Historic Movie Trailers on YouTube, Ranked by Popularity

September 20, 2017

As summer blockbuster season concludes, we wondered: what older hit films are still being watched in 2017? Did the reboots of the summer renew interest in the originals? What timeless films are younger generations discovering, given the endless viewing opportunities available with streaming?

To find out, we combined 12 months of trailer views for every film released between 1980 and 1999.

What was the most popular trailer among films released before 2000? The honor goes to “Titanic” (1997), now over 20 years old.

“Titanic,” fittingly, was also the highest grossing film from the 1990s. So its present-day popularity is not unexpected. How do the remaining films from the 1990s fare? Here’s the top 10:

1990s Films, Ranked by Trailer Popularity in 2017

  1. Titanic (1997)
  2. Toy Story (1995)
  3. The Lion King (1994)
  4. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  5. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  6. American Pie (1999)
  7. Basic Instinct (1992)
  8. Home Alone (1990)
  9. Matilda (1996)
  10. Trainspotting (1996)

Not all trailers on the list were box office smashes, with sleeper hits like “Trainspotting” landing in the top 10. Its present-day trailer ranking suggests that its audience, in 2017, is far greater than when it was released over 20 years ago.

The top film from the 1980s: “Ghostbusters” (1984), which likely benefited from its reboot in 2016. The original was averaging 70,000 views/month in 2015, but after the new release, its views more than quadrupled to over 300,000 views/month.

The remaining top 10 trailers from the 1980s include “The Little Mermaid,” “The Shining,” and two installments from the “Star Wars” series.

1980s Films, Ranked by Trailer Popularity in 2017

  1. Ghostbusters (1984)
  2. The Little Mermaid (1989)
  3. The Shining (1980)
  4. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  5. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  6. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  7. The Evil Dead (1981)
  8. Blade Runner (1982)
  9. Scarface (1983)
  10. The Outsiders (1983)

Cult classic “My Neighbor Totoro,” a Japanese animated fantasy film, has emerged as a huge present-day hit at #5 among films from the 1980s. “The Evil Dead,” similarly, was the 121st highest-grossing film of 1983, but is now has the #7 most-viewed trailer for the entire 1980s.

As both films were never box office successes, few could have predicted that they would now appear in the top 10 for an entire decade of movies. Their present-day popularity, 30 years after their initial release, is a testament to their longevity with future generations and their timeless appeal.

In 20 years, what film trailers will be popular from the 2000s? Will it be “Avatar,” with the highest box office for the decade? Or will it be a underground film? We’ll check-in with YouTube trailer views in 2030.

Taylor Swift Breaks Record for Most Views in 24 Hours

August 30, 2017

On Sunday, August 27, Taylor Swift dropped the video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” the first single off her forthcoming album "Reputation." The video had built significant buzz leading up to its release at the MTV VMAs, fueled by a record-breaking lyric video for the song (the most viewed lyric video in 24 hours), released on August 24, and a preview clip posted by Taylor herself. The result: it had the biggest debut of any video in YouTube history, earning 43.2 million views in 24 hours.

After the video’s release, views surged to over 3 million per hour. It would surpass the previous 24-hour record holder, PSY’s “Gentleman,” with five hours to spare. In 2013, “Gentleman” gained approximately 36 million views in its first 24 hours. It was such an impressive milestone that the record stood for over four years.

2017 has been a breakthrough year for record-breaking (and making) on YouTube: this month, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee became the first video to achieve 3 billion views.

Will Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” follow a similar trajectory? We’ll have to wait and see: to break the record for fastest video to 100 million views, it will have to surpass “Gentleman” again, which achieved the milestone in a mere four days. To become the fastest video to reach 1 billion views, it will have to surpass “Hello” by Adele, which achieved the feat in 87 days.

Tracking the Solar Eclipse on YouTube

August 22, 2017

One of the biggest social media moments of 2017, Monday’s solar eclipse, which was visible throughout North America, also became a top moment for video and one of the largest livestreamed events ever on YouTube.

From news organizations to educational institutions, a multitude of channels livestreamed the eclipse on YouTube. By 10:20 a.m. PT on Monday, more than 2 million viewers were simultaneously tuned in to these livestreams, including NASA’s, which was the most-watched.

In all, viewers watched livestreams and videos about the eclipse over 100 million times and for 6 million hours since Monday morning. Some people recorded their own time-lapses, 360 videos, and personal vlogs of the experience, and instructional videos on eclipse viewing were a favorite as well, like ”How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse” (1.8 million views Monday) and ”Make a solar eclipse viewer at home with a cereal box” (580,000 views).

Some viewers used YouTube to celebrate the eclipse in a different way: through music. We saw a major spike in viewership of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" -- the official video was viewed over 1.6 million times yesterday, with hourly views reaching as high as 260,000 -- which was also the song we saw people adding most frequently to "Eclipse"-related playlists in the lead-up. (The rest of the top 5 included Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising,” Katrina and the Waves' "Walking On Sunshine," Owl City's "Galaxies," and Smash Mouth's "Walkin' on the Sun," respectively.)

If you didn't get to see the eclipse (or couldn't get your hands on some eclipse glasses), you can watch plenty of replays like these.

'Despacito' Is Now the Most Viewed Video in YouTube History

August 04, 2017

Only 204 days after first being uploaded to YouTube, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s breakout hit “Despacito” has officially become the most viewed video in YouTube history. And with 3,000,730,629 views and counting, the video today also became the first to reach the once unfathomable 3 billion marker on the platform.

“Breaking the record for most viewed video of all time on YouTube is truly incredible, not only for me but for Latin music and our culture.” Fonsi explained in a statement. “Working with a platform like YouTube has allowed our song to reach audiences all over the world, something that just a decade ago was nearly impossible.”

The new record comes less than a month after Wiz Khalifa's “See You Again” took over YouTube’s top spot from PSY, who held the crown for over four and half years with his ubiquitous clip for “Gangnam Style.” And while the previous record holders and other YouTube heavyweights like Justin Bieber - “Sorry,” Mark Ronson - “Uptown Funk” and Major Lazer - “Lean On” have displayed impressive trajectories, nothing quite compares to the unprecedented growth of “Despacito.” Averaging 14.5 million views per day since upload, the video already owned the record for fastest video to 1.5, 2 and 2.5 billion views, reaching each of those milestones in less than 1/2 of the time of the previous record holders. See how other top viewed music videos on YouTube compare to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s collaborative effort here.

Today’s numbers are just the latest in a growing list of accomplishments for the international chart topper, which last month became the most liked video on YouTube. The clip is currently the most viewed video of the year in over 40 countries, earning massive numbers in every corner of the world -- 385 million views in Mexico, 224 million in Brazil, 146 million in Italy, 85 million in France, 41 million in Indonesia, 33 million in India, 18 million in Israel, 10 million in Egypt, and millions more throughout the globe.

But Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are not the only Latin artists currently experiencing a massive growth spurt, with acts like Nicky Jam, Maluma, J Balvin, and Ozuna each already earning over 1 billion views across YouTube in 2017. Around the world, monthly view counts for top Latin acts have skyrocketed since this time last year, growing 940 percent in Indonesia, 821 percent in the Philippine, 463 percent in India, 284 percent in South Africa, 260 percent in Israel, 270 percent in New Zealand, 237 percent in Turkey, 178 percent in the U.K. and 110 percent in Canada. And as further proof of the explosion, Latin artists make up a full 1/3 of the slots on this week’s YouTube Global Tracks Chart.

Kevin Meenan, YouTube Music Trends Manager