Vevo reveals most-watched music videos

  •   
  •   
  •   

Vevo, the music video network, has released data to celebrate the 40th anniversary of music videos hitting the mainstream on August 1st 1981. This data, based on lifetime views across Vevo’s network, demonstrates the most popular music videos of each decade, both in the UK and globally.

Since the first airing of Video Killed the Radio Star on MTV 40 years ago, music videos have cemented their place in the mainstream consciousness. But since then, they have also vastly changed in both format and distribution. This is not only through enhanced production techniques and the evolution of artistic expression, but also in terms of where and how they are viewed by mass audiences, and new modes of distribution, such as Connected TV.

Some key data:

  • Luis Fonsi’s Despacito (ft. Daddy Yankee) is still the most viewed video globally from 2010-2020, and with 7.451 billion views it has almost twice the viewership of the number two spot on the 2010s list (Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk with 4.246 billion  views).
  • Eminem makes three appearances on the UK 2000s top 10 list, with his hits When I’m Gone (2), Without Me (5) and Mockingbird (7). Katy Perry pops up twice in the global 2010s list with her hits Roar (5) and Dark Horse ft. Juicy J (7).
  • Just two of the top 10 global hits in the 80s list top 1 billion views, with Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine racking up 1.268 billion views and Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up 1.104 billion. By contrast, every most-viewed video from the 2010s surpasses this figure.
  • Homegrown highlights from the global list include The Police’s Every Breath You Take at number 6 in the 80s list and 866 million views, while Irish band The Cranberries also hit number 4 globally in the 90s list, with Zombie attracting 1.105 billion views.

Claudia de Wolff, VP Content and Programming, Europe said: “Music video as an artistic form has changed so much over the past forty years, and it’s fascinating to see how both artist and consumer preferences have evolved over time. Artists are continually striving to find new and unique ways to creatively express themselves in their videos, from animation to stop motion, choreography to cameos. We’ve seen artists producing incredible, cinematic masterpieces with huge casts, iconic dance routines and mind bending technology. The music video has always been at the forefront of the creative industries, with artists like Michael Jackson, OK GO, Sia, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino creating some of the most talked about cultural moments of the last 40 years. But that said, everyone still loves a good dance routine, whether that’s Shake It Off or Single Ladies, and our catalogue is able to serve all these across our vast distribution network – perfectly suited to today’s consumer and music fan. Many of today’s emerging artists who are coming up through our DSCVR programme are getting even more creative, from Ashnikko’s colourful and unique aesthetic to Pa Salieu’s eye catching use of camera technology in the visual for his track My Family, featuring another DSCVR artist Backroad Gee.”

Richard Brant, Head of Advanced TV, UK & International, added: “Brands and advertisers can also benefit from understanding the changing nature of music video, as it reflects the changing viewing behaviour of their audiences. Music videos have shifted dramatically away from only being available on broadcast television back in the days of MTV. They have undergone a vast evolution, through first becoming available on laptops and computers, then picked up on mobile, watched on demand and increasingly now back to being viewed in the living room, be it through broadcast or connected television. Now with the eventual decline of third-party cookies, advertisers need to reassess, strip back their plans and build campaigns based on quality environments and adapt to the way their audiences consume media. The music video has universal appeal, providing a production quality editorially regulated environment. It’s simply a great way to reach multiple engaged audiences at scale.”

Global 1980s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine (Official Music Video)

1987

1.268 billion

2

Rick Astley

Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video)

1987

1.103 billion

3

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Official Video)

1982

974.4 million

4

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Official Video)

1983

938.5 million

5

Europe

Europe – The Final Countdown (Official Video)

1986

883.6 million

6

The Police

The Police – Every Breath You Take (Official Video)

1983

866 million

7

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer (Official Music Video)

1986

811.4 million

8

Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart (Video)

1982

805.2 million

9

AC/DC

AC/DC – Back In Black (Official Video)

1980

762.2 million

10

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson – Beat It (Official Video)

1982

731.2 million

_________

UK 1980s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Wham!

Wham! – Last Christmas (Official Video)

1984

64.1 million

2

Rick Astley

Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video)

1987

59.3 million

3

Toto

Toto – Africa (Official HD Video)

1982

44.2 million

4

Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine (Official Music Video)

1987

40 million

5

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer (Official Music Video)

1986

36.4 million

6

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Official Video)

1982

35.3 million

7

The Police

The Police – Every Breath You Take (Official Video)

1983

31.5 million

8

Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart (Video)

1982

30 million

9

Survivor

Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger (Official HD Video)

1982

29.7 million

10

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Official Video)

1983

28.1 million

_________

Global 1990s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain

1992

1.668 billion

2

Nirvana

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

1991

1.295 billion

3

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You (Official 4K Video)

