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List of most-viewed YouTube videos

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YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The site indicates view counts of each uploaded video, making it possible to keep track of the most viewed, many of which continue to exist while others are no longer available on the site. Although the most-viewed were initially viral videos uploaded by amateur content creators, such as "Evolution of Dance" and "Charlie Bit My Finger", they have increasingly become music videos produced on behalf of professional recording artists. Since Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" in 2009, every video that has reached the top of the "most-viewed YouTube videos" list has been a music video.

In November 2005, a Nike advertisement featuring Brazilian football player Ronaldinho became the first video to reach 1,000,000 views.[1] The billion-view mark was first passed by Gangnam Style in December 2012. On January 13, 2022, Pinkfong's "Baby Shark" became the first video to hit 10,000,000,000 views.[2]

Views represent how many times a video is watched. To ensure that traffic is coming from actual humans and not scripts or other deceptive methods, YouTube has a secret algorithm to separate legitimate views from illegitimate ones, and only legitimate views are included in the view count.[3] Specifically, to count as a legitimate view, a user must intentionally initiate the playback of the video and play at least 30 seconds of the video (or the entire video for shorter videos). Additionally, while replays count as views, there is a limit of 4 or 5 views per IP address during a 24-hour period, after which point, no further views from that IP are counted until the 24-hour period expires.[4][5]

Top videos

The following table lists the top 30 most-viewed videos on YouTube, with each total rounded to the nearest 10 million views, uploader, and publication date. Note that some videos may not be available worldwide due to regional restrictions in certain countries.[6]

Billion-View Club

An early metric of a video's popularity was the so-called Billion-View Club, denoting videos which had succeeded in reaching over 1 billion views since their initial upload.[56]

In December 2012, "Gangnam Style" became the first video to reach one billion views.[33] By June 2015, only "Baby" had also managed to pass this threshold, but, by October 2015, a total of ten videos had done so,[56] and the number grew further to over 400 in 2024.[57]

Older videos that pre-dated the launch of YouTube in 2005 but were added later to pass a billion views are as follow:

With numerous videos readily clearing one billion views by 2018, more interest has been on two- and three-billion-views-and-higher metrics. In May 2014, "Gangnam Style" became the first video to exceed two billion views.[34] "Despacito" became the first video to reach three billion views in August 2017,[12] four billion in October 2017,[13] five billion in April 2018,[14] six billion in February 2019,[15] and seven billion in October 2020.[16] "Baby Shark Dance" became the first video to reach eight billion views in February 2021, nine billion views in July 2021, and ten billion views in January 2022.[8] As of March 2024, it has more than fourteen billion views.

As of May 2023, thirteen videos have exceeded four billion views, eight of which exceed five billion views, five of which exceed six billion views, and two of which exceed eight billion views. "See You Again" became the second video to reach three billion views in August 2017,[24] followed by "Gangnam Style" in November 2017.[35] "Shape of You" became the second video to reach four billion views in January 2019,[27] followed by "See You Again" in February 2019.[25] "Baby Shark Dance" became the second video to reach five billion views in April 2020,[62] followed by "Shape of You" in October 2020. "Baby Shark Dance" became the second video to reach six billion views in July 2020, and seven billion views in October 2020.

The majority of these videos in the Billion-View Club have been commercial music videos by popular artists, but the list has included oddities, typically programs aimed at children. Such videos include two episodes of the Russian animated cartoon Masha and the Bear, a version of "The Wheels on the Bus" by the British animation studio Little Baby Bum, and "Johnny Johnny Yes Papa" from children's stations LooLoo Kids and ChuChu TV.[63] Various versions of the song "Baby Shark" in total amassed more than five billion views by January 2019, with the original version posted by Pinkfong having exceeded two billion views previously.[64] The original video by Pinkfong is now the most viewed video on the site. On October 29, 2020, Baby Shark surpassed 7 billion views, and on November 2, 2020, it passed Despacito to become the most viewed video on YouTube. On February 23, 2021, Baby Shark surpassed 8 billion views, becoming the first video to do so. On July 20, 2021, Baby Shark surpassed 9 billion views, becoming the first (and currently only) video to do so. On January 13, 2022, Baby Shark became the first (and currently only) video to surpass 10 billion views.[8]

