I have only seen two of these. I must be the rare last person who views family and friends more than the computer
I love this list! Been looking for something like this. It'd be awesome to have a periodic update, e.g. monthly.
To be viral, a video must be actively shared. I think this post confuses number of views with viral. The two are not inherently related.
Why do movie trailers or music videos really count as viral?
How many people are actively sharing stuff like that, as opposed to searching it out on their own?
I've seen Harry Potter trailers, for instance, but not because someone directed me to them, because I searched them out. I didn't share them with anyone else, either. My "views" aren't viral in nature.
Wow. They all suck. Each and every one. Didnt think that was possible.
Does it mean people are using YouTube much like the way they use TV? All those hyped virals do not find a place here.
I must be out of touch, but I haven't seen most of these videos. Weird.
There are 2-3 viral videos on the list.
I agree with Jeffrey Houser.
I've watched Susan Boyle, because it was a hot topic, so I clicked on the link from MSN.com I believe, just to see what all the attention was about. In that case I think the term "viral" certainly applies, especially due to the rapid "infection" rate at which people have viewed her videos.
Solja Boy, on the other hand, I have no interest in viewing, and didn't even know about his music video until visiting this website. So that is most certainly not viral.
This data seems to represent the popularity of videos across the web and not limited to any particular video sharing site.
And without second thought the biggest contributor should be Youtube, also this link http://www.blogpandit.com/2009/05/find-most-viewed-videos-on-youtube.html should be useful to find top viewed videos on YouTube
Great work, I am interested to know how you guys captured this data.
Jeffrey is right; only a few of these are viral.
Hi all: Thanks for the comments! :) Perhaps it makes sense to clarify the term 'viral' in this context, as some folks clearly have strong opinions about what is and what is not a 'viral video'.
Perhaps a more accurate description of this list would be: the top most-viewed videos across 150+ destination video sharing sites
but that didn't seem very practical. So we, like many others in our industry, use the term 'viral' to mean 'widely shared/spread videos that appear on many of the major video sharing sites'... and we tend use this term regardless of the content or source of the video.
As an independent third-party measurement firm, we do our best to steer clear of any creative critique of the videos we measure. It's pretty much "just the metrics, ma'am" from our perspective. So if a video comes from a band, a movie studio, a TV show, or a video camera that happened to be in the right place at the right time, it's all the same from our perspective.
So if a video gets passed around extensively, spreads widely across many different video sharing sites, and manages to accumulate 100 million views in aggregate, it appears on this list. And as far as we can tell, fewer than 20 have ever crossed the 100 million view threshold. And that's this list... with the viral label and all.
I hope this helps!
Be sure to check out the Wikipedia definition of viral. I did before my initial comment just to make sure I wasn't wrong.
This may be a list of "most viewed videos" which is fine and dandy, but most of them are not viral.
Or you can continue on your current quest to try to re-define the viral video concept. A lofty goal for sure and not one I envy.
Thanks for the pointer to Wikipedia. The entry for 'viral video' starts out with the following: A viral video is a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or Instant messaging, blogs and other media sharing websites. Viral videos are often humorous in nature and include televised comedy sketches such as Saturday Night Live's Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box; amateur video clips like Star Wars Kid, the Numa Numa videos, The Dancing Cadet, The Evolution of Dance, the "Benny Lava" video; and web-only productions such as I Got a Crush... on Obama. Some "eyewitness" events have also been caught on video and have "gone viral," including the Battle at Kruger."
According this definition, it seems like there is plenty of room for commercially-generated content (i.e. SNL) to be considered a viral video. That's because the emphasis here in not on the source of the video, but by the fact that it is shared via the Internet.
From everything we've measured to date -- including all 65 ads in this year's Super Bowl to multiple aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign -- there is simply no way that a video could accumulate 100 million views without extensive online sharing.
I completly agree that the focus of "viral" is on people sharing the clip and never intended to say otherwise.
I find it hard to believe that this type of sharing is the only way a video could achieve that many views.
Both movie trailers and music videos are often backed by ad campaigns with bigger budgets than the lifetime earnings of most people. Don't you think that could contribute to their massive number of views? Especially when it comes to things like a trailer for Harry Potter or Twilight.
