Why “Gangnam Style” Is Still The Most Watched YouTube Video

South Korean singer Psy’s 2012 hit “Gangnam Style” is still the most watched video on YouTube, even four years later. In fact, the music video is so popular that it broke YouTube. The video far surpassed YouTube’s view limit when it garnered more than two billion views, requiring the site to upgrade its view counter.

How did it garner so much attention, and why has it yet to be rivaled? Let’s take a deeper look into why “Gangnam Style” is so popular.

1. It attracted plenty of attention from big-name celebrities.

Psy initially didn’t anticipate the music video release would garner much attention because it would happen around the same time as the 2012 London Olympics. He and his label decided to release the video a bit earlier, on July 15. It didn’t grow internationally until it hit Twitter, where the video views soon shot up by the millions.

Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, and other big-name artists tweeted about the video, talking about the crazy amazing dancing and how the choreography seemed nearly impossible to copy. More and more celebrities started tweeting the music video, and “Gangnam Style” soon became viral not only on Twitter but also all over television. Psy performed on plenty of non-Korean television shows, and his song started playing regularly on international radio.

2. It introduced a viral dance craze.

One of the reasons the music video was so successful abroad is because no one had ever seen anything like the “Gangnam Style” dance ever before. The quirky dance moves were so strange, funny, and new that people who watched the video shared it with friends who had also never seen anything like it before.

Most artists in America had never created music videos with dance moves as crazy as this, so it’s not hard to believe that the “Gangnam Style” dance went viral. It was so different, so new, so fresh, and so crazy. As word continued to spread of how amazing and hard the dance is, the view count on the music video skyrocketed.

The dance became so popular that the South Korean hit even appears on Just Dance 4.

3. The music is so danceable.

Everyone can agree that “Gangnam Style” (and pretty much all of Psy’s music) is crazy catchy. No matter how strange the music video is, and no matter what language the music is, a beat is a beat, especially in an era when electronic music is one of the biggest things.

The viral dance is not the single reason “Gangnam Style” blew up; it’s also because of how catchy and danceable it is. As strange as the song is, everyone agrees that they can definitely dance to it in a club or at any kind of party. When people hear this song, they immediately start to dance to the funky beat, even four years later.

In the following example, notice how despite the strange concept of the video, everyone can’t help but jam out. “It has a ten out of ten for dance-ability,” and you often can’t help but dance along when songs have such a catchy beat. As a teen on “Teens React” says in reaction to Psy’s new song “Daddy,” “It’s so weird, but it’s so catchy.”

4. It was so new and different that people couldn’t help but be curious.

“Gangnam Style” was so new and different that people couldn’t help but be curious. Those who found it funny shared the video with friends. Those who found it weird also shared it with friends; and those who found it catchy and crazy also shared it with friends. There’s really no other way to put it; “Gangnam Style” hit all the points in a viral video. It’s crazy, weird, and funny; and you’ll never get sick of it.

In “Teens React to Gangnam Style,” you can really see just how the music video attracted so much attention. Everyone found the beat catchy and danceable, despite the weird music video. Most importantly, the music video was simply entertaining. The teens definitely found the music video weird, but they also couldn’t help but move to the beat.

Even four years after its release, “Gangnam Style” still sits at the top of YouTube’s most-watched list. Read through the above tips and reflect on how you may tweak your music or music video to possibly rival the interminable reign of Psy.

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Angelina Hue enjoys listening to wide variety of music, from instrumental movie scores to alternative indie to Korean pop music. She also likes to make short films and write fiction.


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