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Gangnam style

Gangnam Style overtakes Bieber, is most watched video in YouTube history

Gangnam style

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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It’s official. The viral phenomenon that is ‘Gangnam Style’ today overtook Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ to become the most watched video in YouTube history.

The video for the song, by Korean artist Psy, has now been watched over 805-million times, one-million times more than Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ video.

According to search tool WordStream, ‘Gangnam Style’ currently receives 4 062 video views a minute, while ‘Baby’ gets 550.

Psy Gangnam Syle

The video from the South Korean singer is also the most liked video on the video-sharing channel. It has 5.3-million likes, while Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ is a likely candidate for the most disliked video on YouTube with over 3.2-million dislikes

It’s fairly obvious now that ‘Gangnam Style’ will be the first video in YouTube history to reach one-billion views. WordStream estimates that it’ll hit that magic number around 11 December.

Take a moment to think about that. ‘Gangnam Style’ has been watched almost as many times as there are people on Facebook. That’s without even going into all the other videos (such as 80 000 Koreans singing the song back at Psy, or the artist dancing with Britney Spears on the Ellen show) that have attracted millions of views themselves.

All that from a video that is a satire concerning current Korean consumerism.

WordStream founder Larry Kim reckons that the sheer scale of numbers around ‘Gangnam Style’ means that the song will be “influencing pop culture on a global scale for many years to come!”

He adds that the video itself is unlikely to lose its popularity any time soon:

While the internet is no stranger to viral YouTube videos, “Gangnam Style” has shown rare endurance for a one-hit wonder. Where other videos are quick to drop off the radar, “Gangnam Style” seems to multiply its supporters with each passing week — the quirky k-pop hit has continued to thrive long after many pundits have prophesied its end — this astonishing achievement has redefined the very notion of viral video success.

Psy Defeats Bieber: Gangnam Style Takes Best in Show for Most Viral Video of All Time! #Viral Marketing
© 2012 WordStream, Inc., a Online Marketing and Search Engine Marketing Platform company.

The 35 year-old Psy started his entertainment career after dropping out of university in the US. After returning to South Korea, his first appearance on national television occurred in the year 2000 when his dancing caught the attention of a TV producer.

His first album, PSY from the PSYcho World! received a fine due to what was viewed as inappropriate content. In 2007, his career was forced into hiatus after state prosecutors accused him of evading national military service — compulsory for all Korean males aged 18 to 35.

In addition to being the most watched video in YouTube history, ‘Gangnam Style’ is also the first Korean song to hit the number one spot on iTunes.