By Evan DeSimone
As 2015 is winding down, the year end lists are heating up. Two of the world’s most prominent streaming video platforms, YouTube and Vevo, have both released their lists of the top videos of 2015 by views.
In addition to its 2015 trends report, YouTube dropped its annual rewind video featuring some of the top songs, YouTube creators and mainstream stars of the year.
Vevo, which is best known for delivering music videos and additional content from some of the world’s top artists signed to Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, posted big numbers for some of the year’s hottest songs. While the list matches up neatly with the most popular tracks of the year as ranked by Billboard, there were more than few milestones.
Taylor Swift managed to place three videos from her record breaking 1989 album in the top 10, becoming the first female artist to achieve the feat. Meanwhile, Adele, who entered the race comparatively late in the year, managed to break Vevo’s 24-hour view record, becoming the fastest to reach Certified status with 100 million views. R&B star The Weeknd became the year’s fastest growing artist, racking up 1,244,954,360 views with “The Hills” as the video jumped from #246 to #16 on Vevo’s global views chart.
YouTube also released it’s 2015 wrap-up, giving fans and the media a chance to reflect on the major trends on the platform this year. Topping the chart was “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” the meme-making and dance trend-launching video from Silento. This marks the first time that a dance video has topped YouTube’s overall charts. Also in YouTube’s Top 10 are ads for the mobile game Clash of Clans and a public health message from The Ad Council, lending credence to YouTube’s claims to the power of viral advertising, along with popular clips from a range of network television programs and even a few pieces of viral news. Native YouTube creators, many of whom have been aggressively nurtured, also made the list, including prankster Roman Atwood and VFX wizards Slo Mo Guys. A full playlist of the year’s top videos is embedded above.
YouTube, which has been pushing into the music streaming market with the gradual roll-out of YouTube Music Key, also published a list of the year’s top songs based on searches and views. While the list largely corresponds with Vevo’s top videos list and the Billboard charts, there is at least one surprise entry. Viral k-pop phenomenon “Gangnam Style,” which previously achieved notoriety as the most viewed video in YouTube history in 2013, still managed to roll onto the list at number 4, a testament to the enduring power of virality in the digital video ecosystem.