It’s harder to stumble
into viral video fame these days. But YouTube has just released a list
of the top ten videos that managed to find massive viral viewership
Five years ago, when YouTube pieced together its first list of the year’s
top ten videos, many were accidental home videos or amateurish films
never designed for widespread consumption, said Kevin Allocca, a trends
manager for the company.
With nine of the ten videos that made this year’s YouTube list
coming from professional producers, making a video that appears to be
an accidental hit is becoming increasingly typical. The list was released
“There are more and more people who know how to build an audience,
how to use YouTube,” Allocca said. “There are companies
who spend millions and millions of dollars trying to do create these
The only video on this year’s list not professionally produced
was “Facebook Parenting,” a brash video that shows a father
shooting his daughter’s laptop after she used it to make disparaging
and profane remarks about him.
It created a wealth of controversy, with some parents appreciating the
“hard love” parenting style, while others saying he went
The list, topped by the ubiquitous “Gangnam Style,” was
cobbled together primarily by views. But YouTube also considered how
many times the video had been shared, parodied and commented on by users.
Several other trends emerged from this year’s list, Allocca said.
The most-popular videos are generally growing lengthier — this
year’s longest, “Kony 2012? spanned 31 minutes. It also
attracted more than 30 million page views during a single day in March,
giving it the all-time 24-hour record.
Also, more of the videos are drawing worldwide appeal, Allocca said,
citing “Gangnam Style.” Its catchy beat crossed oceans,
even if many of the listeners had no clue what the lyrics meant.
Given the 2012 election, politics certainly tinged this year’s
list: videos of Obama and Romney were viewed more than two billion times,
according to YouTube. The most popular video? “Epic Rap Battles:
Obama vs. Romney,” which featured two hilarious rappers —
albeit ones that didn’t look much like the candidates.
“I’m not gonna let this battle be dictated by facts,”
a Romney impersonator rhymes to open the video. “I’m rich.
I’ve got fat stacks and super PACs.”
Here are this year’s top 10 videos, along with brief descriptions.
What were your favorites? What videos should have been included?
1) PSY – Gangnam Style: Do you know what this video is really
about? Do you care? Just keep dancing.
2) Walk off the Earth: This
was the year’s most popular cover song, with more than 140 million
3) KONY 2012: Even though
this video lasted more than 30 minutes, it attracted more than 30 million
viewers during a single day in March, giving it the all-time 24 hour
4) Call Me Maybe - Bieber,
Gomez, Pena: Even economic writers were using the lyrics of this song
to explain the complications of the euro zone crisis.
5) Epic Rap Battles –
Obama vs. Romney: Why watch the candidates discuss substantive issues
when you can watch impersonators blend half-truthful caricatures into
hilarious rap battles?
6) Dramatic Surprise: More
people watched this video of a mysterious sign in the middle of a Flemish
square than the population. Keep calm and carry on, people.
7) Why You Asking All Them
Questions: Why do girls ask so many questions? Why did more than 39
million people watch this video? Where did they get that delicious fried
8) Lindsey Stirling: C’mon.
You knew dubstep – mixed with a violin — would be on the
list. Right? Welcome to 2012.
9) Facebook Parenting: This
dad, whose daughter disparaged him on her Facebook FB -0.32% account,
wasn’t happy. So he took her laptop into a field and peppered
it with a barrage of bullets. Seems logical, right?
10) Stratos Highlights: Why
was Felix Baumgartner jumping from 128,000 feet into our atmosphere?
No clue, but eight million people tuned in to watch live.