
This song topped the music charts in at least 47 countries. It became the first Spanish track to top the US Billboard 100 in over 20 years.
Despacito was the first YouTube video to get to both 3 and 4 billion views. The video leap-frogged See You Again to claim the all-time number 1 spot on YouTube in August 2017. It ranked 1st in our list of most viewed youtube videos of all time.
So, what has become of the past record holders, Justin Bieber’s Sorry? Or Psy’s Gangnam Style? Quite a fall from grace, we are sure you will agree.
With the ever-increasing amount of popularity these YouTube videos gather, views are increasing by the billions. It becomes about holding on to a spot in the top region for as long as possible.