A million views? You know what's cool? A billion views.

Today, a 34-year-old K-Pop artist made online video history when his viral video, Gangnam Style, smashed our records and became the first video ever to reach one billion views. Yup, that’s right one BILLION views!

PSY's success is a great testament to the universal appeal of catchy music-- and er, great equine dance moves. In the past, music distribution was mostly regional. It was more difficult to learn about great artists from around the world. But with a global platform at their fingertips, people are now discovering and sharing amazing music from all over the planet, by artists like Brazilian Michel Teló and Belgian-Australian Gotye.

One billion views is an incredible number, but the PSY-nomenon goes beyond that. Check out these stats:

  • PSY was already big in Korea, but in 2012, he became a global celeb as Gangnam Style quickly spread from Seoul and the pacific to North America, South America, and Europe. It’s been seen at least 1 million times in close to 75 countries, making it one of the most global music sensations ever! 
  • From a one-thousand person flash mob in Jakarta to cover videos from Ai Weiwei and Mitt Romney, hundreds of thousands of parodies have been uploaded to YouTube, some of which have tens of millions of views. In fact, fan tributes to Gangnam Style are now being viewed 20 million times every single day. 
  • PSY's own remix with Hyuna has 200 million views alone. 
  • "Gangnam Style" was YouTube's top rising search of 2012 and on October 6th, we saw more than five million searches for “gangnam style” in a single day. Check out this video demonstrating some of our most popular YouTube searches this year. 
  • For those interested in the business side: a number of assessments and projections have been posted claiming “Gangnam Style” has generated over $8.1 million in advertising deals, hit more than 2.9 million in song downloads since July, and achieved other incredible feats! 
  • Since late last month, people have clicked to buy the track on iTunes over 600,000 times helping make PSY the first Korean artist ever to rank #1 on the U.S. iTunes chart and #1 in over 30 more countries
Perhaps what’s most impressive about this feat is that it took just over five months to happen. To give this milestone some context, here’s a chart of Gangnam Style’s rise to popularity versus Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” the video that previously held the most-watched video title:

Congratulations to PSY, the flash mobbers, K-Pop fans and people who love fun across the globe. Considering the Gangnam Style dance was the number one dance-related search on YouTube this year, you better make sure you brush up on your moves before New Year's Eve.

The kind of amazing creativity and unique connection between people all over the world that resulted in this one billion views is only possible with an incredible community of people we're so lucky to have on YouTube. And we can't wait to see what you'll come up with next!

Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, recently watched “Rewind YouTube Style 2012

When something big happens in the world, the YouTube community responds. Our news partners race to get footage live on the site. On-the-spot reporters upload video directly from their smartphones to let us all know what it’s like to be there. Leaders express their outrage, and their sorrow. And our 800 million users around the world head to YouTube to better understand what just happened, from multiple perspectives. For years, YouTube has been the global living room - today’s it’s becoming a global newsroom.

2012 was a year in which one of the most respected voices in reporting, The Associated Press, hit one billion views on YouTube - a milestone only reached by a few dozen channels in YouTube history, and shared this year by one of the newest voices in reporting, Phil De Franco.

It was a year in which one of the world's most exciting stories on Earth came in the form of a four frames-per- second video from Mars.

It was a year in which The Weather Channel live-streamed its coverage of Hurricane Sandy for more than 70 hours, to millions of people who would have struggled to get the news any other way.

And it was a year in which people from more than 200 countries tuned in to to watch the US Presidential Elections.

We’re proud of our news partners, and the work they do to bring the events of the world to their growing audiences around the world. Here’s our recap of 2012, which we put together with the help of Nieman Journalism Lab and Storyful.
As we head into the new year, subscribe to the new channel to stay on top of the biggest news stories of 2013.

Tom Sly, Director of Content Partnerships for News and Education, recently watched “The Year in 60 seconds: 2012.

It’s that time of year again to pause, rewind and remember the videos, the entertainers, and the moments that captivated you in 2012.

This year, Korean Pop music transcended boundaries and took the world by storm. Cover songs, parodies, and "do-it-yourself" music videos from all genres entertained us in countries near and far. And you participated in conversations at a global scale, uploading videos to share ideas on everything from nonprofit campaigns, to political satire, to new and surprising voices and talents. Plus, all over the world, you tuned in for the most up-to-date news footage of presidential elections, natural disasters and more.

