Gung-ho over Gangnam
Nov 25 2012
808m viewers have watched Park Jae-sang’s video, making it YouTube’s most viewed clip
The declaration of Gangnam Style as the most watched song was made on YouTube’s official blog. It put an official stamp on what had been accepted as inevitable by viewers and fans.
Justin Bieber’s Baby ”has clocked about 803 million views, putting the difference between the top two most-watched videos at five million — paltry by the standards of the rarefied atmosphere of YouTube’s most watched videos. The gap is likely to widen in the coming days with YouTube’s official blog maintaining that “Gangnam Style is still being watched between 7 and 10 million times” daily compared to Baby which gets between 3,50,000 and 5,00,000 views each day.
The speed with which Gangnam Style has soared to the top has taken everyone by surprise. Sung in Korean, the song was uploaded to YouTube only in early August, and has since gone viral and international. In comparison, Justin Bieber’s song Baby has been on YouTube for over two years and has steadily risen in popularity. (See chart). The popularity of the video has also brought Psy, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, attention from the South Korean government and the United Nations. The South Korean government bestowed its highest cultural award — the Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit on him. The government explained that the honour had been bestowed for “advertising ‘Gangam’ widely and increasing the world’s interest in Korea.”
At the United Nations, secretary general Ban Ki-Moon expressed his desire to work with Psy because of his “unlimited global reach.” The signature dance move in the video, similar to riding a horse, has become very popular the world over. It was imitated by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon at the UN headquarters last month and ‘performed’ by players of the West Indies cricket team upon winning the ICC World T20 championship.