By Todd Spangler
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – “Baby Shark,” the annoyingly catchy kids’ tune that took the world by storm two years back, is now the king of YouTube, having topped 7 billion views on the platform (and counting).
The official two-minute “Baby Shark Dance” music video — with its trademark, “doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo” refrain — dethrones “Despacito,” the Luis Fonsi hit tune featuring rapper Daddy Yankee, as the most-viewed YouTube video. The Spanish-language version of “Despacito” held the crown for more than three years, after first claiming the spot in August 2017 and hitting No. 1 on YouTube’s ranking of music videos that year.
First released in 2015, “Baby Shark” comes from SmartStudy, the South Korean entertainment company behind the children’s brand Pinkfong. SmartStudy has released several thousand videos under the Pinkfong label, but “Baby Shark” is its single biggest global smash hit.
“Baby Shark” became a viral phenomenon in the U.S. in 2018, after a social-media challenge prompted fans to record themselves dancing to the tune (a trend that Ellen DeGeneres and James Corden, naturally, participated in).
In perhaps an inevitable confluence of YouTube hitmakers, Pinkfong released a rendition of “Baby Shark” this summer featuring none other than Luis Fonsi. That currently has more than 106 million views.
SmartStudy has launched multiple lines of “Baby Shark” merchandise, including toys, dolls, books, games and apparel.
And the franchise isn’t done conquering media. This summer, Nickelodeon inked a deal for 26 half-hour episodes of “Baby Shark’s Big Show!” (working title), a 2D-animated series that will follow Baby Shark and his best friend, William, as they journey on “fun-filled comedic adventures” in their community of Carnivore Cove, meet new friends and sing “original catchy tunes” along the way.
Here are the top 5 most-viewed YouTube videos currently:
“Baby Shark Dance” – Pinkfong Kids’ Songs & Stories: 7.046 billion views
“Despacito,” Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee: 7.039 billion views
“Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran 5.049 billion views
“See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth: 4.80 billion views
“Masha and the Bear – Recipe for Disaster,” Get Movies: 4.360 billion views