Hi Jeff: Paid promotion is definitely part of the world of online -- and, dare I say it, viral -- video. With several hundred thousand new videos appearing everyday, some sort of promotion, even it is something small/grass roots, is generally necessary in order for any particular campaign to stand out about the fray.
Are some promotion campaigns, like those for music videos or movie trailers, larger than others? Of course. But a large promotion budget doesn't get you to 100 million views. Even a rough calculation at overly aggressive CPM's makes this cost prohibitive.
hello all, as a member of the 100+ community I think it is very interesting to read all of the discussions here about what makes a video "viral" and the nature of it. Personally, I don't really think it matters one way or the other. Truth is, tracking the reach of a video is not something that cannot easily be done without having all sorts of arguments about the validity. I think another reach of a video is its "call to action" or "copycat" ability. Sometimes certain videos lead other to re-enact them thus widening the reach.
One last thought - some of the videos appear on pages where they are automatically played when the home page is loading thus securing a larger number of views. Let us not forget the ability of hackers to raise view counts and add to a videos number. There have been several who have hacked YouTube's tracker for a short time frame. I am sure there are many more that are trying.
No matter what, it is an honor to be in the "club" and will continue to watch out for the next Susan Boyle (let's hope she does overtake "Crank That" - her story is much cooler).
Judson - so cool that you stopped by!
I learned some of my best dance moves (though I suck at all of them) from watching you man. You've got skillz with a "z"!
Congrats on being a member of the 100 mm club.
#16 - 103,000,000
#17 - 104,800,000(?? what's wrong?)
#18 - 100,100,000
I didn't think it was possible to hate Soulja Boy anymore than I already did, but that has now changed. Well I guess "hate" is a strong word, but I'll use it anyway lol.
And it's freaking awesome that Judson personally responded here.
When can we expext an update on Susan's video viral count. MUst be more tha 186,000,000 by now - surely :-)
it says the dark knight trailer has been available for only 21 weeks. that movie was released july 18th. the trailer has been out for at least a year. am i missing something? this article is dated a week ago.
@ben Strat: The number stands for "months available", not "weeks available", so the trailer has been out for 21 months.
And as far as the concept of "viral videos" is concerned: IMHO not every marketing campaign is viral. A regular movie trailer receives many hits, because people are interested in the product it promotes - the feature movie that's being advertised.
A music video is typically watched, because people already know the song, or the artist, or even the video itself from somewhere else.
The typical viral video, however, gets passed on from person to person, because it is interesting in itself - when people watch it first, they don't know what to expect at all - they just had someone they know or some website they regularly visit point it out to them.
Marketing is using this concept of course, so viral videos can be commercial videos, as well - the difference is not in the creators but in the why and how the content gets viewed and spread.
only 4 of 18 are videos created by users, the rest are commercials from the music industry :-(
who the heck generates these clicks? at most 3 of them are worth a click
Just waiting for the next Susan Boyle update. She must have at least 210,000,000 views by now...
wow It's a very interesting list!
This is a great list very cool to have somthing like this to look up. although after the recent events with the loss of the greatest entertainer of all time i would like to see wher his total combined viewing of all his videos would be placed or if not just for thriller ive read its recieved 18million in the last week alone.
This is a great list. It's amazing that videos can reach this amount of views. The world of social networking is such an impressing thing. Thanks for putting this together.
Jeremy Used Cars in Tucson
I enjoy using the video response application as well as being able to connect with other great music.
I dont think there is a problem with the way it works... If we connect our videos and get heard it was worth the research and effort.
and while your at it ,,, please continue to share my videos with anyone you like!!!!!!!!
Hey that's crazy! We're trying to reach 1,000 views for our homemade video. If you want to show us some love we'd really appreciate it!
Good List i saw this list <a href=
"http://www.youtube.com/user/Visiblenet#p/u/35/koqLWEy_s7M">Visible.net You Tube Channel with a bunch of good videos.
I can only rate the last person here who support their family
Post very interesting, thanks for information.