Already the most popular video in YouTube history, Gangnam Style on Friday became the first to achieve 1 billion views on the Google-owned video-sharing site.
The official video (below) for South Korean rapper-singer PSY's infectious, goofy-dance-driven hit was uploaded to YouTube on July 15. In just over five months, "Gangnam Style" eclipsed such YouTube mega-hits Justin Bieber's "Baby" (currently at 813.5 million views), Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor" (632.7 million views), and the venerable "Charlie Bit My Finger" (502.9 million views).
The viral video also spawned a pop culture movement in the United States and elsewhere, with athletes, celebrities, and even Google chairman Eric Schmidt busting out signature "Gangnam Style" dance moves in various public venues over the past several months.
How unlikely was it that a song name-dropping Seoul's Gangnam District and sung almost entirely in a language with less than 100 million native speakers would become a worldwide smash hit of such unimaginable magnitude? We'll leave it to others to dissect the obviously winning formula of "Gangnam Style," but as the Verge notes, the success of the video is certainly "a testament to just how deeply technology is rooted in our culture" and the raw power of runaway Internet memes.
Meanwhile, PSY's mega-hit has been dropping other YouTube records like flies during its meteoric run on the video site. "Gangnam Style" passed Bieber's "Baby" as the most-viewed video on YouTube on Nov. 24. The video also had a record 6.2 million likes on YouTube as of Friday evening. Amazingly, "Gangnam Style" has less than 450,000 dislikes on the site, for a like-to-dislike ratio approaching 14:1. By comparison, "Baby" currently has about 1.5 million likes but also 3.3 million dislikes.
"Gangnam Style" is the lead single on PSY's sixth K-pop album, the six-track PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1 (that's a lot of 6's, just to circle back on the Apocalypse thing). A companion album, PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 2, is set for release in March. For all the success of the "Gangnam Style" video, the album itself has sold less than 100,000 copies in South Korea, according to reports.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc