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25 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of All Time

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 25 most viewed YouTube videos of all time. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 5 most viewed YouTube videos of all time.

When Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion, YouTube was already starting to gain in popularity. The investment has paid off many times over since, with YouTube earning $28.8 billion in advertising revenues in 2021 alone, an increase of 31% over the previous. YouTube is now a powerful platform which can be used by businesses to reach their target audience. Many companies are now using YouTube in an effort to drive engagement and build brand awareness, which in turn helps to drive sales.

Currently, YouTube has more than 2.6 billion users worldwide, which means that more than 50% of the world's Internet using population use YouTube. 122 million people, more than the population of Ethiopia or the Philippines, use YouTube every single day. This provides an amazing platform for businesses to reach a wider audience. The largest video-sharing platform in the world, YouTube offers businesses cost-effective marketing especially when compared to traditional advertising methods. Businesses can target their demographic by age, gender, location and interests, which allows the right people to see such advertisements, and the advanced analytical tools offered by YouTube allow businesses to even determine the level of success of such campaigns being conducted.

25 most viewed YouTube vidoes of all time
25 most viewed YouTube vidoes of all time

Of course, it's not a given that any business strategy on YouTube will work; just like with any other major marketing campaign, the strategy needs to be well-thought-out and should have the requisite level of investment, both in terms of time and money. If a business is unaware of their target audience or is unable to create a strategy to target them properly, then the return on investment will be quite low. As evidenced by the most viewed YouTube videos of all time, videos on YouTube need to be catchy and should have characteristics that would allow it to go viral such as a catchy tune or jingle. Hence, businesses should first research their potential or actual audience while creating a content plan which aligns with the goals and objectives of the company. While one would assume that it's a given that the videos should be of a high quality, with investments in high-quality video production equipment being necessary, many companies try to cut costs here, even though returns on such investment would be quite high.

One of the best methods nowadays, fortunately or unfortunately, is to partner with influences and YouTube personalities. For example. MrBeast, who is the most followed person on YouTube with over 130 million subscribers, often has his videos sponsored by different brands including Paypal Honey, which is the subsidiary of PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL). Papyal Honey has sponsored many videos of MrBeast, and his advertising of the product has resulted in Paypal Honey being exposed to hundreds of millions of people. However, businesses need to be careful when hiring influencers or internet personalities, since often times so-called influencers can charge large amounts or ask for goodies for free and fail to provide any traction for the business.

In its Q4 2022 earnings announced in February 2023, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has reported that its YouTube advertising revenue fell by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the same period the previous year after recording $7.96 billion in Q4 2022. This decline in revenue was a significant miss compared to analysts' expectations and has raised concerns about the company's ability to effectively monetize its platforms, including YouTube Shorts. On a more positive note, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has recently announced that the daily views on YouTube Shorts, its short-video platform, has crossed 50 billion views. YouTube Shorts was launched in 2020 as a TikTok competitor and has since grown rapidly in popularity, particularly in India where it has become one of the most popular short-video platforms. The platform is designed to provide users with a simple and fast way to create and share short videos, and it has been instrumental in Google's efforts to tap into the rapidly growing market for short-form video content. In the previous year, YouTube announced that 1.5 billion users watched Shorts every single month while in 2021, TikTok, one of YouTube's biggest competitors registered over 1 billion monthly users and Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) has more than 2 billion monthly users. While Instagram's usage of Reels, direct competition to YouTube Shorts, isn't known, it's likely to be a substantial percentage. Which of the three comes out on top will be interesting to see.

From a business perspective, this is a significant achievement for Alphabet Inc. as it highlights the growing importance of short-form video content in the digital landscape. The success of YouTube Shorts is a testament to the company's ability to innovate and adapt to changing consumer trends, and it provides Google with a valuable platform for reaching a large and engaged audience. This, in turn, presents numerous opportunities for the company to monetize the platform through advertising and other forms of revenue generation.

There was a time when a YouTube vide reaching 100 million views seemed incredible. Later on, a video achieving one billion views was considered to be an incredible feat, with "Gangnam Style" becoming the first such video. Nowadays, there are over 300 videos which have achieved over 1 billion views. Right now, the most viewed video in the world has more views than the total number of people, reaching over 12 billion views. The 25 most viewed YouTube videos of all time have achieved 120 billion views, which is absolutely staggering. Most of these videos are incredibly popular songs played all around the world, while children rhymes are also included in our list, which demonstrates that there is a huge potential in using YouTube in children's categories, though it is important to consider regulations limiting advertisement focused on children. We have determined these videos from YouTube. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the videos which have captured the attention of billions across the world, starting with:

25. Girls Like You

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.367

Girls Like you marks Maroon 5's first song in our list of the most viewed YouTube videos of all time. While the song achieved massive success, its video featured several female celebrities from singers to actors to athletes, whose clothing often represented social justice movements and messages.

