The 15 Most Watched YouTube Videos

For those of us who use the Internet on a daily basis, opening YouTube and watching a few videos has become routine. The platform created in 2005 is experiencing overwhelming growth in recent years. You just have to watch the hundreds of videos that already exceed one billion views, something that a few years ago was almost unthinkable.

On YouTube, there is a small and select group of videos. The “Billion View Club” are all those videos that have managed to exceed one billion views. Before June 2015, only two videos, “Gangnam Style” by PSY and “Baby” by Justin Bieber, had exceeded these figures. 3 and a half months later, in October 2015, ten more videos had already been achieved.

In today’s post, we list the 15 most watched youtube videos of all time. By the end of 2016, a total of 43 videos had already surpassed one billion views. At present, there are already more than 100 who have achieved these stratospheric figures. This makes us think of the great development that YouTube has suffered in just 2 years.

Updated on: January 1, 2020

The 15 most watched YouTube videos

Below are the 15 most viewed YouTube videos;

1. Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee – 6,586,737,404 views

‘Despacito,’ by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, is the video with the most YouTube visits. If you take a look at the Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs of 2017, you will find Despacito at number two. It is almost certain that the most popular songs will become YouTube videos with more views. And with more than 6.5 billion views of this video, it’s pretty clear why this is the most-watched Spanish YouTube video. It has a repeating effect of music that makes you see it again just by listening to the song. In 2017 Spotify was popular, but not as much as it is today. The Despacito video has all the features to be a popular music video: dance sequences, beautiful people, palm trees, natural landscapes, club scenes and, of course, a very attractive song to sing. The song is completely in Spanish, which makes it one of the three in this list of the ten YouTube videos with more views that are not in English.

2. Ed Sheeran – Shape of You [Official Video] – 4,552,020,958 views

The second most watched YouTube video is the Shape of You music video with more than 4.17 billion views. An interesting fact is that it was actually number one in the 100 popular Billboard songs of 2017, beating Despacito. Unlike most videos, where the artist sings in front of the camera, Shape of You is like a 4-minute film that tells the story of a couple and the song is just the background music. The movie-style music video is not too common, which makes it a love story you want to see. It also has fun moments where Ed Sheeran and a sumo wrestler fight in a match. And finally, it shows a deep message of female empowerment: making Sheeran look weaker than her partner in the video.

3. Wiz Khalifa – See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack – 4,350,854,635 views

See You Again is the main song of the movie Fast and Furious 7. One of the stars, Paul Walker, died in a terrible car accident shortly before its release. The song and the music video are a tribute to Paul Walker and his career in the Fast and Furious series. If you see the comments on the video, you will find several opinions about Paul Walker, suggesting that the video went viral due to his sudden death. The song in the video was also popular enough to win the number three spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2015. The melancholic tone of the song and video make it worth seeing again and again. Emotions can play a very important role in helping a video go viral. Anyone can identify with the pain it feels to lose a loved one and this helped make this one of the most watched YouTube videos of all time.

4. Baby Shark Dance – Sing and Dance! – 4,459,704,920 views

Sometimes, a song becomes famous only because it is sticky. We saw him with Barney in his early days, so it is not surprising that the same thing happened with a child’s song about a shark family. Baby Shark Dance, produced by Korean pop maker Pinkfong, is not a complicated song. It has sharks, repetition and a considerable amount of existential fear. That is all.

However, it has skyrocketed to become the newest member of this list and inspire countless variations on YouTube. Let’s be honest. If searching for Baby Shark and watching it 12 times in a row is the only way to calm your child, many parents will do precisely that. Just wait for the meteoric rise of Baby Shark to continue.

5. Masha and the Bear (Episode 17) – 4,212,421,075 views

The only non-music video on this list is Masha and the Bear: Recipe for disaster, it is the fifth most watched YouTube video with more than 4 billion views. Surprisingly, the video has a high percentage of dislikes, reaching approximately 2.4 million “dislikes” and 4.4 million “likes”. But what made this Russian cartoon series so popular? I guess the video has become popular because it is made for children. And child-friendly content tends to succeed on YouTube (we’ll see it with another example later in this article). The story is understood even if you don’t speak Russian, which makes it easy to see and also has fun moments that entertain young children.

6. Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars – 3,750,618,285 views

Uptown Funk was the first song of 2015 on the Billboard Hot 100. According to Joe Bennett, a music professor at the University of Bath Spa, the popularity of the song is due to two key elements: it has no chorus and has a very lively rhythm. These two elements made the song stand out. And as we have seen with other songs on this list, a number one makes it easier to be part of the most viewed YouTube top videos. Another interesting fact is that Bruno Mars sang at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2014 and this helped him raise his popularity and make his video go viral. The video itself has an old touch, which makes it a unique video with elements that you no longer find in music videos.

7. PSY – Gangnam Style (강남 스타일) – 3,486,248,844 views

Gangnam Style was the most watched YouTube video of all time, as it was the first YouTube video that reached one billion views. The song is super sticky and the video has a level of extravagance that the leading American media had not seen before. Silly dance moves in unexpected places make this a fun video to watch. And being honest, you probably tried those dance moves too. The YouTube video has a natural element that makes you easily entertain yourself when watching it. Surely the colorful personality of Psy was what helped make this video a resounding success with more than 3.3 billion views on YouTube since its publication in July 2012.

