What do people really want to watch when they watch Web video? Google’s YouTube (GOOG), along with just about every other video aggregation site, argue that surfers are most interested in stuff made by people just like them — that is, stuff that shouldn’t have sticky copyright issues.
But video-tracking serviceTubeMogul offers up a different answer: People like to watch stuff made by professional musicians.
TubeMogul’s list of the 100 most popular Web videos of all time is dominated by music videos and user-generated content based on or derived from copyrighted music. The longer you move down the long tail, the more likely you are to find clips genuinely made by amateurs, and it’s certainly possible that those make up the majority of overall web views. But take a look at the TubeMogul’s top 20 list, and you can see why YouTube was willing to strike deals with the major labels shortly before Google acquired it in 2005.
Postscript: Normally at the end of a post like this we’d include an embedded clip of a video from YouTube– say, Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.” But the YouTube page for that video has disabled the embed function “by request”, so we’ll show you the version we found at AOL Music instead.
judsonlaipply / Evolution of Dance: 80.2m
RCARecords / Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend: 78.1m
kaejane / Lo que tÃƒÂº Quieras OÃƒÂr: 69.5m
IMVUinc / IMVU – www.IMVU.com: 59.2m
donotasyoudo / ~YouTube Worst Video of All Time~ : 58.8m
universalmusicgroup / Rihanna – Don’t Stop The Music: 45.3m
aliciakeys / Alicia Keys – No One: 44.1m
srcrecords / Akon – “Don’t Matter”: 43.8m
TimbalandMusic / Timbaland – The Way I Are OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO: 43.1m
BlackOleg / Hahaha: 42.2m
chai0322 / xxx: 41.9m
seankingston / Sean Kingston-Beautiful Girls: 41.4m
NeilCicierega / Potter Puppet Pals in quotThe Myste: 38.9m
leonalewis / Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis: 37.6m
universalmusicgroup / Rihanna – Umbrella: 34.5m
ChrisBrownTV / Chris Brown – Kiss Kiss ft. T-Pain: 34.4m
hereforyou13 / High School Musical: 33.3m
britneytv / Britney Spears Piece of M : 32.4m
SouljaBoy / Soulja Boy – How to Crank That – INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO!: 31.4m
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