YouTube’s most popular videos today have little to do with those who have had this distinction in previous years. Although videos like Charlie Bit My Finger or Chocolate Rain got a little viral in the early years of YouTube’s most viewed content, child-friendly content and videos from famous musicians like Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran have found their way into the top spots. Music videos, in particular, have done well since they are now the majority of the most popular videos ever viewed in YouTube history.
If that number of views matters, the video sharing website can be seen as the main platform for music videos and children's programs, and not just for fun, meme-worthy videos.
10. Justin Bieber – sorry (3.29 billion)
Even though Justin Bieber was the second musician to get a video with a billion views on YouTube, he achieved that status with Baby, not the current tenth video on our list. Interestingly, with more than 3 billion views, Sorry turned out to be his most popular YouTube video by far.
We are sorry that the 22nd video has reached the billion view mark. However, the music video has quickly proven itself and is one of the fastest to hit the 2 billion mark. It easily sailed to 3 billion without much difficulty.
9.LooLoo Kids – Johny Johny Ja Papa (3.30 billion)
It took a while, but another video for kids made it into the top ten most watched YouTube videos. Johny Johny Yes Papa is a short, animated music video about a mischievous baby and his papa. It's a simple song about a baby trying to eat some sugar (literal sugar cubes), although his dad obviously doesn't approve of it. Does the child get the sugar? You have to be careful to find out. The song itself is not really annoying. It's almost too simple and short to be an earwig. This is a good thing considering that it has been viewed / listened to over 3 billion times.
8. Miroshka TV – learning colors Multicolored eggs on the farm (3.30 billion)
Pedagogical entertainment for children is slowly taking over the ranking of the most viewed videos on YouTube. No wonder, because if children stare at screens for an appropriate part of the day, it makes sense that the program of choice among parents 1) is freely accessible and 2) educational. The multicolored eggs from Miroshka TV on the farm are no exception. It's a children's educational video that has been viewed over 3 billion times in the two years since it was first uploaded.
It is a fun, five-minute video in which small children are taught about (roughly) animated eggs on a farm about different colors. The video itself is told in Russian and teaches children the names of different colors in Russian. The only parts of the video that are not in Russian are the music (Old MacDonald Had a Farm was sung in English) and all the subtitles that appear when you activate them. The video is a bit slow (some scenes are a bit long) but has fun, silly moments that appeal to a younger audience.
7.PSY – Gangnam Style (3.63 billion)
Psy’s Gangnam Style, a true symbol in YouTube’s video history, was a monster hit and the first YouTube video to be viewed more than a billion times. In addition, it achieved this goal in less than six months after its release – from July to December 2012 – an amazing feat for its time. It was the first video to reach two billion views in May 2014 and didn't see a close competitor until 2015.
Given that more than 100 videos on YouTube can have a billion views or more, Gangnam Style remains one of the most viewed videos of all time. It beats the much younger competition to keep its top 10 spot almost eight years after its explosive debut.
6.Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft.Bruno Mars (3.85 billion)
Although Uptown Funk is older than the top three videos on this list, it continues to attract new viewers to remain a potential threat to the charts. Ronson's video made its YouTube debut in November 2014 and quickly became one of the most popular and popular videos of all time.
Just as impressive as the total number of its views is that it has beaten the tough competition of its contemporaries. With big music videos by other great artists like Katy Perry, her big hits from 2014 reached several billion views. Uptown Funk still manages to outshine these successes.
5. Masha and the Bear – Recipe for Disaster (4.27 billion)
Recipe for Disaster is one of many episodes of the Russian CGI-animated TV show for children, Masha and the Bear. It is one of only two entries that are not a music video and only one of four entries that are not entirely in English. The show is widespread outside of their home country, and many episodes have a huge number of views on YouTube. It will also air on Netflix and NBCUniversal in a collective episode format.
The episode "Recipe for Disaster" is of particular interest because of its astronomical view. It's in a sacred club with only five videos that have exceeded 4 billion. It's the most popular non-music video ever on YouTube, maybe anywhere.
Get Movies, the channel that uploaded Recipe for Disaster, earned a lot of viewers from this one episode alone.
4. Wiz Khalifa – see you again at Charlie Puth (4.56 billion)
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's See You Again is the first video on this list to include a film – Furious 7 – to help promote it. It has garnered over four billion hits since its debut in April 2015, and is a tribute to Paul Walker, the former star of the Fast Saga, who passed away in 2013.
Between July 10 and August 4, 2017, the video remained the most viewed video on YouTube and dethroned Gangnam Style. This reign was only temporary, as Despacito overshadowed it. It was also the most popular video between August 26, 2016 and July 25, 2017.
See You Again was the second video to cross the 2 billion view mark and is one of only five videos to have been viewed more than 4 billion times.
3.Ed sheeran – form of you (4.79 billion)
Whether you see it or not, there's no denying that Shape of You is one of the most watched videos of all time. It holds records as the third fastest video to reach a billion views and is the second fastest to reach 2 billion and 3 billion views.
Shape of You received all awards for the number of views in just two years after its debut in January 2017. It seems ready to continue to establish itself as one of the most popular videos of all time.
2. Pinkfong – Baby Shark Dance (5.43 billion)
Sometimes a song becomes famous only because it is catchy. We saw it at Barney in the early days, so it's no surprise that it happened again in an insanely catchy nursery rhyme about a shark family.
Baby Shark Dance, produced by Korean pop producer Pinkfong, is not a complicated song. It has sharks, repetitions, and a considerable amount of existential fear – that's it. However, this song became the newest member on the list and inspired countless variations that can be found on YouTube.
Let's face it, if the only way to educate Baby Shark and play it 12 times in a row is to calm your toddler, every parent with internet access will do just that. Expect Baby Shark's meteoric rise to continue.
1.Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft.Daddy Yankee (6.78 billion)
For a website run by an American company and dominated by English-language content, it may come as a surprise to see that the most popular YouTube video of all time – and one that shows no signs that it will soon be in the shade is sung – almost exclusively sung in Spanish.
With the artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee from Puerto Rico, Despacito landed on YouTube in January 2017 and received more than a billion hits in just 97 days – the second fastest run ever. The video became the fastest with 2 billion views and the first video with more than 4 billion, 5 billion and now 6 billion views.