As the end of the year approaches, many fields of industry and interest around the world will look back with fondness on the past 12 months, one of which is video-sharing website YouTube, who have celebrated a year of further improvement 14 days early by composing a range of ‘Top 10′ lists for markets around the world, although one video will most likely be present in all of them, and is the basis of a video celebrating the best of 2012’s viral offerings.
The main list of interest is in the collection on YouTube’s official ‘Spotlight’ channel (created under the sub-channel ‘YouTube Rewind 2012′), and while off-linking to a number of category-specific ‘Top 5′ lists and country-specific ‘Top 10s’ (along with the same page for 2011’s videos), the centre of the channel is the hub that contains 10 of the most high-profile clips of the year, along with one that the site will be amongst the most viral by the time the year is ended.
The lists of popularity have been compiled by a mixture of views, searches, parodies, remixes, and responses (amongst other deciding factors), so while it is not necessarily a list of the videos with the highest viewcount (which would almost entirely be filled by VEVO-operated popular music), it is a collection of the 10 ‘most trending’ of the year, though the #1 spot is no surprise, as you can see from the list below, complete with YouTube’s explanation for each entry. World TV PC has featured 4 of them this year, and the entire top 10 can be relived in the 68-minute+ playlist video below:
10) Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k’ – Mission: “Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space was one of the most viewed live events ever with millions of viewers tuning in or watching these highlights.”
9) Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen.: “Early in the year, this extreme look into father-daughter relationships in the age of social media sparked a storm of controversy and discussion.”
8) Dubstep Violin- Lindsey Stirling- Crystallize: “Lindsey Stirling’s unexpectedly awesome combination of dubstep and violin helped make her channel a huge hit in 2012.”
7) WHY YOU ASKING ALL THEM QUESTIONS? .. #FCHW: “Emmanuel Hudson teamed up with Spoken Reasons, producing 2012’s most entertaining commute.”
6) A DRAMATIC SURPRISE ON A QUIET SQUARE: “TNT’s launch in Belgium was accompanied by this epic stunt, becoming one of the most popular “ads” of the year.”
5) Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney. Epic Rap Battles Of History Season 2.: “In 2012, ERB’s Season 2 drew over 250 million views and this political battle was one of the many, many videos we watched during the election season.”
4) “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen – Feat. Justin Bieber, Selena, Ashley Tisdale & MORE!: “Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and more kicked off the Call Me Maybe lip sync trend that helped make it 2012’s song of the summer.”
3) KONY 2012: “For a week in March, the most-shared video in the world was a 30-minute doc from a nonprofit group driving unprecedented discussion and interest.”
2) Somebody That I Used to Know – Walk off the Earth (Gotye – Cover): “The biggest cover video of 2012 belonged to Canadian band Walk off the Earth, whose unconventional take on Gotye’s single became an international hit.”
1) PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V: “PSY was 2012’s Internet breakout star as Gangnam Style approached 1 billion views and became YouTube’s most-watched video of all time in just 6 months.”
The official YouTube blog wrote of the trends of the year, along with some viewing statistics for its global audience: “It’s that time of year again to pause, rewind and remember the videos, the entertainers, and the moments that captivated you in 2012. This year, Korean Pop music transcended boundaries and took the world by storm. Cover songs, parodies, and “do-it-yourself” music videos from all genres entertained us in countries near and far. And you participated in conversations at a global scale, uploading videos to share ideas on everything from nonprofit campaigns, to political satire, to new and surprising voices and talents. Plus, all over the world, you tuned in for the most up-to-date news footage of presidential elections, natural disasters and more.
2012 has been a big year for YouTube. You’ve been watching over 4 billion hours of video a month. Millions of creators are using YouTube channels to experiment with innovative forms of entertainment, explore their passions and interests, and take creativity and pop culture to new levels. 2012’s top trending videos showcase this creative ingenuity in ways we’d never before thought possible.“
YouTube ‘trends manager’ Kevin Allocca added of the development’s prior to the page’s release: “Almost everything on the list this year was created by professional or creative talent for an online audience,” YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca told AFP shortly before the results were released. It’s different from years ago, when homemade videos or random, funny stuff from smartphone cameras were the hits.”
As mentioned above, there are no surprises with the breakout video of the year (despite it only being uploaded in July), but while K-Pop hit ‘Gangnam Style’ edges closer to becoming the first ‘billionaire’ YouTube video hit-wise, its South Korean star led the collaborative video ‘Rewind YouTube Style’ that features appearances from many YouTube-based musicians and comedians, with the clip viewable below for anyone wanting to try and spot their favourites: