Introducing The YouTube Music Viral Charts

November 29, 2016

Today we’re launching another charts feature on, called Viral Videos, where we’ll be spotlighting 50 music videos that are catching fire on YouTube each week. This is in addition to charts we’ve launched that show you the most popular tracks, artists, and music videos on YouTube.

To give a sense of the breadth of genres and artists that comprise the Viral Videos chart, we’ve put together a recap of the top 10, below:

1. Britney Spears ft. Tinashe -"Slumber Party"

The Princess of Pop ascends to the top of this week’s Viral Chart with the second single from her 2016 album Glory.

2. Kehlani - "Distraction"

Following up her immensely successful mix tapes, Kehlani’s “Distraction,” the second single from her upcoming debut album, SWEETSEXYSAVAGE, is in the second spot.

3. Shakira ft. Maluma - "Chantaje"

With the help of YouTube’s sizable Latin viewership, Shakira’s “Chantaje” lands at #3.

4. Lil’ Yachty ft. Quavo, Skippa da Flippa - "Minnesota"

The newly released video for “Minnesota,” the second of the two tracks that garnered Lil’ Yachty tremendous attention in 2015 (the first is “1 night”), is the fourth-most viral music video this week.

5. Noah Cyrus ft. Labrinth - "Make Me (Cry)"

Noah Cyrus continues to set herself apart from elder sister Miley with this Lana Del Rey-esque ballad, at #5.

6. Pentatonix - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Pentatonix’s characteristically polished five-part harmony of a traditional English carol, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” is gaining traction in time for Christmas.

7. Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj - "Side to Side" (Live From The 2016 American Music Awards)

Ariana Grande’s American Music Awards performance of the immensely popular “Side To Side” — the track received over 500 million views in under 3 months — was one of our most viral videos last week.

8. Piko Taro - "PPAP vs AXEL F"

Piko Taro's viral “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen” meets Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F,” the classic 80s track featured in Beverly Hills Cop.

9. OK Go - "The One Moment"

OK Go maintain their tradition of releasing some of the most imaginative videos on YouTube with “The One Moment.” It’s also the newest video in our Viral Chart top 10, released on Nov. 24.

10. Grace VanderWaal - "I Don't Know My Name"

Grace Vanderwaal is the youngest artist on our Viral Chart this week. The twelve-year-old ukulele player and singer-songwriter debuts the video for “I Don’t Know My Name,” made up of her fans’ artwork, at #10.

To check out the rest of the Top 50, head over to the YouTube Charts page and click the Viral Videos tab.

Can YouTube fans predict the Latin GRAMMY winners?

November 14, 2016

On November 17, the Latin GRAMMY Awards will honor the biggest names in Latin music. With YouTube viewers around the world watching more Latin music than ever — 55 Latin artists have songs in the YouTube Top 100 music charts this year alone — we decided to look at which nominees would have the highest chance of winning if the winners were selected based on views of their songs on YouTube during the GRAMMY eligibility period.

Latin GRAMMY Predictions: Record of the Year
When it comes to the Record of the Year, this year’s Latin GRAMMYs have a clear winner if song popularity is our metric of choice. Among the nominees, Enrique Iglesias and Wisin’sDuele El Corazón” is far and away the most-played track on YouTube.

Latin GRAMMY Predictions: Song of the Year
While Record of the Year honors the performer alongside the producers, engineers, and mixers of the track, the Song of the Year award recognizes the songwriters behind some of the biggest hits of the year. Among the ten nominated tracks, Enrique Iglesias & Wisin’s “Duele El Corazón” once again stands out as the most-watched track:

Best New Artist
The Best New Artist category for this year’s Latin GRAMMYs is -- when compared to the Song of the Year and Record of the Year -- a much closer race. Nevertheless, Manuel Medrano’s YouTube views over the past year and a half suggest that the singer of “Bajo El Agua” and “Una Y Otra Vez” are more popular than newcomers Mon Laferte (“Tu Falta De Querer”), Morat (“Cuánto Me Duele”), and Joss Favela (“Cuando Fuimos Nada”).

