Google today said its YouTube site hit a trillion playbacks in 2011 – that’s a 1,000,000,000,000 view counts for you, or about 140 views for every person on the earth. In a post over at the official YouTube blog, the company invited folks to “see what the world watched on YouTube in 2011 with YouTube Rewind”, available at www.youtube.com/rewind.

It’s an interactive timeline of this year’s most popular videos and events. As you can imagine, kitten videos, dog clips and videos of cute babies (iPad toddlers, anyone?) are again amongst the most-viewed clips not put out by big music companies. And what’s the biggest YouTube video of the year?

Rebecca Black, of course, an American pop singer who also dominated Google’s annual list of the fastest-growing search queries. Her music video is followed by this cute dog clip, then the Jack Sparrow music video (featuring Michael Bolton).

In the “most watched videos from major music labels globally” category, Pitbull’s On The Floor was by the most popular music video, although their Give Me Everything (featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer) and Rain Over Me (featuring Marc Anthony) were pretty popular as well. In fact, those three music videos accrued over four hundred million views.

The majority of YouTube clips that have managed to clock insane view counts throughout the year come from YouTube’s VEVO channel, dedicated to music videos (VEVO is a joint venture among Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media.

Go past the break for a handy list of the most popular YouTube videos of 2011 across several categories.


Most viewed YouTube videos globally (excluding videos from major music labels) (playlist)
  1. Rebecca Black – Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
  2. Ultimate Dog Tease
  3. Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)
  4. Talking Twin Babies – PART 2 – OFFICIAL VIDEO
  5. Nyan Cat [original]
  6. Look At Me Now – Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)
  7. The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)
  8. Maria Aragon – Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga
  9. The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
  10. Cat mom hugs baby kitten

Most viewed YouTube channels globally (excluding channels from major music labels)

  1. machinima
  2. IGNentertainment
  3. RayWilliamJohnson
  4. expertvillage
  5. BlueXephos
  6. smosh
  7. realannoyingorange
  8. roosterteeth
  9. thelonelyisland
  10. barelypolitical

Most watched videos from major music labels globally


  1. Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor ft. Pitbull
  2. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
  3. Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song [Official Video]
  4. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
  5. Pitbull – Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer
  6. Pitbull – Rain Over Me ft. Marc Anthony
  7. Jessie J – Price Tag ft. B.o.B.
  8. LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
  9. Katy Perry – E.T. ft. Kanye West
  10. Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)

Some highlights from other categories:

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