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A billion YouTube hits for Psy

December 22, 2012

South Korean pop star Psy has rocketed to fame since his Gangnam Style video launched in July. A world record of a billion hits on YouTube, and counting.

South Korean singer Psy performs his hit "Gangnam Style" during a morning television appearance in central Sydney in this October 17, 2012 file photo. Psy's infectious viral hit song, "Gangnam Style," made history on December 21, 2012 as the first ever video on YouTube to reach 1 billion views, adding yet another record to the song's juggernaut journey into mainstream pop. Picture taken October 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files (AUSTRALIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Image: Reuters

The South Korean dance track was posted online in July, propelling pop star Park Jae-sang, otherwise known as Psy, to world wide fame. On Friday it became the first ever video on YouTube to be viewed a billion times.

In October, Psy met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also from South Korea, who joked that he had to give up his claim to be "the most famous Korean." He joined in some dance moves.

The Google owned YouTube channel estimate that the clip has been watched on average between seven million and 10 million times daily since July. Psy overtook the previous most watched clip – Justin Bieber's Baby – in November.

"Psy's success is a great testament to the universal appeal of catchy music - and er, great equine dance moves," Kevin Allocca, the YouTube trends manager wrote on the channel's blog.

Hundreds of thousands of parodies of the video have been uploaded to YouTube, including a one-thousand-person flash mob in Jakarta, Indonesia.

At a reported rate of $2 (1.5 euro) for every 1,000 views, Gangnam has generated $2 million from YouTube alone, according to figures from Billboard magazine. Digital downloads and revenue from online streaming services have brought an estimated $6 million (4.5 million euro) in revenues in just five months.

jm/av (Reuters, AP)