2012 has been a big year for YouTube. You’ve been watching over 4 billion hours of video a month. Millions of creators are using YouTube channels to experiment with innovative forms of entertainment, explore their passions and interests, and take creativity and pop culture to new levels. 2012’s top trending videos showcase this creative ingenuity in ways we'd never before thought possible.

Check out the YouTube Rewind channel to explore the trending videos of the year in your country. Globally, here’s what we were all talking about in 2012: 

Top Trending YouTube Videos:  
  1. PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V 
  2. Somebody That I Used to Know - Walk off the Earth (Gotye - Cover) 
  3. KONY 2012 
  4. "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen - Feat. Justin Bieber, Selena, Ashley Tisdale & MORE! 
  5. Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney. Epic Rap Battles Of History Season 2. 
  8. Dubstep Violin- Lindsey Stirling- Crystallize 
  9. Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen. 
  10. Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from 128k' - Mission Highlights 
Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, recently watched "Interactive Timeline: YouTube Rewind 2012"

When Taylor Swift unveiled her first single on YouTube back in August, you went a little crazy for it -- along with the rest of the country. During that same session, Ms. Swift secretly recorded an acoustic version of “We Will Never Ever Get Back Together” as well as never-before-heard acoustic versions of two other tracks off the new album: “Treacherous” and “Forever.” Today, she shares that session exclusively on YouTube, as a special holiday treat for her fans.

Sarah Bardeen, music community manager, recently watched “Toro y Moi ‘So Many Details’.”

Life moves fast. To speed up recording, enhancing and sharing videos with your friends or the whole world, you can now use the YouTube Capture app on your iPhone or iPod touch.
Making sharing fast and easy
YouTube Capture is ready to record as soon as you open it. When you’re done filming, write a caption, select which networks you want to share to, and hit Share. Even if you minimize the app, the video will keep uploading in the background. You can control who sees your video by setting it to private (only you can view it), unlisted (only people with a link to the video can view it), or public (to let it shine to the world).

More than a point-and-shoot
Have a shaky hand or bad lighting when recording your video? Touch it up easily with YouTube enhancements like color correction and stabilization, or trim the length and add free background music from YouTube. These enhancements are also available on existing videos on your device, and you can always undo enhancements later on YouTube Capture will remind you to rotate your phone to a horizontal position for filming, so your videos look high-quality and free of “Vertical Video Syndrome.”

YouTube Capture will be available today on the App Store. We’re also working to bring this to Android in the future, and learn more at

Reed Morse, Software Engineer, recently watched “Ronald Jenkees - Red Lemonade Remixed.”

By now, many of you may be familiar with the monthly On The Rise program, where we identify four YouTube partners whose subscriber numbers are growing but haven’t yet reached 100,000. You get the opportunity to vote for your favorite, each channel is evaluated on criteria such as viewer engagement and channel optimization techniques, and one of the four channels is featured on the YouTube homepage and across our social networks. In past months, featured partners like JoshSundquist, CuteGirlsHairstyles, and strskillschool have seen growth in their fan base and video engagement thanks to your support.

This month, we’re taking a brief hiatus from asking you to vote on emerging YouTube talent while the On The Rise program undergoes a bit of a face lift. We’ll be back in 2013, but in the meantime, we wanted to give YOU - the fans and viewers - more of a say about which channels really are on the rise.

We’re excited to announce that you can now nominate a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program. Feel free to submit nominations for your own channel, or for channels you follow that you think deserve more attention or could be the next YouTube sensation. We’ll continue to feature promising partners who have fewer than 100,000 subscribers and produce engaging content on a regular basis.

As always, thanks for participating and helping some of YouTube’s promising content creators grow their fan base!

Devon Storbeck and Christine Wang, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “M4SONIC - Virus (Live Launchpad Original).”

Each year here at YouTube, we take a look back at the videos that captured our attention and our imagination during the year. We’ll be releasing the top trending videos of 2012 next week, but today our friends over at Google are taking a look at the year through the eyes of search.

Google’s 12th annual Zeitgeist Year-In-Review, a.k.a. a “spirit of the times,” reviews the people, places, and topics that captured the world’s attention this year. YouTube favorite “Gangnam Style” came in as the #2 global trending search term this year, and topped dozens of country’s charts. PSY’s smash hit also left a lasting impression on search, with questions like “How to Gangnam” popping up in Malaysia, and “Gangnam Style costume” coming in as the #4 trending Halloween Costume search in the U.S.

For a quick ride through 2012, check out the Zeitgeist video:

Make sure to check out the Google Zeitgeist site to see the hottest trends, people, and topics that were top of mind this year.

Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, recently watched "Simon's Cat in 'Icecapade'"

Update 12/12: The team that designed and built the recent YouTube update will answer your questions in a Hangout on Air Thursday 12/13 at 4pm PT on the YouTube channel. To ask a question, submit it here before Noon PT on Thursday 12/13. If you can’t make that, we’ll also hold a Reddit “Ask me Anything” on Tuesday 12/17 starting at 10am PT to answer your questions.

Those of you who use YouTube most have learned the secret to making it even better—find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. Last year we began to make it easier to subscribe to the channels you care about by introducing a Guide on the home page. When you add subscriptions to your Guide, you organize YouTube around what you like, available whenever you watch YouTube. Today, we’re taking the next step by bringing your subscription-filled Guide with you across both the site and all devices, as your best source of what to watch on YouTube.

Your Guide to YouTube

Just subscribe to your favorite channels and the Guide lets you know when there are new videos waiting for you to enjoy, suggests the latest and greatest channels you might like, and shows you what your friends are sharing across the web. You’ll also find the Guide and your subscriptions on apps across hundreds of millions of devices including Android, iPhone, Playstation 3, Google TV and more.

A cleaner, simpler look

You come to YouTube to watch the videos you care about, so it’s important that the videos stand out. In this new layout, you’ll find the most crucial elements are front and center when you watch a video: the video is right at the top of the page and the subscribe button, social actions and video information are all combined directly below the player. Playlists are now available to the right of the video so you can browse through while you watch. You’ll also see this cleaner and simpler design across the entire site.

Your feedback matters

We’d love to get your feedback on these updates, so we’ll be hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air and a Reddit IAmA in the coming weeks--stay tuned here for details. If you’re a YouTube creator, you can learn more about these updates on our YouTube Creator Blog.

Josh Sassoon, Senior Unicorn eXperience Designer, recently watched “Hipster Thanksgiving” and
Alex Nicksay, Staff Engineer, recently watched “Crystalfilm.”

Alright stop, collaborate and listen.

YouTube has seen some pretty amazing collabs in its time. From exploring the possibility of a hollow earth to raging office warfare, you guys love to partner up and get creative. Collaboration, along with developing your audience and learning production best practices, has helped previous YouTube NextUp program alumni such as FinalCutKing, chescaleigh, TheCraftyGemini, and RatedRR take their channels to the next level.

Since the launch of the first YouTube NextUp program, a competition that we ran to help creators succeed back in 2011, we’ve helped turbocharge the careers of over 215 YouTube creators in 15 different countries. Today we’re re-launching YouTube NextUp for video creators in the United States: we’re looking for passionate, motivated YouTube creators who want to collaborate. To enter? Find another creator you’d like to partner with, and tell us what you’d like to film together.

If you’re selected as one of the top 30 channels, you will receive:

  • $3,000 to help you make your video dreams a reality
  • $4,000 of production equipment to up-level your skills
  • Two one week-long Creator Camps at the brand-new YouTube Space LA in January and March 2013 to film your collaboration and to learn some more tips and tricks of the trade.

You can apply through our program site: applications are due December 27, 2012.

Austin Lau, YouTube Creator Programs Manager, recently watched “Silent Disco

We’re teaming up with Virgin America to bring you great shows from five YouTube partners right on your personal seatback screen. By mid-December, Warner Brothers’ H+ The Digital Series, WIGS’ Blue, Geek & Sundry’s Written By a Kid, Crash Course and Barely Political’s The Key of Awesome will be available for free on all Virgin America planes in the US and Mexico.

Venture into an apocalyptic future where the human race is hardwired to the Internet and a virus has entered the system with H+ The Digital Series. Or watch Julia Stiles in Blue, the story of a single mom trying to evade her past and protect her son from a secret she’ll do anything to keep.

In the mood for some comedy? What's funnier than a kid's wild imagination? Watch these tales come to life in hilarious live-action and animated shorts on Written by a Kid. Or indulge your ironically-pop-loving side as The Key of Awesome makes a mockery of hipsters and hobbits alike with music videos, fake movie trailers and other ridiculous sketches.

When you’re ready to enlighten yourself, join John Green with his quirky, fast-paced and entertaining teaching style for a Crash Course on The Fall of Rome, The Dark Ages and The Mongol Empire.

Bringing YouTube aboard Virgin America is part of a larger effort to bring you more of the videos you love, at heights you’ve never seen them before. Sample these great series on your flight, and then visit YouTube to enjoy the full seasons. New series and shows will become available every two months.