1992

1.121 billion

4

The Cranberries

The Cranberries – Zombie (Official Music Video)

1994

1.105 billion

5

4 Non Blondes

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up (Official Music Video)

1992

1,103 billion

6

AC/DC

AC/DC – Thunderstruck (Official Video)

1990

952 million

7

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way (Official HD Video)

1998

935.9 million

8

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg – Still D.R.E. (Official Video)

1999

919.9 million

9

Aqua

Aqua – Barbie Girl (Official Music Video)

1997

905.7 million

10

Scorpions

Scorpions – Wind Of Change (Official Music Video)

1991

870.6 million

_________

UK 1990s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You (Official Video)

1994

69.2 million

2

Nirvana

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

1991

46.5 million

3

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg – Still D.R.E. (Official Video)

1999

45.8 million

4

Aqua

Aqua – Barbie Girl (Official Music Video)

1997

43.6 million

5

Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain

1992

41.6 million

6

The Cranberries

The Cranberries – Zombie (Official Music Video)

1994

40.9 million

7

AC/DC

AC/DC – Thunderstruck (Official Video)

1990

39.7 million

8

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You (Official 4K Video)

1992

38.8 million

9

The Verve

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (Official Music Video)

1997

38.6 million

10

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way (Official HD Video)

1998

35.4 million

_________

Global 2000s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga – Bad Romance (Official Music Video)

2009

1.384 billion

2

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

2009

1.205 billion

3

Eminem

Eminem – Without Me (Official Music Video)

2002

1.172 billion

4

50 Cent

50 Cent – In Da Club (Official Music Video)

2003

1.17 billion

5

Beyoncé

Beyoncé – Halo

2008

1.116 billion

6

Katy Perry

Katy Perry – Hot N Cold (Official)

2008

1.044 billion

7

System Of A Down

System Of A Down – Chop Suey! (Official Video)

2001

1.025 billion

8

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi – It’s My Life (Official Music Video)

2003

997.7 million

9

Nelly

Nelly – Dilemma (Official Music Video) ft. Kelly Rowland

2002

992.3 million

10

Shakira

Shakira – Hips Don’t Lie ft. Wyclef Jean

2006

925.6 million

_________

UK 2000s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

The Killers

The Killers – Mr. Brightside (Official Music Video)

2004

62.3 million

2

Eminem

Eminem – When I’m Gone (Official Music Video)

2005

58.4 million

3

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

2009

54.4 million

4

Nelly

Nelly – Dilemma (Official Music Video) ft. Kelly Rowland

2002

52.3 million

5

Eminem

Eminem – Without Me (Official Music Video)

2002

51.9 million

6

50 Cent

50 Cent – In Da Club (Official Music Video)

2003

47.6 million

7

Eminem

Eminem – Mockingbird (Official Music Video)

2004

44.8 million

8

Beyoncé

Beyoncé – Halo

2008

44.3 million

9

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga – Bad Romance (Official Music Video)

2009

42.7 million

10

Mario

Mario – Let Me Love You (Official Video)

2004

41.7 million

_________

Global 2010s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Luis Fonsi

Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee

2017

7.451 billion

2

Mark Ronson

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

2014

4.246 billion

3

Maroon 5

Maroon 5 – Sugar (Official Music Video)

2015

3.522 billion

4

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber – Sorry (PURPOSE : The Movement)

2015

3.468 billion

5

Katy Perry

Katy Perry – Roar (Official)

2013

3.384 billion

6

OneRepublic

OneRepublic – Counting Stars (Official Music Video)

2013

3.343 billion

7

Katy Perry

Katy Perry – Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J

2014

3.114 billion

8

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

2014

3.099 billion

9

Maroon 5

Maroon 5 – Girls Like You ft. Cardi B (Official Music Video)

2018

3.068 billion

10

Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias – Bailando ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona (Español)

2014

3.061 billion

_________

UK 2010s

Artist

Video Title

Copyright

Lifetime View Count

1

Mark Ronson

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

2014

175.4 million

2

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber – Sorry (PURPOSE : The Movement)

2015

158.3 million

3

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

2014

143.9 million

4

Katy Perry

Katy Perry – Roar (Official)

2013

137.7 million

5

Maroon 5

Maroon 5 – Girls Like You ft. Cardi B (Official Music Video)

2018

130.2 million

6

Luis Fonsi

Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee

2017

124.8 million

7

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift – Blank Space

2014

123.7 million

8

James Arthur

James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go

2016

122.7 million

9

OneRepublic

OneRepublic – Counting Stars (Official Music Video)

2013

122.5 million

10

Adele

Adele – Hello

2015

120.9 million


  •   
  •   
  •   

You must be logged in to post a comment Login