South Korean pop sensation Psy is the new king of Youtube. The video for his song “Gangnam Style” is on track to be the first video on the site to surpass one billion views.
Last Saturday, “Gangnam” became the most viewed video on the site, currently clocking in at almost 835 million views (as of Tuesday morning). Psy overtook Justin Bieber’s “Baby” video, the previous champion, which currently has 805 million views.
The fact to remember is that Bieber’s video has been out for over two years. “Gangnam” and Psy’s trademark pony dance have been around only since the summer—the video has racked up over 800 million views in four months.
“There are a number of artists who have a billion views in their catalog … Bieber has three billion for all his videos,” Youtube’s Kevin Allocca told MTV News, “But we haven’t had a single music video pass one billion yet…’Gangnam’ is in position to be the one right now.”
Allocca claimed “Gangnam” was still getting 7 to 11 million views a day. In contrast, “Baby” is viewed between 350,000 and 500,000 times a day—not bad for a years old clip, but Bieber has no chance of reclaiming his Youtube “Baby” throne.
When the video sharing site launched in the mid-2000s, earning a billion views seemed ludicrous. But if Psy’s pace continues, the K-Pop darling could pass a billion in early 2013. Considering the Halloween costumes, the MC Hammer appearance at the AMAs, the parodies and the chart run, Psy’s popularity seems still on the rise.
MTV News did the lamenting for Vanilla Ice and Los del Rio: “If only ‘Ice Ice Baby, ‘U Can’t Touch This,’ ‘Macarena’ or ‘Chicken Dance’ had hit during the Internet era. Alas, they peaked too soon and it’s left to Korean pop sensation Psy to gather up all that viral one-hit wonder booty.”
Yes, way back in 1990s, when wonders Lou Bega and Aqua were producing their one-hits, they had to rely on just MTV and radio play. When something went viral, you went to the doctor, not the bank.
Move over, Bieber and Gaga. Psy is the real 21st Century pop star. Rapping in Korean and not afraid of getting goofy, he is a poster child for globalization and the extreme power of the internet.
Of course, Psy’s ability to remain relevant post-“Gangnam” will be the real test for the viral star. And it’s possible that Bieber’s next video could smash Psy’s record.