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These are the 10 most-viewed YouTube videos of all time

Being popular is about the only thing the current most-viewed YouTube videos have in common with their top-performing predecessors. Even though YouTube videos like Chocolate Rain went viral during the first few years of YouTube’s content, they probably wouldn’t be among the kinds of videos that go viral on the platform now.

In fact, children’s programming and music videos are now among the most-viewed content on YouTube. Music videos, in particular, have enjoyed great success on the streaming site and, until recently, had been the majority of the most-viewed videos in YouTube’s history. Music videos still account for 40% of the top 10 most-viewed videos, however. The other 60% is content for young children. If these view counts are anything to go by, the video-sharing site could be considered a leading platform for music videos and kid-friendly content, rather than just the memeworthy viral videos the site was known for in its early days.

What is the most-viewed YouTube video of all time?

Baby Shark Dance is the most-viewed video ever on YouTube. The children’s song overtook the all-Spanish version of Despacito in November 2020.

What are the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos?

  1. Pinkfong — Baby Shark Dance (12.77 billion views)
  2. Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee — Despacito (8.15 billion views)
  3. LooLoo Kids — Johny Johny Yes Papa (6.69 billion views)
  4. Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes — Bath Song (6.17 billion views)
  5. Ed Sheeran featuring Charlie Puth — Shape of You (5.98 billion views)
  6. Wiz Khalifa — See You Again(5.87 billion views)
  7. ChuChu TV — Phonics Song with Two Words (5.27 billion views)
  8. Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes — Wheels on the Bus (5.18 billion views)
  9. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars — Uptown Funk (4.91 billion views)
  10. Miroshka TV — Learning Colors Multi-Colored Eggs on the Farm (4.88 billion views)

10. Miroshka TV — Learning Colors Multi-Colored Eggs on the Farm (4.88 billion views)

Учим цвета-Разноцветные яйца на ферме

Educational videos being among the most-viewed content on YouTube isn’t surprising if you think of it like this: If kids are going to be staring at screens for a decent portion of the day, it makes sense that the programming of choice among parents would be free to access and, better yet, educational. Miroshka TV’s Learning Colors Multi-Colored Eggs on the Farm is no exception. It’s an educational video for kids that has already racked up nearly 54 billion views in the five years since it was first uploaded.

It’s a fun, five-minute video that teaches young children about different colors via (crudely) animated eggs on a farm. The video itself is narrated in Russian and teaches kids the names of different colors in Russian. The only parts of the video that aren’t in Russian are the music (which is Old MacDonald Had a Farm in English) and any subtitles that appear (if you have them turned on). The video has a slow pace — some scenes are a bit long — but the funny, silly moments will appeal to younger audiences.

9. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars — Uptown Funk (4.91 billion views)

Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk (Official Video) ft. Bruno Mars

Even though it’s older than the top three videos on this list, Uptown Funk continues to gather new viewers, helping it remain a potential chart-topping threat. Ronson’s video made its YouTube debut in November 2014 and swiftly became one of the most popular and well-liked videos ever.

Arguably just as impressive as its view count is that it beat stiff competition from its contemporaries. Big music videos from other major artists, like Katy Perry, helped their big 2014 hits achieve billions of views. Uptown Funk still manages to eclipse those achievements.

8. Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes — Wheels on the Bus (5.18 billion views)

Wheels on the Bus | CoComelon Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs

The Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes YouTube channel actually has two videos in the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos of all time. And Wheels on the Bus is the latest one to break into the top q0. Cocomelon’s Wheels on the Bus is it’s animated version of the classic children’s songSome of the lyrics may be different from what you sang as a kid, but the familiar catchy tune and the easy to follow lyrics displayed on-screen should still be fun for kids and their parents to sing along with. It’s no wonder that this updated classic eventually made it on this list.

7. ChuChu TV — Phonics Song with Two Words (5.27 billion views)

Phonics Song with TWO Words - A For Apple - ABC Alphabet Songs with Sounds for Children

A pretty straightforward educational children’s literacy video, Phonics Song with Two Words features a simple tune that goes through the entire alphabet, going over pairs of words that use each of the letters in the English alphabet. The video even provides illustrations of these words and explains how to pronounce the sounds of each letter in their respective example words.

This video has been around since March 6, 2014, and has racked up over 5 billion views.

6. Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth — See You Again (5.87 billion views)

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again is the first video on this list to have a movie tie-in — Furious 7 — to aid its promotion. It has managed nearly 6 billion views since its April 2015 debut and serves as a tribute to Paul Walker, the former star of The Fast Saga, who died in 2013.

Between July 10 and August 4, 2017, the video remained the most-viewed video on YouTube, beating Gangnam Style. That reign was only temporary, as it was later eclipsed by Despacito. It was also the most-liked video between August 26, 2016, and July 25, 2017.

See You Again became the second video to pass the 2 billion view mark.

5. Ed Sheeran — Shape of You (5.98 billion views)

Ed Sheeran - Shape of You [Official Video]

Whether you watched it or not,Shape of You is still one of the most-watched videos of all time. It’s No. 5 on this list, has over 5 billion views, and was the second video to nab 4 billion views.

Shape of You debuted in January 2017.

4. Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes — Bath Song (6.17 billion views)

Bath Song | CoComelon Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs

Slowly but surely, educational videos for children are taking over the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos of all time. In fact, Cocomelon’s Bath Song is now No. 4 on our list, as other videos like Gangnam Style have been knocked out of the top 10 completely — which is weird when you think about it. It’s just a simple song about bath time that’s less than three minutes long and has a Baby Shark Dance-esque chorus. Nonetheless, it managed to snag a top five spot on this list, speeding far ahead of a video from an internationally famous singer.

3. LooLoo Kids — Johny Johny Yes Papa (6.69 billion views)

Johny Johny Yes Papa

Another video for kids that made it into the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos is Johny Johny Yes Papa. It’s a short, animated music video about a mischievous baby and his Papa. It’s a simple song about a baby trying to eat some sugar (literal sugar cubes) even though his Papa obviously doesn’t approve. Does the kid get the sugar? You’ll have to watch to find out. The song itself isn’t annoying, either — it’s almost too simple and short to be a nuisance. That’s a good thing, considering it’s been viewed/listened to well over 6 billion times.

2. Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee — Despacito (8.15 billion views)

Luis Fonsi - Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee

Featuring Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Despacito hit YouTube in January 2017 and racked up more than a billion views in just 97 days — the second-fastest run ever. The video went on to become the fastest to garner 2 billion views and the first-ever video to exceed 3 billion, 4 billion, 5 billion, 6 billion, and 7 billion views.

1. Pinkfong — Baby Shark Dance (12.77 billion views)

Baby Shark Dance | Sing and Dance! | Animal Songs | PINKFONG Songs for Children

Sometimes a song becomes famous solely because it’s an earworm. We’ve seen it happen with Barney in the early days, so it’s no surprise it happened again with an insanely catchy kid’s song about a shark family.

Baby Shark Dance, produced by Korean pop manufacturer Pinkfong, isn’t a complicated song. It has sharks, repetition, and a considerable amount of existential dread — that’s about it. However, this song rose to become the No. 1 video on this list and has inspired countless variations that can be found across YouTube.

Let’s be honest: Baby Shark Dance‘s success isn’t really all that surprising. If bringing up Baby Shark and playing it 12 times in a row is the only way to calm your toddler down, every parent with access to the internet is going to do exactly that. Expect Baby Shark‘s reign as the most-viewed video to continue.

Do you want to watch these videos without an internet connection? Read our guide on how to download YouTube videos.

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Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
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