Getting a billion views on YouTube ain’t what it used to be

Not that long ago, a million dollars would have set you up for life. Now to be considered “wealthy,” you need at least ten times that much. Even then, you’ll be at the bottom end of the one-percenter bracket. Chalk it up to inflation/

Same thing with YouTube views. In the early days of online access to music, 100 million views of a video would be considered awesome. Then came the major one billion mark.

Today? Phht. A billion views for a single video is nothing.

Psy was the first with “Gangnam Style,” which hit ten figures in December 2012. According to Forbes, there are 100 music videos that have been seen a billion times or more. “New Rules” from Dua Lipa became the 100th video to break that mark.

From Forbes:

Now, reaching one billion plays doesn’t mean what it used to, and in fact, that many views are all but expected when it comes to new offerings from some of the biggest players in the music industry.

In fact, most of the videos included in the Billion Views Club have been released and rocketed to fame between when “Gangnam Style” first moved on from millions to billions and today. The Billion Views Club is now populated primarily by massive hits that have come and gone in the past few years, and two of the three biggest successes were released just last year.

Now the race is to which artist can have multiple billion-plus streams.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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