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Most Googled Video 2012

It is fair to say that a civilization can be measured by what it reads, but also what it watches. A review of the most googled videos of 2012 (also referred to as the most watched videos or YouTube’s top ten viral videos), reveals a society with a short-attention span (most videos are under 4 minutes long) and fascinated by musical artists, a war criminal, politicians, comedians, and a skydiver — in that order.

At the top of the list of the most googled videos is Korean rapper PSY’s entertaining satirical dance (can you say giddy-up, partner?) the “Gangnam Style” with more than 140 millions views (by March 2013, the numbers of views shot up to 1.4 billion). Gangnam Style is sure to join the Hall of Great Dance Fads like the Macarena (sung by Los Del Rio, 1969) and The Robot (1990s). At position 2 is Walk Off the Earth’s clever acoustic cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know” that answers the musical question: how many people can play a guitar simultaneously? In a field of mostly frivolous, forgettable videos, at position 3 is a very serious 30-minute long documentary titled “Kony 2012” by film maker Jason Russell for Invisible Children Inc. The goal of Kony 2012 is to raise awareness about war criminal/terrorist Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, responsible for killing more than 2,600 civilians and accused of abducting more than 66,000 children to become child soldiers and sex slaves. In position 4 is a video that will thrill tweens: “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen featuring tween singing sensations Justin Bieber, Selena, Ashley Tisdale, et al hamming it up (a modern dat Rat Pack-Lite) for a completely uninspired, mindless music video.

During an election year, it makes sense that a presidential debate makes it into the video list; however, dropping in at the fifth position, is a parody of the debate starring two impersonators duking it out rap-style in “Obama vs. Romney Epic Rap Battles of History.” Clearly this performance cost Romney the election. At position 6 is the clever video, “A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square” that shows what happens in a quiet town square in Belgium when someone presses a button. This is an expensive and carefully directed video intended to go viral to promote dramatic shows on TNT (“We know drama”). At position 7 is a comedy routine (rant) by two comedian/entertainers from Atlanta, Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson titled: “Why You Asking All Them Questions?” If this is the best comedic performance of the year — comedy is in deep trouble. Next at position 8 is indie recording artist Lindsey Stirling, a talented young violinist, teaming up with an inspired cinematographer, Devin Graham, to create an enchanting music video. In the video, Lindsey plays her instrumental song “Crystallize” on violin while dancing through a stunningly beautiful ice castle constructed in Colorado. At position 9 is a guide to raising a child in the internet age (updating Dr. Spock perhaps): “Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen” that probably resonated with frustrated parents all around the world. Tommy Jordan, an IT specialist from Albermarle North Carolina, angrily reads his rebellious 15-year-old daughter’s blocked Facebook post — a rant about not being a slave to her parents and insisting to be paid for her chores. His dramatic response to Hannah’s post is to take out his gun (a .45) and fire several rounds into her laptop (“This one’s from your momma!”). He advises Hannah to get a job and buy her own laptop. It ends with a friendly, “Have a good day, y’all.” At position 10 is Australian skydiver and daredevil, Felix Baumgartner’s (“Fearless Felix”) spectacular, jaw-dropping jump from the stratosphere (over 24 miles high), breaking three world records: 1. Highest parachute jump/freefall: 128,097 feet (24.2 miles); 2. Fastest jump/freefall: 833.9 mph, traveling faster than the speed of sound (Mach 1.24); and 3. Highest manned balloon flight: 128, 097 feet. It was one of the most fascinating and riveting events of the year, viewed in real time by more than 8 million people around the globe.

List of top ten viral videos/most watched videos of 2012:
1. Gangnam Style by Korean rapper PSY
2. Somebody That I Used to Know by Walk off the Earth
3. KONY 2012
4. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen featuring Justin Bieber, Selena, Ashley Tisdale
5. Obama vs. Romney Epic Rap Battles of History
6. TNT’s A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square
7. “Why You Asking All Them Questions?” by Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson
8. Crystallize by Lindsey Stirling
9. Tommy Jordan’s “Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen”
10. Felix Baumgartner’s Supersonic Free Fall

Read related posts: The Most Googled People

The Most Googled Men

The Most Googled Women

The Most Googled Topic

The Most Googled Question

The Most Common Words in English

The Most Looked-Up Words

Red Bull Stratos: Mission to the Edge of Space

For further reading: http://www.google.com/zeitgeist/2012/#the-world

YouTube by the Numbers

Since its creation in early 2005 by three former PayPal employees (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim), YouTube has grown exponentially, revolutionizing how people communicate. Prior to 2005, videos were like rare specimens trapped in liquid amber for perpetuity. Some of these videos found life on crass television shows featuring so-called “funniest” videos. YouTube’s innovation was to marry technology with the public’s endless addiction to wacky, mind-numbing videos. Some of YouTube’s statistics are astounding as they are sobering. According to Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of equilibria, it is only a matter of time until the human race evolves into a creature with extremely large eyes, small brain and body, living a complacent, sedentary existence that only T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock could appreciate: “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

Page views per day: 4 billion
Page views per year: 1 trillion
Number of users: 800 million
Time spent watching videos: 3 billion hours per month
Average time visitor spends watching videos: 15 minutes
Video footage upload: 10 hours of video per second (translating into about five months of videos every hour, 10 years of video every 24 hours!)
Percentage of videos that account for 99% of viewing on the site: 30%
Google’s purchase price: $1.65 billion (October 2006)
YouTube’s revenue: $1.1 billion+ (estimated, 2011)

Number of servers: According to a report by Rich Miller (Data Center Knowledge), Google owns approximately 900,000 servers based on a data center energy usage analysis by Stanford Professor Jonathan Koomey. How many of those are dedicated to YouTube is anyone’s guess since Google is very secretive about its data centers. (Facebook, with a similar amount of users as YouTube, owns over 80,000 servers.) According to Koomey, Google is designing a new storage system called “Spanner” that can automate allocation of resources across 1 to 10 million servers!

YouTube’s first video: “Me at the Zoo” by Jawed Karim filmed by Yakov Lapitsky at the San Diego Zoo in 2005.

YouTube’s most watched music video (all-time):  “Psy – Gangnam Style” with 1.4 billion views” in number two position: “Justin Beiber – Baby featuring Ludacris” with over 839 million views*

YouTube’s most watched viral video (all-time): “Charlie bit my finger — Again!” with over  457 million views. Howard Davies-Carr filmed his two boys, Charlie and Harry, back in May of 2007. Howard says the video was “simply an attempt to capture the boys growing up” and wanted to share it with the boys’ godfather. The video has gone on earn the family over $500,000 through advertising.

YouTube’s founder’s favorite video: “Battle at Kruger” This video (65 million views and counting) captures the quintessential essence of YouTube: the priceless eyewitness footage of life as it happens. Filmmakers Buzz Budzinski and Jason Schlosberg capture the spectacular circle of life as it plays out at a rather crowded watering hole located in Kruger National Park, South Africa. The cast of characters includes: a herd of cape buffalo, a pride of lions, and an opportunistic crocodile; at the center of all the action: a terrified, defenseless calf.

YouTube’s most annoying video: Just about any video featuring the Kardashians.

Read related posts:

Most downloaded videos

Fur further reading: BattleatKruger.com, Citigroup, NBC Dateline, YouTube, Time (1.30.12), and Wikipedia. http://mashable.com/2012/03/30/charlie-bit-my-finger/
*Numbers cited here are as of March 2013. YouTube posts the most watched video in various categories in their charts section: http://www.youtube.com/charts/videos_views

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