YouTube Rewind Reveals World’s Love for Music, Creativity…and Rebecca Black

Posted by · December 20, 2011 3:11 pm

Despite all of life’s uncertainty, one thing remains the same: People are unpredictable. Whoever said that our tastes change every seven years apparently made such a claim long before the Internet was around to disprove that theory. Seven years is about six years, eleven months, and 364 days too long. At least that’s how it would seem when it comes to the videos we watch each year.

Taking to the Official YouTube Blog on Tuesday, the YouTube trends team compiled lists of the videos and channels that captivated the world’s attention in 2011. According to the post, over 1 trillion video playbacks occurred throughout the year. To put that into perspective, that averages out to approximately 140 views per person on the entire planet.Topping the list of most viewed YouTube videos—minus videos from major music labels—was none other than YouTube sensation Rebecca Black, whose music video “Friday” was subjected to just about every type of remix imaginable. Such variations included a death metal version, several in-depth lyrical analyses and my personal favorite, a rendition on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” featuring Stephen Colbert and the Roots.

Other notable videos included the “Ultimate Dog Tease,” two songs by comedy music group The Lonely Island (“Jack Sparrow” and “The Creep”), and a cherry Pop-Tart with feline appendages that flies through the starry night sky meowing its favorite song, all the while leaving a colorful rainbow in its wake (No, I’m not exaggerating). Believe it or not, that video took the No. 5 spot.

Meanwhile, the YouTube post highlighted the top ten major label music videos. Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” topped the list. Meanwhile, artists Katy Perry, Pitbull and LMFAO took two spots apiece.

While the top music video results may not be so surprising—remaining lockstep with pop radio—the most viewed non-music YouTube videos are a bit more telling. People are, without a doubt, extremely random. No formula exists that can perfectly determine the virality of the videos that we make and post for the world to watch.

And yet, no matter how unsystematic the selection process, everyone just seems to know when the “right” video comes along. Wherein lay the instant YouTube stardom of one Rebecca Black.