24. Let Her Go

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.374

Passenger's Let Her Go was released in 2012 in the singer's fourth album All the Little Lights.

23. Faded

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.399

Alan Walker's Faded peaked in the top 10 in several countries across the world. It is also in the top 50 most streamed songs on Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE:SPOT).

22. Dark Horse

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.440

Katy Perry's first entry in our list is Dark Horse, which topped charts worldwide and is still one of the pop star's biggest songs.

21. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.460

Waka Waka combined the power of Shakira with the appeal of the most famous competition in the world by far in the FIFA World Cup in 2010, resulting in a megahit despite controversy where South Africans were disappointed that the singer for the official World Cup song wasn't from the country, even though it was hosting the World Cup.

20. Baa Baa Black Sheep

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.485

Baa Baa Black Sheep is the first nursery rhyme in our list of the most viewed YouTube videos of all time. It is also the first video in our list to be uploaded by Cocomelon - Nursery Rhymes, which will make further appearances as we progress.

19. Thinking Out Loud

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.546

Ed Sheeran's first entry in our list is Thinking Out Loud, which was released in 2014. The song received positive critical reception and topped many charts in Oceania, South Africa and Europe.

18. Sorry

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.626

Justin Bieber boasted the most viewed YouTube at the time in "Baby", but his biggest song on "YouTube" is "Sorry".

17. Counting Stars

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.720

Counting Stars is One Republic's biggest song to date, and has achieved over 3.7 billion views in a decade.

16. Roar

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.724

Katy Perry appears on our list twice, with her second entry being Roar.

15. Axel F

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.733

Axel F is originally a German instrumental composed by musician Harold Faltermeyer. Crazy Frog, a Swedish CGI-animated character, released a version of the song, which has become one of the most watched YouTube videos of all time.

14. Sugar

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 3.816

Maroon 5 is one of the most popular bands in the world, and has been for around 2 decades now. Sugar is its most popular song, with its innovative music video of Maroon 5 crashing weddings (the couple being married were already aware) achieving massive success.

13. Dame Tu Cosita

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 4.223

Dame tu Cosita is a song by Panamanian artist El Chombo, which released the YouTube video in 2017.

12. Masha and the Bear – Recipe for Disaster

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 4.526

Masha and the Bear is a Russian preschool animated television series which is the most watched such series in the world, with the episode "Recipe for Disaster" being its most successful episode yet.

11. Gangnam Style

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 4.677

10. Learning Colors – Colorful Eggs on a Farm

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 4.802

Gangnam Style, sung by Psy, was the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube in 2012. The song, which pokes fun at the lifestyle of those living in Seoul's affluent district, achieved significant virality upon release, with many celebrities also helping spread the song's popularity. The song held the record of the most viewed video on YouTube for 1,689 days.

9. Uptown Funk

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 4.818

Uptown Funk is Bruno Mars' biggest hit. Released in 2014, Uptown Fund topped the chart in 19 nations and achieved top 10 ranking in at least 34 countries. The song's accompanying music video has received critical and commercial acclaim as well, which is one of the reasons why the catchy song achieved a huge number of views and has continued to do so, even though almost 9 years have passed since.

8. Wheels on the Bus

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 4.890

Wheels on the Bus is one of the most popular nursery rhymes out there, which many readers of this article may also recall. Cocomelon - Nursery Rhymes uploaded an accompanying video for this nursery rhyme and made it one of the most viewed YouTube videos of all times.

7. Phonics Song with Two Words

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 5.139

Phonics Song with Two Words is a video uploaded by ChuChu TV, an Indian YouTube channel which has around 61 million subscribers.

6. See You Again

Total views as at 30th Jan 2023 (in billions): 5.771

The song by Wiz Khalifa, is the second most liked viewed video on YouTube. The song was a tribute to Paul Walker and was the soundtrack for the Furious 7 movie.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of All Time.

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Disclosure: None. 25 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of All Time is originally published at Insider Monkey.