So pack up your 3 oz containers, fasten your seatbelt, and join YouTube and Virgin America 35,000 feet in the air. Happy flying!

Kate Berland, YouTube Marketing Manager, recently watched "Written By A Kid - the tale of a paper, panty-clad horse in ‘La Munkya’."

You love watching YouTube on the go—in fact—more than 25 percent of all YouTube watching happens on mobile. This past September you got the YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch to make it easier to find and share the videos and channels you love on YouTube, and you made us the #1 free app in the App Store for two months. Since then, we’ve been hard at work to improve the app based on your feedback.

Just in time for the holidays, now you can download or update the YouTube app with a look designed for the iPad and iPhone 5, enhanced AirPlay support, videos that start faster and play more smoothly, and improved accessibility with VoiceOver. Enjoy Tastemade on iPad in full screen glory, or hours of flipping through Ryan Higa videos on your iPhone 5 or iPod touch.

Please keep giving us feedback on features you’d like to see so we can keep making it better. In the meantime, we’ll be kicking back with some egg nog and a holiday favorite on our iPad.

Horia Ciurdar, Software Engineer, recently watched “GoPro: Matthias Giraud - Double Back Flip Drop.”

More than 34 million people around the globe are living with HIV but only half of those eligible for life-saving treatment receive it. Today, on World AIDS Day, many organizations are using social media to convey the personal stories of those fighting to end the disease. We asked Jeff Davidoff, Chief Marketing Officer of, about their new people-powered campaign, “my story. our fight.”

1. Why did you make video a core component if the "my story. our fight." campaign?

ONE is all about the power of voice. As we often say, "we're not asking for you money we're asking for you voice." And while it's true that your voice alone may struggle to be heard or make a difference, we have concrete proof that our voices together are impossible to ignore. Our over three million members around the world prove this time and again. The inspiration for this particular campaign was to get at why people are involved — the personal stories and experiences they have that changed their lives, and committed them to getting off the couch and doing some real good in the world. To us, video was the obvious solution to bring these unique stories to life in a way that people can experience them, share them, be inspired by them and make their own commitment to action because of them.

2. You empowered people to share their messages and experiences. How did you encourage them to promote the campaign's goals while still allowing the campaign to feel organic and authentic?

Great question. Authenticity is really at the heart of this idea. And the answer is simple: don't write scripts. Instead, just ask people to share their own stories, and really push them to open up and be personal. I remember asking Cleve Jones, "Do you have a particular experience or memory that got you started on the path of AIDS activism?" And he said, "Absolutely." I said, "Great why don't you sit at my computer and share it?" And as he shared his beautiful and very personal story right in front of me, I knew we were onto something.

3. What actions are you asking viewers to take and how are you measuring the success of these videos?

We're using the call to action: "Watch one. Share one. Join ONE." We want people to be inspired by the stories we've curated, share them with their friends and, most importantly, take action by signing our petition to protect funding for lifesaving AIDS programs. There's a lot of talk now in America about the "fiscal cliff." This can seem like a vague and distant idea. Let's put it in concrete terms: if an agreement is not reached, and cuts to life-saving programs goes into a effect, real lives will be lost. These aren't numbers, these are people. That's why we're in the fight, and that's why we're hoping more people will join us.

4. Did you promote the campaign videos outside of YouTube as well? How do you think about distribution and helping the videos find their audience?

We're aggressively promoting the campaign both inside and outside of YouTube, including to our over three million members around the world via email, Facebook and Twitter and asking them to share with their much larger social networks. We're also rolling out an aggressive PR strategy that matches storytellers to particular audiences — movie stars to entertainment, AIDS activists to the AIDS community, college students to other students, etc. It's less about trying to bring people to us, and more about trying to get our story embedded in already-scaled audiences.

5. What advice do you have for cause-based campaigns in how they approach using YouTube?

We've been through quite a learning curve with YouTube. In the beginning I think we had a very old-world approach by making our own videos and trying to use YouTube as a free broadcast medium. We're now much more focused on tapping into the power of existing YouTube creators, and getting them to naturally include our message in their stories to their pre-existing audiences. It's a much more authentic and contemporary use of the medium. And we're already thrilled with the results.

Special note: DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES this weekend. Watch the livestream of Tiësto and some of the biggest names in dance music from Stereosonic, Australia's biggest dance music festival. Live at starting at 11pm ET on Friday, and looping all weekend long. 

Hunter Walk, director of product management, recently watched Are You Ready? Get Set, Let’s Go!