YouTube, these days, is all about music. Music covers. Music videos. Music subscriptions for offline streaming. So when it comes to the festive time of year, all most people want for Christmas from YouTube is their favourite seasonal track. And so, just in time for 25th December, YouTube has revealed its most popular Christmas music videos.
Before you can say “Mariah Carey”, though, the most-viewed video isn’t quite what you expect. That honour goes to Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe, which has more than 260 million views. Carey, meanwhile, doesn’t appear once in the charts. Oh, no. She appears three times – a performance matched only by the superb a capella group Pentatonix. (Bieber, meanwhile, makes two appearances.)
In the last 12 months, YouTube has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising alone.
“Last year was a bright one for music—after several tough years of declining revenues, the industry started growing again, spurred in large part by the growth of music streaming subscriptions,” says Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Chief Business.
“In the future, the music business has an opportunity to look a lot like television, where subscriptions and advertising contribute roughly equal amounts of revenue, bolstered by digital and physical sales. To achieve this, there is a lot of work that must be done by YouTube and the industry as a whole, but we are excited to see the momentum. At a time when there’s never been more competition for attention, fans can’t get enough good music.”
Speaking of which, in reverse order…
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Pentatonix (13 million views)
In a post-Glee, post-Pitch Perfect world, Pentatonix are one of the best a capella groups out there – and, judging by their three entries in the chart, one of the most popular too.
9. All I Want for Christmas Is You – Carpool Karaoke All-Stars (21.4 million views)
The only thing more viral than James Corden’s carpool karaoke? James Corden’s carpool karaoke with a bunch of celebrities all singing the world’s most-sung Christmas song.
8. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens (30.8 million views)
An oldie but a goodie.
7. Carol of the Bells – Pentatonix (71.1 million views)
Arguably made famous by Home Alone’s arrangement, this Pentatonix version is proof that you don’t need catchy pop lyrics to win people over. And, in an age where carpool karaoke is a thing, what a treat to have a group scoring such big hits with old-school Christmas carols.
6. Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande (110.3 million views)
This was a big hit for Ariana back in 2014 and has lost none of its appeal two years later.
5. Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix (111 million views)
Perhaps boosted by their new album release – their third festive album, no less – Pentatonix race their way to three entries in YouTube’s most popular Christmas videos, a joint best.
4. All I Want for Christmas Is You – Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey (126.8 million views)
Mariah Carey’s second entry in the YouTube Christmas top 10 sees her team up with everyone’s favourite blond-haired superstar for a seasonal duo.
3. Last Christmas – Wham! (202.5 million views)
Wham! The noise of your flatmate’s door slamming shut, as you play this for the fiftieth time this week.
2. All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey (249.7 million views)
She’s popped up two times already, but Carey doesn’t need anybody else to steal the seasonal spotlight – she’s been doing that for 22 years now, ever since this single was first released. That’s 12 years before YouTube even existed.
1. Mistletoe – Justin Bieber (261.4 million views)
Carey may be queen of this most beautiful time of the year, but all music fans want for Christmas is actually Justin Bieber, according to YouTube. Try not to sing along. We dare you.
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