YouTube has released its Rewind for 2017, detailing the most watched videos for 2017, both locally and internationally, and a significant fact emerges…
Maybe this is just new to me, or I just never realised it, or maybe I have been living under a rock since YouTube launched. Looking back at the most watched videos in South Africa for 2017 has highlighted an undeniable fact, video service YouTube is mostly about music videos. Maybe I’m oversimplifying the situation (since 300 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute) but how does one account for the presence of so many of these on the most watched list for the year? Clearly South Africans are after a little bit of distraction, with the top five most watched videos (excluding major music labels) all being entertainment videos.
Here are the top 10 (excluding major music labels):
- Bhizer (ft Busiswa, SC Gorna, Bhepepe) – Gobisiqolo
- Kaybee (ft Lady Zamar) – Charlotte (Official Video)
- Sun-EL Musician – Akanamali Feat. Samthing Soweto
- Ramscomics – Noko Mashaba – Student Problems #CAClasses
- Sipho Ngwenya feat Thinah Zungu – Jesu fik’ekuseni
- Danger Flex SA – New Durban bhenga Dance 2017 (Basky Bhenga dance) They kiĺled it!!
- South African Videos – Uzalo Mamlambo in real life…wow you can’t believe.. So beautiful
- Mark Angel Comedy – Maths Teacher (Episode 118)
- Crime Intelligence & Community Awareness – Porsche driver outwits armed hijackers in Johannesburg
- Eyewitness News – Simphiwe Ngema remembers late husband Dumisani Masilela
Here are the top 10 music videos watched by South Africans in 2017. Clearly international music still dominates, over local artists:
- Ed Sheeran – Shape of You (Official Video)
3. DJ Khaled – Wild Thoughts ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller
4. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This (Lyric)
5. Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee
6. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like [Official Video]
7. Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
8. Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.
9. French Montana – Unforgettable ft. Swae Lee
10. Jason Derulo – Swalla (feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign) (Official Music Video)
These top trending videos for 2017 are based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. They were packaged together in YouTube’s Rewind video, which can be viewed here. This year’s video features 290 YouTube creators, representing nearly 20 countries as well as viral stars, top musicians, and celebrities. The video included 20 days of principle production around the world, from London to Tokyo to New York to Los Angeles to Rio. Since 2012, this YouTube Rewind has been viewed over 750mn times (202mn views from 2016, 128mn views from 2015, 120mn views from 2014, 123mn views from 2013 and 185mn views from 2012).
What makes a video go viral on YouTube
There is no definitive answer to the question of why a video goes viral. How many times have you seen a piece of content and asked yourself, ‘why are so many people watching this?’ Conversely, how many times have you seen a video and said, ‘this is brilliant, it deserves so many more views than it has’. However, popular videos seem to have three key characteristics; they’re entertaining or informative in some way, they’re something that you want to share with other people, and they come from a channel with more videos like it.
The size of YouTube’s audience
The video platform has over a billion users and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours of content and generate billions of views. More viewing stats are available here. According to YouTube, the platform on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the US.
Here are some more interesting stats about YouTube:
- The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up 60% y/y, the fastest growth seen in 2 years.
- The number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40% y/y since March 2014.
- The number of users coming to YouTube who start at the YouTube homepage, similar to the way they might turn on their TV, is up more than three times y/y.
- 80% of YouTube’s views are from outside of the US.
- YouTube has launched local versions in more than 70 countries.
- Users can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population).
Michael Bratt is a multimedia journalist at Wag the Dog Publishers, publishers of The Media Online and The Media. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelBratt8