What We Watched On YouTube In 2011 – Rebecca Black, Nyan Cat, Music Videos Galore

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Rebecca BlackYouTube remains the premier destination to watch online video. It’s now ubiquitous to the point at which I doubt it will ever lose its place at the top of the market share leader-board. But which were the biggest video hits on YouTube in 2011?

YouTube Rewind 2011

The make-up of videos which appear on YouTube is constantly changing. But two things appear to be constant: 1. Music videos are insanely popular and 2. To score a hit a video must warrant repeat viewing, sharing, and commenting.

YouTube recently revealed what we watched on YouTube over the past 12 months with its YouTube Rewind 2011. The video embedded below acts as an introductions and is presented by one Rebecca Black, whoever she may be.

Viral Video Hits

It takes the planets aligning to have a bona fide viral video hit. Length isn’t important, but pretty much everything else. Especially the need people have to share said video with their friends and followers on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

It’s no surprise to see Rebecca Black top the charts with Friday, the terrible-yet-strangely-addictive pop record which launched her career. Also big was the Ultimate Dog Tease, Talking Twin Babies and the irrepressible Nyan Cat.

Music Videos

Music videos have always been a big part of YouTube but their popularity appears to be increasing by the day. The Top 10 have all individually racked up more than 100 million views.

The most-watched music in 2011 was Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull – On The Floor. Pitbull makes the Top 10 twice more, which goes to show YouTube viewers aren’t blessed with any better taste in music than the rest of the population. Also popular were LMFAO, Jessie J, and Katy Perry.


So that was 2011. What will 2012 bring? It looks as though the split between UGC and professionally-produced content will shift even more toward the latter, but the occasional gem will still break out and go global on the Web. Will we have another Rebecca Black? God, let’s hope not, eh.