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The Most-Watched YouTube Videos of All Time Have Something in Common

I don't understand why people say the content on social media is stupid. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Baby Shark Dance vid is my absolute fav. By fav I mean I watch it once in the morning, at lunch plus before I go to bed.

Did you know it's been watched over 14 billion (not a typo) times? Not bad considering the population of "Earth" is only 8 billion.

The only video content I think that stacks up is possibly Citizen Kane or Casablanca.

The Most-Watched YouTube Videos of All Time Have Something in Common

The top 10 videos on YouTube have all racked up over 5 billion views, but there's also another trait that ties them together.

By Eric Griffith, PC Magazine

May 16, 2024

You might think you’ve seen all that’s good on YouTube, but if you haven’t seen the top ten listed here, then you’re being left out of the global zeitgeist. These charts show both the most watched videos, as well as the most liked and disliked videos (as indicated by viewers handing out thumbs-ups). All of them are music videos specifically—no shorts or long-form videos come close.

While the majority appear to be US-centric, there’s a bit of a global vibe thanks to the inclusion of music videos for songs like “Despacito” and “Gangnam Style”—videos that were also hugely popular in the US. Half of the top ten most viewed videos directly target children.

The number of views underscores the importance of multiple views for a video; Statista says YouTube only has 2.1 billion users worldwide, yet seven times that many have views belong to Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark Dance.”

That video is currently the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, and has held that title for quite a while. “Baby Shark Dance” debuted in June 2016. It was the first and only video in YouTube history (thus far) to reach 10 billion views, which it hit in less than six years, in January 2022. It has added another 4.32 billion views since that milestone.

Naturally, some parents hate this tune (and many of the other kids’ songs on this list) because of its vapid content (the Verge called the “Johny Johny Yes Papa" video “a godforsaken nightmare“) or the maddeningly infectious melody, sometimes known as an "earworm." Usually both.

That earworm part is key. It’s why so many kids will watch them over and over. There’s a reason the only video maker on this list twice is Cocomelon; a channel that primarily posts videos for children.

Another interesting thing to note is that, among YouTube's top videos, there's a disconnect between likes and views. You might think the most viewed would also be the most liked, but that’s only the case with three videos. “Despacito,” “Baby Shark Dance,” and Ed Sheeran’s video for “Shape of You” are on both lists. (If you look at the history of videos that held the most liked spot for a long time, "Gangnam Style" is in there.)

MrBeast has a couple of videos on the most-liked list: "Would you fly to Paris for a Baguette?" and "Giving iPhones Instead of Candy on Halloween," both from late 2022.

In fact, a couple of the most watched videos also have the most thumbs-down votes. Specifically, that “Johny Johny Yes Papa” nightmare and, courtesy of having so many repeat views, “Baby Shark Dance.” Six out of ten of the most disliked videos are for children—that’s some seriously disgruntled parents!

Did you miss out? Here are the top 10 most-watched videos for your viewing pleasure (or the opposite).

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