When YouTube launched on February 14, 2005, no one could have predicted how the platform would reinvent video making and the entertainment industry. On the 15th anniversary of the platform, take a look at the most-streamed videos from each year since it launched.
From commercials to comedy sketches to music videos, YouTube is one of the most diverse streaming platforms on the planet, because anyone can upload content.
2005: Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold
At the end of YouTube’s first year, the most viewed video was an impressive clip of Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho Gaucho kicking a ball off the side of a net on an empty field, only to have the ball returned to him. The video, which was uploaded by Nikesoccer, has since been taken down but has been re-uploaded by other accounts. The video was dethroned 70 days later when The Lonely Island’s “Lazy Sunday” video from Saturday Night Live was uploaded on January 9, 2006.
2006-2007: the evolution of dance
The speaker of motivation Judson Laipply has dominated the charts of YouTube for two years with his performance in offbeat ” Evolution of Dance “. Shot in front of a live audience, Laipply dance through a number of dance routines in classic 1950s to 2004. With corresponding tracks playing in the background, it made “The Twist”, headbangs to AC/DC, breakdances, does the “Macarena,” and many more. The video, Laipply has been such a success that it has made two sequels to the video in 2009 and 2016.
2008: Avril Lavigne-girlfriend
Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” music video marked the start of a trend for most viewed videos for the following decade, where music videos for pop songs would become the most popular videos on YouTube.
Even though the punk-pop singer’s music video was uploaded in early 2007, it didn’t reach the top slot until July 2008, where it would stay until early 2009, only to be dethroned by “Evolution of Dance” taking the top spot again.
2009: Charlie Bit My FInger
One of the most unexplainable viral videos is probably the “Charlie bit my finger-again!” video, which stars British toddler Harry Davies-Carr and his infant brother Charlie. The video captures a spontaneous moment where Harry places his finger near his brother’s mouth only to have it bitten. “Ouch, Charlie! Ouch! Charlie, that really hurt. Charlie bit me,” Harry says as his brother giggles. The video inspired a number of parodies, remixes and remakes.
The video was the last non-music video to dominate the YouTube most-viewed list, before Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video claimed the spot in April 2010.
2010-2011: Justin Bieber-Baby
While certainly not the last time the world would hear from Bieber, “Baby” was the singer’s breakthrough. The music video, which features Bieber breakdancing in a bowling alley, became a classic, remaining a staple of Bieber’s live shows well into his Purpose world tour in 2017 and spawned a number of covers and parodies.
2012-2017: PSY-GANGNAM STYLE
The music video for South Korean pop star and rapper Psy’s crossover hit “Gangnam Style” holds a number of records. Besides being the most viewed video on YouTube for nearly five years straight (1,689 days), it also was the first video to pass a billion views on the platform. The video remains the seventh most viewed video of all time on the site.
The viral video, which inspired many to imitate the singer’s memorable dance moves, was overtaken in August 2017 by Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” music video.
2017-Present: Luis Fonsi-Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee
The music video for Luis Fonsi’s hit song “Despacito” is the current most viewed video on YouTube with over 6 billion views. Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee claimed the top spot in August 2017, nearly eight months after the video was first uploaded. The video has over 2 billion more views than the video ranked behind it — the music video for Ed Sheeran’s 2017 song “Shape of You.”