Latin GRAMMY Predictions: Urban Song of the Year
If YouTube’s weekly Top 100 Charts are our barometer for highlighting the songs that people love, Latin Urban music is tremendously popular on YouTube. The most popular song of all the Urban Song of The Year nominees is Yandel’sEncantadora,” beating out the likes of Cosculluela & Daddy Yankee’sA Donde Voy” and De La Ghetto’sAcércate.”

Urban Album of the Year
J. Balvin is one of only four Latin artists (the others being Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, and Romeo Santos) who, at the time of writing, have videos that have received over a billion views. Although Balvin’s billion-view song, “Ay Vamos,” was on a previous album, tracks like “Ginza” and “Safari” have proven immensely popular, and have led to his Energía being the most listened-to album of all nominees. Farruko’s Visionary is next in line, followed by Emicida’s Sobre Crianças, Quadris, Pesadelos E Lições De Casa…, El B’s Luz, and Arianna Puello’s Despierta.

How closely will popularity sync with the decisions of this year's Latin GRAMMY judges? We'll have to wait until November 17 to find out!

-- Posted by the YouTube Culture & Trends Team

Remembering Leonard Cohen's Legacy on YouTube

November 11, 2016

Following the announcement of Leonard Cohen’s death on November 10, “Hallelujah,” one of his most iconic songs, is today’s most-watched video on YouTube, with over 5.2 million views (as of 4pm EST).

Leonard Cohen - "Hallelujah"

Furthermore, today's increase in views for “Hallelujah” has far outpaced the view increases to other videos on Leonard Cohen's channel:

The resurgence of “Hallelujah” should come as no surprise. Since September 2014, it has been viewed over 35 million times, making it one of the most popular ‘80s songs on YouTube. Among Cohen’s catalogue, it’s his most popular track, with double the views of his second most-viewed song, “A Thousand Kisses Deep.”

Why is “Hallelujah” so unique? After all, when it was released in 1984, the song did not immediately become a commercial hit. Yet over the past 30 years, it has remained a core part of contemporary culture due to the high number of its covers by other artists. The most popular version on YouTube is Jeff Buckley’s rendition, which has been viewed over 75 million times since September 2014:

Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"

Yet famous covers are not the only source of timeless appeal for the song. YouTube creators have covered “Hallelujah” more than any other track release before 2010:

While Cohen may be gone, his music — particularly “Hallelujah” — has memorialized him as a once-in-a-generation talent.

8 Years of U.S. Presidential Elections on YouTube: How They Compare

November 07, 2016

We’ve reported staggering numbers for the 2016 U.S. presidential election on YouTube. The final debate, for example, had an unprecedented 140 million election-related views.

Even more exceptional is how this U.S. presidential election cycle compares to those of 2012 and 2008. We examined the data for election years in 2016, 2012, and 2008, and determined that this year will likely break YouTube records for views and watch-time on Election Day, November 8.

Since January 1, overall views in 2016 for videos about candidates have been 5x larger than in 2012. Going back four more years to the 2008 election, this year has had 8x more views than 2008’s presidential race. This is a departure from the change in views from 2008 to 2012, which was only 1.65x larger.

In each case, Election Day was the most popular date: views historically increase 7-10x from the yearly average, as viewers tune into analyses of the results. When it comes to U.S. elections-related viewership, we expect November 8, 2016, to be one of the largest days ever in YouTube’s history.

The Significant YouTube Moments From Every Presidential Election Year 

Each election season is marked by its own cultural milestones: there are the gaffes, the inspirational speeches, and the viral campaign moments. We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest election-related moments on YouTube during the past three presidential races:

Here are some of the elections-related videos that provided sizable contributions to the viewership spikes in each of the three campaign cycles: