Tracking the Solar Eclipse on YouTube

August 22, 2017

One of the biggest social media moments of 2017, Monday’s solar eclipse, which was visible throughout North America, also became a top moment for video and one of the largest livestreamed events ever on YouTube.

From news organizations to educational institutions, a multitude of channels livestreamed the eclipse on YouTube. By 10:20 a.m. PT on Monday, more than 2 million viewers were simultaneously tuned in to these livestreams, including NASA’s, which was the most-watched.

In all, viewers watched livestreams and videos about the eclipse over 100 million times and for 6 million hours since Monday morning. Some people recorded their own time-lapses, 360 videos, and personal vlogs of the experience, and instructional videos on eclipse viewing were a favorite as well, like ”How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse” (1.8 million views Monday) and ”Make a solar eclipse viewer at home with a cereal box” (580,000 views).

Some viewers used YouTube to celebrate the eclipse in a different way: through music. We saw a major spike in viewership of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" -- the official video was viewed over 1.6 million times yesterday, with hourly views reaching as high as 260,000 -- which was also the song we saw people adding most frequently to "Eclipse"-related playlists in the lead-up. (The rest of the top 5 included Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising,” Katrina and the Waves' "Walking On Sunshine," Owl City's "Galaxies," and Smash Mouth's "Walkin' on the Sun," respectively.)

If you didn't get to see the eclipse (or couldn't get your hands on some eclipse glasses), you can watch plenty of replays like these.

'Despacito' Is Now the Most Viewed Video in YouTube History

August 04, 2017

Only 204 days after first being uploaded to YouTube, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s breakout hit “Despacito” has officially become the most viewed video in YouTube history. And with 3,000,730,629 views and counting, the video today also became the first to reach the once unfathomable 3 billion marker on the platform.

“Breaking the record for most viewed video of all time on YouTube is truly incredible, not only for me but for Latin music and our culture.” Fonsi explained in a statement. “Working with a platform like YouTube has allowed our song to reach audiences all over the world, something that just a decade ago was nearly impossible.”

The new record comes less than a month after Wiz Khalifa's “See You Again” took over YouTube’s top spot from PSY, who held the crown for over four and half years with his ubiquitous clip for “Gangnam Style.” And while the previous record holders and other YouTube heavyweights like Justin Bieber - “Sorry,” Mark Ronson - “Uptown Funk” and Major Lazer - “Lean On” have displayed impressive trajectories, nothing quite compares to the unprecedented growth of “Despacito.” Averaging 14.5 million views per day since upload, the video already owned the record for fastest video to 1.5, 2 and 2.5 billion views, reaching each of those milestones in less than 1/2 of the time of the previous record holders. See how other top viewed music videos on YouTube compare to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s collaborative effort here.

Today’s numbers are just the latest in a growing list of accomplishments for the international chart topper, which last month became the most liked video on YouTube. The clip is currently the most viewed video of the year in over 40 countries, earning massive numbers in every corner of the world -- 385 million views in Mexico, 224 million in Brazil, 146 million in Italy, 85 million in France, 41 million in Indonesia, 33 million in India, 18 million in Israel, 10 million in Egypt, and millions more throughout the globe.

But Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are not the only Latin artists currently experiencing a massive growth spurt, with acts like Nicky Jam, Maluma, J Balvin, and Ozuna each already earning over 1 billion views across YouTube in 2017. Around the world, monthly view counts for top Latin acts have skyrocketed since this time last year, growing 940 percent in Indonesia, 821 percent in the Philippine, 463 percent in India, 284 percent in South Africa, 260 percent in Israel, 270 percent in New Zealand, 237 percent in Turkey, 178 percent in the U.K. and 110 percent in Canada. And as further proof of the explosion, Latin artists make up a full 1/3 of the slots on this week’s YouTube Global Tracks Chart.

Kevin Meenan, YouTube Music Trends Manager

Game of Thrones Continues to Level Up Fan Engagement on YouTube

July 29, 2017

Which Game of Thrones episodes have generated the most activity on YouTube? With Season 7 of Game of Thrones now under way, we can see how it compares to previous seasons by totaling views of Game of Thrones–related videos uploaded on an episode’s air date, plus two days.

  • The Season 7 premiere generated the most activity on YouTube compared to any other premiere, Seasons 1–6.
  • The Season 6 finale generated the most activity of any Game of Thrones episode.
  • Based on historic trends, we expect Season 7 to continue an upward trajectory and surpass views set by Season 6. 
  • Season 3, Episode 9 (“The Rains of Castamere,” also known as “The Red Wedding”) is the third most popular.

When it comes to the most popular elements from Game of Thrones, we examined characters and houses from the show to determine the most popular, using views on videos related to each:

  • Daenerys and House Targaryen are among the most popular on YouTube.
  • The Starks (including Jon Snow) total four of the top 10 characters.

Will Daenerys continue to remain the top character through Season 7? Will the Season 7 finale surpass the finale from Season 6? Once the season concludes in August 2017, we will eagerly update the results.

The Songs and Artists that Spike in Popularity on America’s Birthday

July 02, 2017

What's the perfect soundtrack to a Fourth of July BBQ? According to YouTube data, it is likely to include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, and Neil Diamond, amongst other holiday musical standouts.

In celebration of America’s birthday, we crunched the numbers on past Fourth of July listening patterns and uncovered the artists and songs that receive the biggest year-to-year holiday spikes. For example, Bruce Springsteen’s "Born in the U.S.A." saw a 2300% views increase on July 4th when compared to its typical daily averages, while country staple Lee Greenwood received a 2100% bump across his entire catalog on past Independence Days. The two artists also prove to be massive regional favorites, having the largest percent increase in views in every state but Delaware, where John Mellencamp landed the honor.

Other notable acts experiencing annual lifts include Fall Out Boy, Trace Adkins, and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, whose 1991 hit "Summertime" also saw recent peaks in viewership on Memorial Day and the summer solstice. See below for the full list of musicians and tracks that earned the most holiday growth:

  • This list is led by Lee Greenwood, who’s track “God Bless the USA” brings his music to the forefront on YouTube.
  • At #2, Toby Keith’s many patriotic anthems (e.g., “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue”, “American Soldier”, and “Made In America”) elevate his popularity on July 4th.
  • At #10, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince benefit from the aforementioned resurgence of their hit “Summertime.”

With the exception of “Pink Houses” in Delaware, “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood and “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen have the largest percent increase in views on July 4th across the rest of the 49 states.

Nationally, the remaining top 10 include songs by Neil Diamond, Fall Out Boy, and Trace Adkins:

These tracks speak to the diversity of the US community, from country music to pop punk  – something to keep in mind while you get started on your playlist for this weekend.