These Are The Most-Watched YouTube Videos Of All Time
YouTube has been the dominant force in video streaming for well over a decade, with music being a huge driver of the platform’s growth.
However, there seems to have been a demographic shift in YouTube’s audience over the years.
As Visual Capitalist’s Freny Fernandes details below, while commercial music videos once dominated the rankings of the most-viewed videos on YouTube, they have since faced stiff competition from an unlikely source: nursery rhymes and children’s educational videos.
This graphic pulls up the 20 most viewed videos on YouTube, revealing the rising demand for kid-focused content and videos as of August 2023.
Now Streaming for Children
Launched in 2016 by Korean education brand Pinkfong, the catchy “Baby Shark (do-do, do-do-do-do)” dance video became the first music video ever to cross 10 billion views in January 2021.
Nine of the top 20 most-viewed YouTube videos today offer content geared toward children:
|Rank||YouTube Video||Channel||Views (August 2023)|
|1||Baby Shark Dance||Pinkfong||13.0B|
|3||Johny Johny Yes Papa||LooLoo Kids||6.7B|
|5||Shape of You||Ed Sheeran||6.0B|
|6||See You Again||Wiz Khalifa||5.9B|
|7||Wheels on the Bus||Cocomelon||5.4B|
|8||Phonics Song with TWO Words||ChuChu TV||5.4B|
|9||Uptown Funk||Mark Ronson||4.9B|
|10||Learning Colors – Colorful Eggs on a Farm||Miroshka TV||4.9B|
|12||Masha and The Bear – Episode 17||Get Movies||4.5B|
|13||Dame Tu Cosita||Ultra Records||4.4B|
|14||Axel F||Crazy Frog||3.9B|
|18||Baa Baa Black Sheep||Cocomelon||3.7B|
|20||Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)||Shakira||3.6B|
With total views of 13 billion today, “Baby Shark” surpasses the music video for Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (previously the most-viewed YouTube video) by almost five billion views.
And other popular child-focused music videos are close behind. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” (#3) and Cocomelon’s “Bath Song” (#4) nudged Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” down to the fifth and sixth rank in the list of most-viewed YouTube videos.
Catchy or Educational?
While many attribute the popularity of kid-focused videos to repetitive lyrics, familiar nursery rhymes, or otherwise catchy music that can’t get out of your head, research says otherwise.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that YouTube plays a key role in providing content for children. 81% of parents of kids aged 11 and younger allow their children to watch YouTube, with 35% of these kids using the platform regularly.
And this has become a lucrative business too. In 2021, the company behind Cocomelon and other popular kids channels was acquired for around $3 billion.
If these trends keep up, we may see more kid-focused content climb up this Top 20 list in the future as well.