The Top 10 Most Watched YouTube Videos of 2011

The Top 10 Most Watched YouTube Videos of 2011

YouTube saw over 1 trillion playbacks this year.  Now they're announcing their top 10 videos, along with their top 10 channels, top 10 music videos, and other specialty videos.  Prepare for a video-heavy article of goodness because here at ReelSEO, we're going to embed as many as possible in a countdown of YouTube's most-watched (not to be read as "best") videos of 2011.  What do you think made the cut?  Well, Rebecca Black's "Friday" was an easy one and not entirely for the right reasons.  Dim the lights, take a look back at the Top 10 most watched videos of the year (excluding major music label).

#10 Cat Mom Hugs Baby Kitten

This inordinate amount of cuteness was uploaded on May 26 and racked up over 37 million views:

#9 The Force: Volkswagon Commercial

This ad came out during the Super Bowl, posted on February 2 and it's the ultimate in parents making their kids feel special without them knowing it.  It amassed over 45 million views:

#8 Maria Aragon - Born This Way (Cover) By Lady Gaga

This talented girl piggybacked on a popular Lady Gaga song and rode it over 45 million views beginning February 16..  It makes one wonder with all the legislation being thrown around in Congress if we'll see many of these in the future:

#7  The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)

This video from The Lonely Island, easily the top comedy/pop music group headlined by SNL's Andy Samberg, was released January 29 and went over 48 million views.  And it's not the only one in the Top 10:

#6 Look At Me Now - Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)

Another cover, this one taking a Chris Brown tune, but the woman in this video can kick out some major Busta Rhymes flow and that's the amazing draw to this video uploaded April 12 and collecting over 49 million views:

#5 Nyan Cat [Original]

One of the most inexplicable Internet memes of the past year, it basically contained everything a little girl dreams about: cats, Pop Tarts, and rainbows.  Uploaded April 5 and nabbing over 53 million views, here's the most repetitive hit of the year.  Try getting that theme song out of your head, it might require banging:

#4 Talking Twin Babies - PART 2 - OFFICIAL VIDEO

This is as basic as it gets.  Baby cuteness involving gibberish and laughter.  It carries on like a real conversation, though, and that's the great part.  Uploaded February 14, this one gathered over 56 million:

#3 Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)

Lonely Island's 2nd entry into the YouTube Top 10 this year features Michael Bolton in a great self-mockery/redemption kind of video.  Bolton has had it hard since the days of Office Space, and this is a great nonsense musical mash-up involving an overboard love of movies.  Uploaded May 7, this one got 60 million views:

#2 Ultimate Dog Tease

In this very simple video (I think with little or no effects), a dog's actions and mouth movements are used for dubbed dialogue where the owner teases him with delicious food descriptions.  Uploaded on May 1, this video grabbed 74 million views:

#1 Rebecca Black - Friday - Official Music Video

No video summed up ironic entertainment more than Rebecca Black's "Friday," which collected an astounding 167 million views before being taken off the site, then re-entered three months ago and hammering home another 12 million or so.  Not a good song, but catchy, and it led to uncountable spoofs and accidental singings in the shower:

The Other YouTube Chart Toppers

The #1 Political Video of 2011 (not from a candidate) came from Iowa House Democrats concerning marriage equality and a stirring speech from a 19-year-old raised by 2 mothers:

Coming in at #1 for News is aerial footage of the Japanese earthquake and the tsunami waves destroying a town:

The #1 How-To video?  How to wear a scarf, of course, from Wendy's Lookbook:

The "iPhone 5 concept" video was the #1 science/technology video, and even though that's not what we got ultimately, it's the future:

Somehow, a movie that ended up only doing middling box office nabbed the most watched movie trailer of the year on YouTube.  It was The Immortals:

And the top sports video is this amazing footage of a mountain biker getting creamed by a buck:

Top Channels

Machinima dominates YouTube, and as we discussed before, the channel knocked out a billion views alone in November.

Most viewed YouTube channels globally (excluding channels from major music labels)

  1. machinima
  2. IGNentertainment
  3. RayWilliamJohnson
  4. expertvillage
  5. BlueXephos
  6. smosh
  7. realannoyingorange
  8. roosterteeth
  9. thelonelyisland
  10. barelypolitical

Top Music Videos

It was a huge year for LMFAO, Katy Perry, and Pitbull this year, and Pitbull carried Jennifer Lopez to the top of the YouTube global music videos chart:

  1. Jennifer Lopez - On The Floor ft. Pitbull
  2. LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
  3. Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song [Official Video]
  4. Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
  5. Pitbull - Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer
  6. Pitbull - Rain Over Me ft. Marc Anthony
  7. Jessie J - Price Tag ft. B.o.B.
  8. LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
  9. Katy Perry - E.T. ft. Kanye West
  10. Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)

YouTube: A Trillion Views And Counting

We're only going to see more great stuff as video becomes more integral to everyone's lives next year, and YouTube will be our top destination.  They created a cool video to sum up 2011:

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About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

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