Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.

Kiwi Youtube viewers go their own way (+videos)

The famous 'Charlie Bit my Finger' Youtube clip. Photo / Supplied
The famous 'Charlie Bit my Finger' Youtube clip. Photo / Supplied

Be it dancing babies, ninja babies or finger-biting babies, our greatest YouTube hits show nappy-clad cuties amuse us almost as much as Justin Bieber's Baby.

Music videos have been shown to dominate lists of the world's most viewed YouTube clips - the more than 730 million views garnered by Bieber's signature hit making it the most popular video - although quirky home movies featuring babies feature in the top rankings.

The 55-second British sensation Charlie bit my finger -- Again from 2007, showing 3-year-old Harry Davies-Carr biting the finger of his brother, has spawned T-shirts and calendars and had a place on the viral video podium until it was surpassed by Baby and four other superhits.

To date, it has been watched more than 450 million times and trails behind only clips of Eminem, Lady Gaga and the official anthem to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Jennifer Lopez's On the Floor featuring rapper Pitbull, with more than 533 million hits, and Baby.

Among our own most viewed videos remains Kiwi tot Cory Elliott, whose near-choreographed bobbing to Beyonce's Single Ladies has gathered more than 30 million views since its upload three years ago. It ranks second in the Kiwi top 10.

At the top of the list is Still Alive by Mt Eden Dubstep - the Auckland drum and bass duo now known as Mt Eden, who stumbled on to international fame after posting their videos online in 2010 - with more than 32 million views so far.

The same act's remix of Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan's Silence weighed in at 10th spot, with more than 13 million hits.

Our other most popular videos include the Flight of the Conchords' If You're Into It, The Naked and Famous' Young Blood, a rap remix of a song from the movie Madagascar and posted music by Led Zeppelin, Kings of Leon and US R&B artist Miguel.

Our most discussed videos included clips featuring documentary-maker Michael Moore and Ricky Gervais, and raw footage of the Christchurch earthquake.

Auckland social media commentator Simon Young was surprised at what featured as most viewed.

"YouTube has become a big karaoke machine over the years. I remember the good old days, maybe three to four years ago, when it was a source of surprising, original content - not that these days aren't good, just different," he told the Herald.

He saw our most viewed artist as a positive point of difference.

"The world has Justin Bieber, we have Dubstep - there is hope for humanity, and it's found Downunder."

Australian social media expert Laurel Papworth said it was normal for the most popular clips to have been around for years. But she predicted live streaming would soon challenge Youtube's popularity and expected the site would have to conform by offering streaming of customer-created content.

- NZ Herald

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