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Doo Doo Doo, 10 Billion Views

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Florian Zandt

Even though K-Pop stans are arguably the most fervent fans when it comes to promoting their favorite acts on social media, the top-viewed YouTube videos are dominated by songs for kids. One of them, the notorious Baby Shark Dance, has not only become the most-viewed clip on the platform by a wide margin, but is also the first video ever to hit 10 billion views. A feat the runner-ups are most likely not to complete any time soon as our chart indicates.

Coming in second is Despacito, the at times inescapable club hit by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which was uploaded in 2017 and has been viewed 7.7 billion times. Fonsi is only one of three "regular" music artists making the top 8 YouTube clips with their songs, the other two being Ed Sheeran's Shape of You with 5.6 and See You Again by Whiz Kalifa with 5.4 billion views. The rest, including Baby Shark Dance, fall into the children's songs, nursery rhymes and education categories, which is an indicator for how popular YouTube has become for kids and, by extension, parents. This is backed up by a survey by Pew Research from 2020 where 80 percent of parents with children 11 years or younger in the U.S. claimed their kids watch YouTube videos, 53 percent of them at least once a day.

To prevent young users from gaining access to non-age-appropriate content, YouTube owner Alphabet launched a dedicated platform and app for kid-friendly content called YouTube Kids in 2015. While the content is in theory suitable for children, the mechanisms surrounding it have in the past come under scrutiny by advocacy groups like Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy due to its algorithmic selection and ads.

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