Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

The Year in YouTube: Justin Bieber and the Bed Intruder

“Hide your kids, hide your wife!”–a remixed interview from a local news report was the most-watched YouTube video of 2010 (excepting major label music videos through Vevo). The catchy “Bed Intruder Song,” made by the Gregory Brothers in collaboration with accidental lyricist Antoine Dodson, has been watched more than 47 million times since being posted this summer.

In second place on YouTube’s annual Rewind list is Key of Awesome’s parody of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” with 51 million views since being released in February. (The original music video by Ke$ha herself has only 34 million views on YouTube.)

And third is sixth-grader Greyson Chance’s school performance of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” which blew up online and scored him a record deal with Ellen DeGeneres. It’s been seen 34 million times since April.

Both the Gregory Brothers and Key of Awesome are affiliated with independent (though closely aligned with YouTube) video shop Next New Networks. And it’s notable that every one of the top three videos is musical–an original, a parody and a cover song–with two of them taking inspiration from current songs by pop stars.

Also on the 2010 most-watched Top 10: YouTube star Annoying Orange, advertising phenomenon the Old Spice guy, the Double Rainbow guy, an OK Go music video (the band left its label deal after a YouTube embedding rights spat), the “Twilight: Eclipse” trailer, a Jimmy Kimmel short involving Justin Bieber and a stunt-driving video by Ken Block.

YouTube split out major label music videos, as their viewing numbers are in a different stratosphere. Plus, the top-watched music videos list is more boring, with Bieber, Shakira, Eminem and Lady Gaga accounting for all 10 spots (and Bieber, who was discovered through YouTube, taking four of the top 10). Bieber’s video for his song “Baby,” which took the top spot, has been seen more than 408 million times since February.

Aside from videos, YouTube also released some additional stats, including its most-searched-for terms by month. YouTube has been measured as the top U.S. search engine after Google itself.

January – Haiti
February – Luge
March – eclipse trailer
April – iPad
May – Eminem Not Afraid
June – shakira waka waka
July – double rainbow
August – bed intruder
September – halo reach
October – whip my hair
November – firework

And lastly, YouTube also launched today a site aimed at the media called YouTube Trends, which explains the most viral content on the site at any one time.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik