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From magnetic songs to the funniest viral videos, YouTube is the powerhouse of the most viewed videos of all time. If you’re looking for the methods and tricks of the most viral videos in the world, you might want to check out some of these videos.

Just relax, because we’ve done some of the boring work for you by breaking down what contributed to making these videos the most viewed YouTube videos of all time.

Top 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of All Time

1. Despacito by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee – 6.15 Billion YouTube Views

If you could take a closer look at Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs of 2017, you could see that Despacito is positined at the the number two spot. It’s quite obvious that popular songs has the potential to also become highly watched YouTube videos. And with over 6.15 billion video views, it’s quite clear why this is the most watched YouTube video. You have the music repeat factor where could not help but to watch it over again just for the love of the song or to hear it well.

Meanwhile, back in 2017 Spotify was popular, but not as popular as it is today. Despacito’s video has all the qualities of a popular music video: choreographic sequences, beautiful people, palm trees, natural background, club scene, and of course the catchiest song to sing along to. The song in Espanol (Spanish) throughout, making it one of the three most viewed YouTube videos list that aren’t in English on this list.

2. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran – 4.17 Billion YouTube Views

The 2nd most viewed YouTube video is the Shape of You music video with over 4.17 billion video views. Another interesting point is that, it was infact, number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs of 2017, beating out Despacito. Not like most videos, where the singer sings in front of the camera, Shape of You is like a 4-minute movie telling the story of an athletic couple, and the music is just background song. The movie style music video is not too common, which makes it a touching love story to view. There are also some couple of hillarious moments where Ed Sheeran and a sumo wrestler fight in the ultimate match.

3. See You Again by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth – 4.08 Billion YouTube Views

The main song for hollywood movie, Fast and Furious 7 movie, ‘See You Again‘ is a tribute song for Paul Walker, one of the main characters of the movie who died in car crash shortly before its release.

The song and music video was made to pay tribute to Paul Walker and his journey in the Fast and Furious series. Looking at the emotions that is attached to losing lovers ones, it is obvious the song went viral due to Paul’s death. The song in the video was equally popular enough to gain its way to the number three spot in the Billboard Hot 100 for 2015. The sad tone of the song and video make it worth watching over and over again.

4. Masha and the Bear: Recipe for Disaster by Get Movies – 3.55 YouTube Views

This video is the only video that is not a music clip on this list, Masha and the Bear: Recipe for Disaster, is the fourth most viewed YouTube video with over 3.55 billion video views. Shocking enough, the video somehow has a high percentage of dislikes, clocking in at about 2.4 million dislikes while only 4.4 million likes. What made this Russian animation short so popular? It’s likely that the short became popular because it’s made for kids. Kid-friendly content tends to perform well on YouTube. The story also has some funny scenes to entertain young children.

5. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – 3.53 Billion YouTube Views

Uptown Funk was the number one song of 2015 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A music professor at Bath Spa University, Joe Bennet shared his view that the song became  popular due to two factors: a lack of a chorus and a slower tempo. These two factors make the song unique in its style.

6. Gangnam Style by Psy – 3.3 Billion YouTube Views

Gangnam Style was the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. And was once the most viewed YouTube video of all time. The song is undeniably catchy, but the video shines with a level of quirkiness mainstream American media hadn’t seen before. The silly dance moves in unexpected places just makes this an all around fun video to watch. And let’s be honest, you’ve probably tried Psy’s dance moves yourself.

7. Sorry by Justin Bieber – 3.1 Billion YouTube Views

Sorry by Bieber is the seventh most watched YouTube video, is quite an uncommon music video. Throughout the entire three minutes and 25 seconds, the entire music video features an all-female dance crew in neon outfits and expressive faces. One of the non-song related reasons why this video might have been popular is because you can literally dance along with the simple moves. Some might’ve chosen to add this to a workout playlist on YouTube which can help elevate the number of views it gets. But aside from that, Justin Bieber currently has four music videos with over one billion YouTube views, so it’s likely that his 44.45 million YouTube subscribers help boost his videos’ viral success.

8. Sugar by Maroon 5 – 2.94 Billion YouTube Views

I vividly remember the marketing of this music video. There were countless articles from top media outlets reporting that Maroon 5 made a viral video. How did they do that? They crashed a bunch of weddings and performed a mini concert for couples in Los Angeles. Of course, there was later some negative publicity about how the stunt was actually fake, though the band denies this. Regardless of whether it’s real or fake, the reality is that it went viral anyway – I mean, there are literally only seven other videos more viral than the Sugar video.

9. Roar by Katy Perry – 2.8 Billion YouTube Views

Katy Perry is the first female on this list so far with her ever-catchy song and video for Roar. In the video, Perry is stranded in a jungle after a plane crash and is forced to survive on her own after her partner is eaten by a tiger. The comical video shows Perry constantly facing her fears, striving to survive, and taming animals while wearing scantily clad outfits. While Katy’s song was popular, landing at number 10 on the top 100 songs in 2013, her sizable fanbase of 33 million subscribers helped launch her view to a 2.8 billion view count. Plus, as with any lead single, it usually gets the biggest budget and most hype, which helps her land the most viewed YouTube video for a female artist.

10. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift – 2.76 Billion YouTube Views

The legendary Taylor Swift also inched her way into the top 10 most viewed YouTube videos of all time with an epic 2.76 billion YouTube views. Her highly controversial music video received backlash for cultural appropriation as it perpetuates black stereotypes. However, this negative publicity may have actually helped Taylor Swift get more YouTube views to her video. Her 33 million YouTube subscribers, who heavily promote her music and videos on social media, surely didn’t hurt either.

So, How Can You Create The Most Viewed Youtube Videos?

There are a few ways you can create your own viral videos using the strategies that top celebrities use. You might not be able to rake in the multi-billion YouTube views some of these artists get, but you can still create a super popular video. Here are a few ideas to help you create the most viewed YouTube videos:

  • Create videos you can watch multiple times: Songs have a repeat factor where you listen to it non-stop for hours. Videos can also have that effect. Workout videos like Justin Bieber’s dance video can be a good blend between using popular music while having your own unique content. Check out Mark Kramer Pastrana’s YouTube channel for repeatable workout inspiration. You can also create countdown timers, productivity timers, relaxation videos, and similar content with background noise or music that would encourage daily use.
  • Jump on viral trends: Like Maroon 5’s wedding crashing video, we’ve seen a viral video types emerge over the years like flash mobs, lip dubs, prank videos, parody videos, ice bucket challenges, and others just like it. While it’s always amazing to be the first to do something original, it can also be difficult to innovate. If you’re up for it, you’ll need to experiment a lot to inch closer to viral success. Otherwise, you could easily focus on jumping in on trends as they happen.
  • Have fun: Funny videos kept topping the list of the most watched videos. Being funny comes down to being yourself and carefree. So bust out those ridiculous dance moves, show off your expressive face, laugh at your own jokes, or tell a funny story. The more you let yourself enjoy the process of creating YouTube videos, the more people will enjoy watching them.


The most viewed YouTube videos of all time share a few common feats that are worth exploring. Music has a powerful way to make you watch something on loop. So don’t be afraid to explore creating your own songs to help you skyrocket to YouTube success. If you focus on tying the common themes found in these videos like being controversial, throwing in some humor, and jumping on viral trends, you’ll inch closer to the top of the most watched YouTube videos.

What’s your all-time favorite YouTube video? Share it in the comments (feel free to share your own too!).





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