The Apocalypse Arrives: ‘Gangnam Style’ Cracks 1 Billion Views

By 12/21/2012
The Apocalypse Arrives: ‘Gangnam Style’ Cracks 1 Billion Views

Psy‘s ‘Gangnam Style‘ music video recently became the most viewed clip in YouTube history. Now, at the end of the Mayan calendar, the catchy K-Pop anthem has passed another milestone: it has reached ten digits, becoming the first YouTube video to crack one billion views.

I initially predicted a Christmas Day milestone for ‘Gangnam’, and while I’m sad I missed the mark, the song’s popularity is still beyond impressive. As a reminder, there are just 56 channels with a billion views, and ‘Gangnam’ has almost singlehandedly rocketed Psy’s channel up to 27th place. It’s now 200 million views clear of Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’, with no signs of slowing down.

YouTube has shared some more fun facts about the milestone:

  • PSY was already big in Korea, but in 2012, he became a global celeb as Gangnam Style quickly spread from Seoul and the pacific to North America, South America, and Europe.  It’s been seen at least 1 million times in close to 75 countries, making it one of the most global music sensations ever!
  • 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.
  • PSY’s own remix with Hyuna has 200 million views alone.
  • “Gangnam Style” was YouTube’s top rising search of 2012 and on October 6th, we saw more than five million searches for “gangnam style” in a single day. Check out this video demonstrating some of our most popular YouTube searches this year.
  • For those interested in the business side: a number of assessments and projections have been posted claiming “Gangnam Style” has generated over $8.1 million in advertising deals, hit more than 2.9 million in song downloads since July, and achieved other incredible feats!
  • Since late last month, people have clicked to buy the track on iTunes over 600,000 times helping make PSY the first Korean artist ever to rank #1 on the U.S. iTunes chart and #1 in over 30 more countries.

Amazing. To commemorate the occasion, YouTube has added a small dancing Psy to the video’s viewcount. He will bounce forever in immortality, at least until another musical sensation comes along to usurp his throne. When will that happen? Maybe six months from now, maybe never. We might as well enjoy ‘Gangnam’ while it lasts and be thankful that it didn’t bring about the end of the world.