Gangnam Style Hits the Billion Mark

Posted November 19

I’ll bet you have busted out the trademark horse gallop dance move at some point in the last few months.

If you own a computer, a radio, or a television set, chances are you’ve come across the South Korean viral video sensation “Gangnam Style.” Well now Psy has hit one billion YouTube views, not to mention all the knockoffs. Since blasting onto the international scene this summer, Psy — who is no newbie in the entertainment industry with 6 albums under his belt — has skyrocketed to infamy, appearing on celebrity talkshows, inspiring flash mobs, as well as countless parody videos featuring everyone from political rebel and artist Ai Weiwei to the US Naval Academy, and appearing on iTunes Top Songs charts across the globe.

Just a few weeks ago, Justin Bieber created a stir by hitting the 3 billion mark on Vevo, but when it comes to bands and artists on YouTube, only the Black Eyed Peas, Linkin Park and Bruno Mars have crossed the 1 billion threshold. But even more impressive is the rate at which Gangnam Style is being consumed. Psy saw close to 80 million YouTube views on his official channel in the past week alone, whereas Mars, who currently ranks second for that particular metric, saw about 10 million views.

The rate of new views has grown as one would expect a viral video to, with the numbers increasing fairly steadily since early August with scattered dips and spikes, the largest of which occured in late October, when Psy announced his Billboard cover on Twitter and Facebook. He actively engages with his fans across these social networks and has seen a similar, but relative trajectory of growth in following, reaching more than 3 million page likes on Facebook, and 1 million fans on Twitter. All told, Psy has appeared on the Next Big Sound Social 50 chart for the past 13 weeks in a row.

If you thought Psy would be a blip on the radar and disappear from public view after the video sensation died down, that doesn’t seem likely. Having signed with Scooter Braun and Schoolboy Records, (who, by the way, is all over his Twitter feed) he landed the cover of “Billboard Magazine Maximum Exposure issue,” is performing at seemingly every major award show, and is rumored to have his next big thing already in the works.

So although we’ve already seen it a billion times, I imagine we’ll be busting out that horse gallop for some time to come.

Photo Credit: Screen Grab PSY Gangnam Style Official video on YouTube.

This post originally appeared in the Next Big Sound Blog. Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Westchester Magazine and more.