Monday, November 2, 2020

“Baby Shark” becomes the most watched video in YouTube history

Baby Shark


Writer(s): public domain (see lyrics here)

Released: June 17, 2016

First Charted: January 12, 2019

Peak: 32 BB, 6 UK, 39 CN, 17 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 2.4 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 622.19 video, 13,560.85 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This campfire song dates back to the 20th century. It involves a dance and hand movements which made it a popular campfire song originally. While various entities have copyrighted videos and recordings of the song, the actual song and its characters are believed to be in the public domain. WK A German dance version by Alemuel was popular in 2007. WK

In 2016, the south Korean entertainment company Pinkfong released a version of it recorded by Hope Segoine, a 10-year-old Korean-American singer. GN It became a viral video sensation, surpassing Luis Fonsi’s “Despactio” in November 2020 to become the most-viewed video of all time on YouTube with more than 7 million views. By January 2022, it became the first YouTube video to surpass 10 billion in views. By August 2023, it was past 13 billion views. WK

In 2019, children’s songwriter Jonathan Wright (aka “Johnny Only”) sued Pinkfong, claiming he had the copyright on the song. GN He was a DJ at a kids camp and saw how engaged the campers were when counselors would perform the song with them. He released a version in 2011, five years before Pinkfong. WK A South Korean court ruled that “children’s songs handed down via the oral tradition are not copyrightable.” WK

In July 2019, officials in West Palm Beach, Florida, received criticism for playing “Baby Shark” and a song called “Raining Tacos” on a continuous loop as a way to deter vagrants. WK In October 2020, three Oklahoma prisoner workers were charged with prisoner cruelty for forcing inmates to stand handcuffed and listen to “Baby Shark” for two hours. GN David Prater, the district attorney, argued that it would have added “undue emotional stress on the inmates who were most likely already suffering.” GN


First posted 10/30/2023.

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