Gangnam Style hits one billion YouTube views

Steven Loeb · December 21, 2012 · Short URL:

K-pop sensation is the first video to ever reach that milestone

When I got up this morning, I immediately went to lookout the window. While it was still pitch black outside (I will never get used to being up at 5 am!) the world was still here. There was no giant fireball, or massive tidal wave. In other words, no apocalypse.

“Ha, you stupid Mayans!” I thought to myself. “What do you know?”

Then, it happened. I saw a piece of news that hit me like a ton of bricks. Something incredible. I should have seen it coming, and yet I didn’t want to believe. Was the apocalypse really happening after all?

What was this earth shattering news, you ask? Gangnam Style, the song you kind of liked at first, then couldn’t get away from until you wanted to tear your ears off after hearing it a million times, has become the first video to ever get one billion views on YouTube.

1,000,382,639 people have seen the video, which was only put up on July 15 of this year. That means that one seventh of the entire population of the world! The video has been liked 6,101,779 times, and gotten 440,288 thumbs down.

Of course, YouTube could not be happier about the news.

“PSY's success is a great testament to the universal appeal of catchy music-- and er, great equine dance moves. In the past, music distribution was mostly regional. It was more difficult to learn about great artists from around the world. But with a global platform at their fingertips, people are now discovering and sharing amazing music from all over the planet, by artists like Brazilian Michel Teló and Belgian-Australian Gotye,” Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, wrote in a blogpost Friday.

“The kind of amazing creativity and unique connection between people all over the world that resulted in this one billion views is only possible with an incredible community of people we're so lucky to have on YouTube. And we can't wait to see what you'll come up with next!”

The video has now been viewed at least one million times in almost 75 different countries. The video is so popular that on October 6, there were more than five million searches for the term “gangnam style” in one day.

Gangnam Style has created over $8.1 million in advertising revenue and has been downloaded nearly 3 million times since July. It has been purchased over 600,000 times in the iTunes store since last month, making Psy the first Korean to ever be the number one artist on the U.S. iTunes chart.

It was almost exactly one month ago, when Gangnam Style surpassed Justin Bieber’s Baby to become the most viewed video in YouTube history.

At the time, ChannelMeter predicted that the video would get to one billion views on December 16, but I can cut them some slack for being off by around five days.

Perhaps the best part about any phenomenon of this kind these days are the parody videos. And there have been a lot of them for Gangnam Style.

“From a one-thousand person flash mob in Jakarta to cover videos from Ai Weiwei and Mitt Romney, hundreds of thousands of parodies have been uploaded to YouTube, some of which have tens of millions of views. In fact, fan tributes to Gangnam Style are now being viewed 20 million times every single day,” Allocca said.

Here is one of my favorite Gangnam Style tribute videos:

(Image source:

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