8. Justin Bieber – Sorry (PURPOSE: The Movement) – 3,232,971,621 views

Sorry, the eight video with the most YouTube views on this list, is a unique music video. It’s basically a music video of Waiting for Godot, because * spoiler alert *, Biebs never appears. Instead, the entire music video shows a group of girls dancing with expressive faces and wearing neon-colored suits and glasses. One of the reasons apart from the song and why this video became so popular is because you can literally dance easily with it. Adding this video to a playlist on YouTube is a very good option to increase the number of views. In addition, Justin Bieber currently has four music videos with more than one billion views on YouTube, so his 44.45 million subscribers on YouTube definitely help boost the viral success of his videos.

9. Maroon 5 – Sugar – 3,100,944,786 views

I clearly remember the marketing of this music video. There were lots of articles in the mainstream media that reported on the viral video of Maroon 5. And how did they do it? They sneaked into a lot of weddings and performed mini-concerts for these couples in Los Angeles. Of course, afterward, there was some negative publicity about how the video was performed, although the band denies it. Regardless of whether it is real or false, the reality is that it went viral, and there are literally only seven other YouTube videos with more views than this one.

10. Katy Perry – Roar – 2,980,681,674 views

Katy Perry is the first woman on this list so far with her video of Roar’s song that is simply sticky and heart melting. In the video, Perry is stranded in a jungle after a plane crash and is forced to survive alone after a tiger ate her partner, WOW!!!. The funny video shows Perry constantly facing fears, struggling to survive and tame the animals while wearing little clothes. While Katy’s song was popular, it ranked number 10 of the 100 best songs in 2013, her fan base of 33 million subscribers helped her reach 2.8 billion views. In addition to being a famous soloist, she has a large budget and has a lot of boom, helping to place her YouTube video in the female video with more views.

11. OneRepublic – Counting Stars – 2,896,458,686 views

Checking and studying the most watched videos of youtube on Wikipedia, we found this fabulous single name “Counting Stars,” it has had great popularity in British and international territory. It currently has 2.8 billion views.

12. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud [Official Video] – 2,877,699,563 views

Also, singer Ed Sheeran managed to obtain another spot on the list of the most watched YouTube videos by reaching the twelfth position with the clip of his song Thinking Out Loud, released on October 7, 2014, and totaling more than 2,800 million views. Thinking Out Loud that won the Grammy for the Song of the Year in 2016 and became the third single from Sheeran’s ‘X’ album.

13. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off – 2,861,690,581 views

The legendary Taylor Swift also made its way through the top 15 most viewed YouTube videos of all time with an epic 2.76 billion views on YouTube. His controversial music video received an adverse reaction to racism, as video perpetuates the stereotypes of people of color. However, this negative publicity may have helped Taylor Swift get more YouTube views of the video. Although it also increased the 33 million subscribers on YouTube, which significantly promote his music and videos on social networks.

14. Enrique Iglesias – Dancing (Spanish) ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona – 2,803,274,000 views

Years have passed since Descemer Bueno, Enrique Iglesias and Gente de Zona released the “Dancing” clip. Anyone might think that, after such a long time, the subject passed its moment, but it is far from being so.
“Dancing” still playing and earning views on YouTube, where it already has 2.8 billion views.
“Dancing” was an important theme for Cuban music internationally. Thanks to this, many producers and artists turned their eyes to the Island.

15. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ) – 2,711,078 250 views

Lean On belongs to the third album of Major Lazer. “Peace is the Mission.” It is a ballad of house music.

In November 2015, it became the most played song on Spotify of all time, although Drake’s One Dance surpassed her the following year.

The Lean On video clip was directed by Tim Erem and filmed in India. It shows Major Lazer, MØ and DJ Snake performing dance sequences.

Tips on how you can create the most viewed YouTube videos?

There are various ways in which you can create your own YouTube videos and make them trend virally, Checking on the listed videos with the methods each of them used; you can also copy the strategies that the most famous artists used. There is no certainty that you will gain billions of views on YouTube than some of these artists, but you can still create a video that becomes very popular. Here are some ideas that will help you come up with one of the most-watched YouTube videos:

  • Create videos that can be viewed thousands of times: Songs have a repeat factor that you can listen to without stopping for hours. Videos can also have that effect. Exercise and training videos like Justin Bieber’s dance video can be a good combination of using popular music and having your own unique content. Also, you can create YouTube videos of countdown timers, productivity timers, relaxation videos, or similar content with background music that you can use daily.
  • Bet on viral trends: as in the Maroon 5 wedding video, we have seen many types of YouTube videos that have been made viral over the years emerge, such as flash mobs (lightning crowd), lip dubs (lip dubbing), joke videos, parody videos, ice bucket challenges and other similar ones. While it will always be amazing to be the first to do something original, innovation can also be difficult. And if you are prepared for it, you will have to experiment and practice a lot to be able to make a video that goes viral. Otherwise, you can choose to try the trends that are in fashion. 
  • Comedy – Have Fun: funny videos continue to top the list of YouTube videos with more views. Being funny means being yourself and without worries. So make those ridiculous dance moves, show your face and express yourself, laugh at your own jokes, or tell a funny story. The more you allow yourself to enjoy the process of creating videos on YouTube, the more people will enjoy watching them.

Read Also: How Much Does YouTube Pay? 1K To 1Million Views


The most watched YouTube videos of all time have features in common that are worth exploring. Music has a powerful way of making you see something continuously. Don’t ever get afraid to try making your own songs and achieve success with a video on YouTube. And if you bet on using the features that these videos have in common, such as being controversial, introducing some humor and opting for viral trends, you’ll be closer to getting to create one of the videos with more views on YouTube.

Let us also hear from you in case we omit any, If you love my post on the most watched Youtube Videos, kindly share on your social media accounts.

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