On July 14, 2022, YouTube made a special playlist and video celebrating the 317 music videos to have hit 1 billion views and joined the "Billion Views Club".[65][66]

On April 1, 2024, the communications app Discord incorporated a short trailer video into their in-app April Fools' Day prank regarding loot boxes. The video automatically looped for anyone with Discord open, even if the notification had not been opened yet. This had the inadvertent effect of massively increasing the trailer's view count, causing it to reach a billion views in less than 24 hours and becoming the most-viewed video in that timeframe on the platform, surpassing Grand Theft Auto VI's trailer which gained over 90 million views in a single day.[67][68] The video later had its view count adjusted to the low millions.[citation needed]

Historical most-viewed videos

The following table lists the videos that became YouTube's most-viewed video, from October 2005 to the present.

  Current record of days held (⁂)
  Former record of days held (*)
  Indicates the video has since been removed or privatized from YouTube (‡)
Progression of the most-viewed video on YouTube
Video name Uploader Views at
achievement*
Publication date Date achieved Days after
upload
Days
held
Takedown date Ref Notes
"Baby Shark Dance"[7] Pinkfong Baby Shark - Kids' Songs & Stories 7,046,700,000 June 17, 2016 November 2, 2020 1600 1,358
"Despacito"[10] Luis Fonsi 2,993,700,000 January 12, 2017 August 4, 2017 206 1,186 [11] [B]
"See You Again"[21] Wiz Khalifa 2,894,000,000 April 6, 2015 July 10, 2017 826 25 [22]
"Gangnam Style"⁂[31] Psy 803,700,000 July 15, 2012 November 24, 2012 134 1,689 [32] [E]
"Baby"*[69] Justin Bieber 245,400,000 February 19, 2010 July 16, 2010 149 862 [70] [F]
"Bad Romance"[73] Lady Gaga 178,400,000 November 24, 2009 April 14, 2010 143 93 [74] [G]
"Charlie Bit My Finger"[77] HDCYT 128,900,000 May 22, 2007 October 25, 2009 887 171 July 2021 (made available again January 2024) [78]
"Evolution of Dance"[79] Judson Laipply 118,900,000 April 6, 2006 May 2, 2009 1062 176 [80]
"Girlfriend"‡[81][82] RCA Records 92,600,000 February 27, 2007 July 17, 2008 508 289 November 2009[83] [84] [H]
"Evolution of Dance"[79] Judson Laipply 78,400,000 April 6, 2006 March 15, 2008 651 124 [86]
"Music Is My Hot Hot Sex"‡[87] CLARUSBARTEL72 76,600,000 April 9, 2007 March 1, 2008 327 14 March 15, 2008[88] [89] [I]
"Evolution of Dance"*[79] Judson Laipply 10,600,000 April 6, 2006 May 19, 2006 16 652 [91] [J]
"Pokémon Theme Music Video"‡[92] Smosh 4,300,000 November 28, 2005 March 12, 2006 105 68 June 2007[93] [94] [K]
"Myspace – The Movie"‡[97][98] eggtea 2,700,000 January 31, 2006 February 18, 2006 18 22 mid-2006[99] [100]
"Phony Photo Booth"‡[101] mugenized 3,400,000 December 1, 2005 January 21, 2006 50 28 February 14 to 18, 2006[102] [103] [L]
"The Chronic of Narnia Rap"‡[107] youtubedude 2,300,000 December 18, 2005 January 9, 2006 22 12 February 14 to 17, 2006[108] [109]
"Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold"‡*[110] Nikesoccer 255,000 October 21, 2005 October 31, 2005 10 70 July to August 2009[111] [112] [M]
"I/O Brush"‡*[116] larfus 247,000 October 5, 2005 October 29, 2005 24 2 January to April 2007[117] [118]
As of July 22, 2024

* The approximate number of views each video had when it became YouTube's most-viewed video.

