10 Surprising Things That Happened in Music on YouTube This Year

December 12, 2014

Earlier this week, we shared our annual list of the top 25 music videos that made us wiggle in 2014. In sifting through the data, we also uncovered some surprising facts about the artists and songs that made a splash this year. Here are ten of our favorites, coming at you like a dark horse:

  1. These numbers don’t lie: 2014 was the Year of Shakira. With two songs in the Top 10 and more than 1.8 billion views to her channel this year, she was bigger than Nicki Minaj and Jason Derulo combined. Her channel also saw the biggest growth in views of any artist, year over year.

  2. Another Latin icon, Enriqué Iglesias, is also keeping the magic alive. With 1.5 billion views, he had more eyes on his channel this year than One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer combined (!).

  3. With nearly three-quarters of a billion views, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” wasn’t just the biggest music video on YouTube in 2014, it’s the biggest video on YouTube this year – period.

  4. While Katy Perry holds the crown for top video of the year, Meghan Trainor wins the prize for biggest breakout star. Since her channel launch in February, Trainor went from near obscurity to worldwide fame (and 400 million views) with “All About That Bass” - one of 2014’s top 10 music videos worldwide.

  5. India’s T-Series (a record label) is one of the 20 most popular channels in the world this year, with over 5B total views, thanks to favorites like “Baby Doll” and “Chaar Botal Vodka Full” from this year’s Bollywood hit, "Ragini MMS 2."

  6. Some might have called 2013 “the year of Yoncé,” but on YouTube, 2014 has been Queen Bey’s biggest by far, with her channel racking up well over 1B views this year alone.

  7. EDM music accounted for 50 percent of the top 10 live performances of the year, with Tomorrowland’s first weekend live stream receiving the most commentary - more than 1M comments over the course of the show - of any YouTube video this year.

  8. Since its debut in March, DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” has inspired more than 20,000 tributes, parodies, and other demonstrations of getting #turnt.

  9. Though posted at the end of 2013, Pharrell’s “Happy” kept the party going well into this year, becoming the most liked (2.4M thumbs up and counting) music video of 2014.

  10. And how could we let this list go without a hat tip to "Frozen"? “Let it Go,” the Disney movie’s top musical number, was one of the most viewed and covered songs of the year, netting more than 1 billion views across its top 5 official YouTube videos.
-- Christine Huang, Bonnie Gleicher, and Claire Stapleton