Now 2016 is coming to an end, and you know what that means … it’s time for #YouTubeRewind.
This year, more than 200 YouTube stars from 18 countries accepted our Ultimate 2016 Rewind Challenge to pay homage to the biggest videos, memes, channels, songs, and pop culture moments of the year. Keep an eye out for some pretty epic surprise guests. Oh, and we got Major Lazer to help us out with an original mix too.
Feel like a YouTube expert? Take our Rewind quiz to see how many trends and creators you can spot.
It's also time to announce the top trending videos and music videos from 2016, according to time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking and more. From Japanese comedy and European soccer to big celebrity moments and some of YouTube's most popular faces, this year’s top trending videos represent the amazing variety of creativity shared on YouTube every day.
Collectively these 10 videos have 550 million views and were watched for over 25 million hours. The channels behind them collectively have more than 40 million subscribers who tune in regularly to watch the funny, insightful, entertaining things they create.
In music, 2016 seemed to be all about "work," with Fifth Harmony landing the year's top music video (and more than a billion views) and Rihanna scoring the biggest audience in the first 24 hours for a YouTube music video in 2016.
These were just some of the videos that brought Canadians to YouTube in 2016 to laugh, to share, to learn and to remember.
Top Trending Videos in Canada
TV’s YouTube Moment
The number of hours people spent catching up on late night clips nearly doubled in the last year alone. There’s no doubt that TV moments have taken on a life of their own through YouTube. In 2016, late night show channels had over 550M watch hours and over 8.5 BILLION views, as traditional television recognized the power and influence of the YouTube audience and embraced creating content for YouTube.
Canada’s biggest YouTube star also had a tremendous year in 2016 - Superwoman Lilly Singh hit 10M subscribers, wrote her first book and collaborated with her friend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on a few videos to help him launch his YouTube channel.
Rounding out the list were a few notable Canadian news moments, including a report by Global News reporter Reid Fiest who captured the enormous scale of the fire in Fort McMurray as cars streamed out of the city. And who could forget President Obama’s attempt to pronounce Mississauga during the State Dinner he hosted for Prime Minister Trudeau?
Rihanna and Drake took over Toronto this year, performing at OVO Fest and making headlines with a rumoured midnight dinner a Ripley’s Aquarium. But, it was when the couple dropped in on Toronto’s The Real Jerk to film the video for Work that a top trending YouTube sensation was born.
Globally, Calvin Harris’ video for This is What You Came For reached 1 BILLION views in just 167 days, making it Calvin Harris’ biggest YouTube video to-date. It was also Rihanna’s second guest performance to cross 1 billion views. (The first was with Eminem on Love the Way You Life which hit 1.2B views).
Canadian artists had a strong year on YouTube - in addition to Drake, both The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes were among the most-watched artists on YouTube. And Edmonton’s Ruth B burst onto the scene with Lost Boy, which she released for the first time on YouTube. In just a few months, her video has reached nearly 39M views around the world.
Before Canadians go to the movies, they head to YouTube to check out trailers - and this year, we saw a number of highly anticipated trailers for blockbuster franchises. Chief among them was Suicide Squad, the darkly comedic action movie featuring the antiheroes from the DC Comics universe. Filmed in Toronto, Suicide Squad not only delivered the most-watched trailer, but also the most-searched Halloween costume on Google - Harley Quinn.
Female-led stories also dominated, with appearances from the new Star Wars film Rogue One, the all-female cast of the remake of Ghostbusters, the not-yet-released Wonder Woman movie and the Blake Lively thriller The Shallows.
Ads used to be background noise or something you might fast forward. Since YouTube launched skippable ads six years ago, ads have become content that Canadians are choosing to watch. This year’s top trending ads demonstrate that brands are now creating content that’s meant to entertain.
In addition to the top trending videos, trailers and music videos, there were a few magical moments for Canada on YouTube in 2016.
We set a new Canadian record this summer, as Canadians both at home and around the world flocked to YouTube to watch CBC’s livestream of the Tragically Hip’s final concert in Kingston. Viewers from 188 different countries tuned in to watch the concert and post-concert show, bringing home the incredible global reach of YouTube.
We also turned to YouTube to remember Leonard Cohen. Following the announcement of the poet and songwriter’s death on November 10th, the video for his performance of Hallelujah was the most-watched video on YouTube that day. Hallelujah is actually THE most frequently covered song from before 2010 on YouTube, with 8.7K covers. Jeff Buckley’s cover of the iconic song remains the most popular cover on YouTube, with 84 million views.
The first US presidential debate also broke records on YouTube, with nearly 2 million concurrent views around the world - 14X more live viewership than the debates in 2012. Canada was the top country outside of the US that turned into the debate on YouTube.
2016 was also an incredible year for Canadian Creators. We saw 199 channels reach the 100k subscriber mark, 42 hit the 1M subscriber mark, and Canada’s biggest YouTube star, Lilly Singh, hit the 10M subscriber mark.
So take some time, relax, rewind and revisit your favourites from the past year!
Posted by Nicole Bell, communications manager, YouTube Canada
In 2015, you introduced the world to the latest dance crazes, opened up discussions about diversity and inclusion, and lip-synced in cars and onstage in front of millions. The trends you participated in and the creativity you shared defined the year on YouTube in a bigger way than ever before.
It's time to celebrate. More than 150 YouTube creators from all over the world got together to relive not just the best moments of 2015, but also some of the most memorable viral clips from YouTube history (hey, it’s still our 10th birthday year for a few more days yet …). The result: the 2015 installment of our annual Rewind video, featuring everything from YouTube dance prodigies, some of your favorite TV personalities, an epic plastic ball fight, and even a remix from Avicii.
And there’s more. Celebrate some of your favorite moments on YouTube through our official top trending videos of 2015, based on the amount of time people spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking, and more. Topped by one of the year's biggest dance trends, these videos were watched for over 25 million hours and were created by powerhouse channels with over 40 million subscribers between them.
For the first time, not just one, but four television moments made the top Trending Videos list. Three are late night TV videos of widely popular YouTube trends: the lip sync battle, the in-car singalongs, and the reading of mean tweets. You all love late night TV on YouTube—the time people spent catching up on late-night clips like Corden, Fallon and Kimmel nearly doubled in the last year alone!
When it comes to music, 2015 saw some of our fastest-rising videos of all time. Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" reached over 1 billion views in just 6 months and Adele reached the year's top 10 in just a few weeks. The top 10 music videos collectively have more than 66 million subscribers, and people spent over 37,000 years playing them in 2015.
And if you love staying on top of the most-anticipated new trailers, hottest music videos, and viral clips from YouTube creators, today we unveil the new YouTube Trending tab. This new tab in your YouTube app delivers the top trending videos directly to your Android, iOS, and desktop device. It's the best way to catch the videos, creators, and trends that people watch, share, and talk about each and every day. See 'em as they take off and before they appear in YouTube Rewind 2016. And for more Rewind fun, check out the YouTube Rewind channel! Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends, and the YouTube Rewind team, recently watched “YouTube Rewind: Now Watch Me 2015 | #YouTubeRewind.”