Timeline of most viewed videos (October 2005 – January 2024)
Baby Shark#Pinkfong versionDespacito#Music videoSee You Again#Music videoGangnam Style (music video)Baby (Justin Bieber song)Bad RomanceCharlie Bit My FingerGirlfriend (Avril Lavigne song)#Music videoMusic Is My Hot Hot SexJudson Laipply#Evolution of DanceThe MySpace Movie

Other milestones

YouTube announced that cumulative views of videos related to Minecraft, some of which had been on the platform as early as 2009, exceeded 1 trillion views on December 14, 2021, and was the most-watched video game content on the site.[119]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Baby Shark Dance" was the fifth video to reach 4 billion views on November 25, 2019; second video to reach 5 billion views on April 3, 2020; second video to reach 6 billion views on July 16, 2020; second video to reach 7 billion views on October 29, 2020; first video to reach 8 billion views on February 23, 2021; the first video to reach 9 billion views on July 20, 2021; first video to reach 10 billion views on January 13, 2022;[8] first video to reach 11 billion views on July 24, 2022; the first video to reach 12 billion views on December 29, 2022, and the first video to reach 13 billion views on June 20, 2023. It surpassed "Despacito" on November 1, 2020 to become the most-viewed video of all time.[9]
  2. ^ a b "Despacito" surpassed "See You Again" as the most viewed video on August 4, 2017;[11] first video to reach 3 billion views on August 4, 2017;[12] first video to reach 4 billion views on October 11, 2017;[13] first video to reach 5 billion views on April 5, 2018;[14] first video to reach 6 billion views on February 24, 2019;[15] first video to reach 7 billion views on October 10, 2020;[16] second video to reach 8 billion views on November 6, 2022.[17] YouTube's most liked video with over 52 million likes as of January 2024.
  3. ^ "See You Again" surpassed "Gangnam Style" as the most viewed video on July 10, 2017;[22] second video to reach 2 billion views on September 3, 2016;[23] second video to reach 3 billion views on August 6, 2017;[24] third video to reach 4 billion views on February 7, 2019; fourth video to reach 5 billion views on March 7, 2021;[25] and the third most liked video with over 42 million likes as of January 2024.
  4. ^ "Shape of You" was the second video to reach 4 billion views on January 7, 2019;[27] third video to reach 5 billion views on October 1, 2020; fifth video to reach 6 billion views on May 23, 2023.[28]
  5. ^ a b "Gangnam Style" surpassed "Baby" as the most viewed video on November 24, 2012;[32] first video to reach 1 billion views on December 21, 2012;[33] first video to reach 2 billion views on May 30, 2014;[34] third video to reach 3 billion views on November 25, 2017; eighth video to reach 4 billion views on March 4, 2021.[35]
  6. ^ "Baby" became to first video to reach 500 million views on March 28, 2011.[71][72]
  7. ^ "Bad Romance" became the first video to reach 200 million views on May 9, 2010.[75][76]
  8. ^ Approximately ten million views per month as of 2007.[85]
  9. ^ "Music is My Hot Hot Sex" became the first video to reach 100 million views on March 11, 2008.[90] The uploader then deleted the video four days later, and "Evolution of Dance" regained its status as the most-viewed video.[88]
  10. ^ "Evolution of Dance" became the first video to reach 20 million views on June 5, 2006 and the first video to reach 50 million views on June 7, 2007, and received approximately five million views per month.[90] It is the only video on this list to hold the No. 1 spot on more than one occasion.
  11. ^ "Pokémon Theme Music Video" became the first video to reach 10 million views on May 6, 2006.[95] It was removed from YouTube in June 2007 for copyright infringement.[96]
  12. ^ "Phony Photo Booth" became the first video to reach 5 million views on February 8, 2006.[95] It was removed from YouTube in February 14–18, 2006 for terms of use violation.[104][105][106]
  13. ^ "Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold" became the first video to reach 500,000 views on November 3, 2005;[113][95] first video to reach 2 million views on December 12, 2005.[95] It was removed from YouTube in July–August 2009 for copyright infringement.[114][115]

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