How many YouTube videos have a billion views?

Image via Baby Shark

When you think about the quantity of a leading device Youtube is in our daily life, we wonder how we were doing before the platform existed. These days, YouTube is more than just a space for entertainment ⏤ it’s a source of news and information. Want to know how to set up your bed frame or change a light bulb or make pie crust? YouTube it. Like Google, the word is synonymous with action, and 122 million people use “YouTube” every day. That’s two billion people every month.

But before YouTube was a verb, it was a little getaway where people could enjoy 360p quality videos, dial-up, and some of our favorite music videos from the 2000s. Music videos (and music videos television and film) were initially among the most-watched videos on the platform, so it makes sense that a music video would be the first video to hit a billion views.

Which video reached 1 billion views first?

Image via Psy – “Gangnam Style”

Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore, hitting a billion views was once a big milestone. PSY’s “Gangnam Style” was the first to cross that threshold in 2012, and the sensational K-pop song with its cowboy-style horse-dancing move exploded worldwide. The song held the most-watched spot for three years, until a young boy named Justin Bieber came along and took its place. In 2015, “Baby” was the second video to reach one billion views.

Another 10 videos reached a billion views by the end of 2015, and suddenly the milestone lost its significance. But before we stop worrying about a meager billion views, “Gangnam Style” broke another record and became the first video to hit two billion views.

In 2017, a new music video exploded into the market and wowed us with its addictive beat and smooth lyrics. Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” featuring Daddy Yanky became the first video to reach three billion views. The clip went even further and reached four billion views in 2017, then five in 2018, six in 2019 and seven billion views in 2020.

It wasn’t until 2021 that another video came along that knocked “Despacito” off his throne, and that was “Baby Shark Dance” with eight billion views. Like “Despacito,” the addictive children’s song soared higher with nine billion views, then an incredible 10 billion views in January 2022.

How many YouTube videos are there in the Billion View Club?

The list is quite long now, with a total of (are you sitting?) 376 videos with a billion views or more. As was the case in 2012, the majority of these videos are music videos, but as you’ll see with our top 10 below, a fair number of them are lullabies and children’s songs, like CoComelon , a YouTube channel dedicated to nursery rhymes. (CoComelon currently has 18 videos with over a billion views).

That being said, music videos and kids songs aren’t the only two types of videos to rack up billions of views. With the advent of more and more content creators, people are churning out viral videos left and right, maybe no more than kids content creators with videos that teach other kids the alphabet, the colors or societal intricacies.

By Initiated, YouTube pays its content creators between $2 and $12 per 1,000 views. Content creators with over a billion views, well, we don’t need to do the math for you… Needless to say, YouTube has gone from a place of entertainment to a place of employment for many .

Curious to know which Billion View Club videos have the most views? Check out our list below.

What are the top 10 videos on YouTube with over a billion views?

Four of the 10 videos listed below are commercial music videos released by mainstream artists. The other six are songs and rhymes that prove that more and more parents are giving their kids their iPads to entertain, keep them occupied and, above all, educate them (perhaps even a little distracted).

There’s a reason these are the most viewed videos of all time. Any one of them can keep you glued to your screen for an insane number of hours. Good luck not getting addicted.

10. “Uptown Funk” ft. Bruno Mars (official video) – 4,480,852,426 views

9. Masha and the BEAR – 4,485,867,496 views

8. “Phonics Song with TWO Words” – 4,493,233,353 views

7. “Learning Colors – Colored Eggs on a Farm” – 4,556,917,152 views

6. “Bath Song” – 5,054,334,677 views

5. “See You Again” ft. Charlie Puth (official video) – 5,431,302,746 views

4. “Shape of You” (Official Music Video) – 5,634,309,339 views

3. “Johny Johny Yes Daddy” – 6,208,393,180 views

2. “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee – 7,764,517,970 views

1. “Baby Shark” Dance – 10,275,374,094 views

Whether you turn to “Uptown Funk,” wish you’d never heard of “Baby Shark,” or sing along to “Despacito,” YouTube has united billions of people around the world in a global appreciation for entertainment.

As the platform continues to be a part of our daily lives, we can expect to see more videos climbing the ranks to the Billion View Club. History has shown us that any of those listed above could be replaced by the next viral sensation. It’s hard to imagine parting ways with our current reigning champion (apologies for having it stuck in your head), but in the world of YouTube, anything is possible. Plus, if the past is any indication of the future, we’ll soon be celebrating the next big thing: the Trillion View Club.

Shirley K. Rosa