People never tire of watching YouTube videos. That is proven day by day as videos on YouTube as new videos routinely cross the 1 million view mark in a single day. Although new niches are making ground on the platform, music videos are still the dominant force when it comes to viewership on YouTube. This article has collected the five most viewed YouTube videos so that you can watch them all right here, and also discusses their success on the platform.
1. Most viewed YouTube videos: Despacito
This music video broke so many records in such a short time that it’s not even fair to put it in the same category as other videos on YouTube. In a league of its own, “Despacito” is by far the most viewed YouTube video.
“Despacito,” ironically, means “slowly” in English. There was nothing slow about how this song featuring traditional guitar and reggaeton beats became an instant hit. The song, written by Luis Fonsi, Erika Ender, and Daddy Yankee, achieved some astonishing feats on YouTube:
- Most viewed YouTube video with over 5.2 billion views
- Fastest YouTube video to reach 1 billion views (96 days)
- Fastest YouTube video to reach 2 billion views (154 days)
- First YouTube video to reach 3, 4, and 5 billion views
Despacito was officially uploaded on YouTube on January 12, 2017. The video surpassed 3 billion views just 203 days after being uploaded, quickly making it the most viewed video on YouTube. To be fair, the rapid success was also boosted by Justin Bieber’s remix version:
Justin Bieber’s rendition of the song, which has over 624 million views alone, helped spread that catchy reggaeton sound in the English-speaking countries and further expand the dominance of the song. The sheer social proof of this video, with the most views, has driven people to watch it just out of curiosity as to why it’s so popular!
2. Most viewed YouTube videos: See You Again
The well-known “See You Again” song from the Furious 7 movie soundtrack currently sits at the second most viewed video spot on YouTube. The song, created by Wiz Khalifa with a collaboration effort from Charlie Puth, is a tribute to the late Paul Walker. 3.6 billion views, and counting, is one hell of a tribute.
The emotional pop-rap ballad rose quickly on the platform to end the five-year reign of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” as the most viewed YouTube video. Unfortunately for fans of Wiz, “See You Again” held the crown for three weeks as “Despacito” claimed the first position. “See You Again” still achieved some notable feats:
- Most-liked YouTube video from August 28, 2016, to July 25, 2017
- The second ever video to record 2 billion and 3 billion views
- The second ever video to achieve 10 million likes, showing the importance of getting likes
“See You Again” was the most viewed YouTube video from July 10 to August 4, 2017. Even though its reign as the most viewed video was rather short, “See You Again” made YouTube history and is to date Wiz Khalifa’s most successful YouTube video.
3. Most viewed YouTube videos: Shape Of You
Ed Sheeran’s very slow-danceable “Shape Of You” stands as the third-most viewed YouTube video, but it seems not for long. The song currently has 3.55 billion views, and it is likely to surpass “See You Again” which has 3.59 billion views to date.
The official music video for the song was uploaded on January 30, 2017, and is Ed Sheeran’s most successful YouTube video. Ed’s a hit machine though, with his song “Thinking Out Loud” currently having 2.3 billion views.
The catchy dancehall-infused pop song was an instant hit as it peaked at number one on the singles charts of 34 countries. The song became the most-streamed Spotify song on 21 September 2017, and it seemed like YouTube success was just a matter of time.
The actual song debuted on Ed Sheeran’s YouTube channel with this creative lyrics video on January 05, 2017. Once the lyric video went viral it was determined that a proper music video had to be released. Little did Ed know that the video would make such a big impact on YouTube:
- Second-fastest video to reach 2 billion views on YouTube (187 days)
- Third video to reach 3 billion views on YouTube
- Third-fastest video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube (97 days)
- Third-most viewed video with 3.55 billion views
2017 was a great year for Ed, as his award-winning third album “Divide” produced some excellent hits, like “Perfect” and “Castle On The Hill.” “Shape Of You” is, without a doubt, the biggest hit of his career… So far.
4. Most viewed YouTube videos: Gangnam Style
Almost everyone knows the crazy horse-dance song that went viral in 2012. PSY’s “Gangnam Style” made YouTube history as the song that literally changed YouTube. Up until this music video appeared, YouTube was working just fine with its 32-integer system, which had the limit of views set at 2.14 billion views. How could any video ever get that many views?
YouTube soon had to upgrade to a 64-integer system and keep up the pace with the dazzling growth of “Gangnam Style.”
The “Gangnam Style” music video by PSY was uploaded on July 15, 2012, and is currently the fourth-most viewed YouTube video of all time. Gangnam Style is mostly known as the first video to break through the 1 billion view barrier on YouTube. Other accomplishments include:
- First video to reach 1 and 2 billion views
- Third video to reach 3 billion views
- Most viewed YouTube video from November 24, 2012 to July 2017
“Gangnam Style” overtook Justin Bieber’s record of 803,700,000 views for “Baby,” and was reigning supreme as the most viewed video on YouTube for an astonishing 1,689 days.
5. Most viewed YouTube videos: Recipe For Disaster
The most unusual among the five most viewed YouTube videos is definitely this one. The Russian cartoon, “Masha and the Bear: Recipe for Disaster,” has managed to garner a whopping 3.1 billion views.
The “Masha and the Bear” animated series is obviously popular with children. The series has been translated into 25 languages and has been broadcasted in over 100 countries. Still, that doesn’t really answer the question how this video became the fifth most viewed YouTube video.
All of the series episodes have been uploaded on YouTube and a few of them have exceeded 1 billion views. With 3.1 billion views, this is the only non-music video that has a place in the top 10 most viewed YouTube videos. While it may seem unusual, the channel does have many of the characteristics of other successful YouTube channels. It goes to show you that anyone can succeed on YouTube if they find the right audience, and work at it consistently.