A Beyonce cameo that brought the house down. Canada’s biggest YouTube star and the Sexiest Man Alive. Drake and Rihanna turning a local Toronto restaurant into a dance party. Tips for Americans on how to move to Canada. And an out of control fire that dominated news headlines.
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?
Top Trending Music Videos
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.
- Suicide Squad - Official Trailer 1 [HD] by WarnerBrosPictures
- GHOSTBUSTERS - Official Trailer (HD) by SonyPicturesEntertainment
- SAUSAGE PARTY - Official Restricted Trailer - In Cinemas August 11 by SonyPictures Releasing Australia
- WONDER WOMAN Comic-Con Trailer by WarnerBrosPictures
- Neighbors 2 - Official Trailer (HD) by UniversalPictures
- Marvel's Doctor Strange Teaser Trailer by MARVEL
- THE SHALLOWS - Official Trailer #2 (HD) by SonyPicturesEntertainment
- Jason Bourne - Official Trailer (HD) by UniversalPictures
2016 Ads Leaderboard
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.
2016 Canadian Year-end YouTube Ads Leaderboard:
Canada’s Magical Moments on YouTube
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