72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute making 'YouTube's most watched' an achievement reserved for an elite few.
The ultimate indicator of what's hot and what's not, the list of most important clips of the year provides an interesting insight into our tastes.
This year, Nova radio duo Fitzy and Wippa's parody Aussie Batler Style saw them jag the number three spot.More stories from Today Tonight
Bella Ferraro's audition from X Factor was ranked second, converging traditional TV with the online medium.But the winner this year, KONY 2012, changed the way we will use YouTube forever.According to Shane Treeves, spokesperson for YouTube Australia, "Kony's video had 31 millions views in a single day. The mos views of a single video on YouTube in a day."
The video was also ranked third most popular in the world - remarkable as it is the first video to make the list that's about a cause, and not just light entertainment."I don't think KONY 2012 will be the last serious issue. It's the only one this year, but I think that if I was an activist right now, especially an activist that was savvy with video, I'd be studying KONY 2012," Treeves said.Dr Greg Downey, an anthropologist from Macquarie University, says YouTube has literally changed the way we tell stories.Today Tonight's latest celebrity and entertainment stories"It has changed the whole genre of video, whereas once upon a time we might have turned to a movie or a TV show, it's like now we sort of get 'video sushi' or 'video appetisers'. They're entrees so you just sort of get little bits and pieces, and you can pick your own," Dr Downey said.Australia's love affair with British boy band One Direction propelled their clip for One Thing to the third most popular watched music clip, with nearly 200 million views worldwide.Carly Ray Jensen's hit Call Me Maybe was the second most watched clip Down Under. Worldwide it catapulted the Canadian to fame, soaring past 360 million views.More stories from reporter Adene CassidyWhen it comes to hits on YouTube though, nothing comes close to the popularity of Gangnam Style. It was the most watched clip in Australia and the world, and is predicted to be the first ever video to pass on billion views."Gangnam Style is a fascinating video on a lot of levels. It's a video that in some ways was perfectly timed. It wasn't just well made, it wasn't just interesting, it was timed at a moment when all the tools for sharing - YouTube and the integration of YouTube into mainstream media (were there)," Dr Downey said.It's hard to believe, but Dr Downey argues that Gangnam Style is not a musical masterpiece. Nor it is the most popular song of all time. It was just in the right place at exactly the right time.The top ten global videos of 2012
- 1. PSY - Gangnam Style: This crazy Korean pop music video surprised the world and is on track to be the first video on YouTube to reach one billion views (currently at 966 million) and has become the most viewed video of all time in just six months.
- 2. Walk off the Earth: The most-viewed cover song of 2012, otherwise known as 'Five people, one guitar' attracted 140 million views this year.
- 3. KONY 2012: For one week, this was the most-shared video in the world. The cause-based video was March's top search and garnered the most views ever for a YouTube video in a single day (31 million).
- 4. Call Me Maybe - Bieber, Gomez, Pena: This video, covering the song of the summer, kicked of a trend of lip sync videos that spanned from the Harvard baseball team and celebs to Olympians and the President (sort of).
- 5. Epic Rap Battles - Obama vs. Romney: This episode, featuring well-known Obama impersonator Alphacat, is from YouTube's 'Epic Rap Battles' which drew over 250 million views this year (that's 25 million views per episode). It also points to a larger 2012 trend: videos of Obama and Romney were viewed well over 2 billion times.
- 6. Dramatic Surprise: What happens when you place a mysterious sign in the middle of a Flemish square? The world wanted to know as this video brought in 25 million views in the first week it was posted, with ten different countries viewing it over a million times each.
- 7. Why You Asking All Them Questions: Comedian Emmanuel Hudson's popularity exploded this year, especially in the southern US with almost half of this video's 39 million views coming from mobile devices.
- 8. Lindsey Sterling: Lindsey's trademark dubstep violin styles created a lot of buzz this year - especially in the US, Germany and Poland. This video, which was shot by fellow YouTube creator Devin Graham, has over 500,000 likes and 100,000 comments.
- 9. Facebook Parenting: A father's reaction to his daughter's Facebook post set off a storm of controversy, discussion, and response videos, with eleven million views in just one day.
- 10. Stratos Highlights: This live stream of Felix Baumgartner's free-fall from 128,000 feet shattered previous live stream records with eight million concurrent views. Since then, 14,000 videos have been posted mentioning 'Felix Baumgartner' and the recording posted to YouTube has attracted 30 million views.