Horse-dancing Korean pop star Psy is on track to get an early Christmas present – his “Gangnam Style” video is on track to reach 1 billion views by December 11.
The official video of his hit song has been a viral hit, and this week became the most popular video in YouTube history, with 805 million views since it went online in July. It pushed teen hearthrob Justin Bieber’s music video, “Baby”, into second spot, with 803 million views.
At the time of writing, “Gangnam Style” had chalked up 841,000,359 views.
Wordstream, a provider of pay-per-click management software, marked the occasion by releasing an infographic comparing the rise of Psy’s horse-dance video with Bieber’s “Baby”.
Wordstream graded the artists on three categories: social media exposure, celebrity support, and strength of fan following.
The report concludes that Psy wins the competition with the enormous success of “Gangnam Style”, but Bieber’s devoted fans aren’t likely to back down easily.
WordStream analysts project that on December 11, 2012, “Gangnam Style” will reach 1 billion views, making it the first YouTube video to do so.
Every minute, “Gangnam Style” receives 4062 video views; “Baby” gets 550 views per minute.
“Gangnam Style” holds the title for “Most Liked Video,” while “Baby” wins the award for “Most Disliked Video”.
Bieber’s YouTube Channel has 2.3 million subscribers, while Psy’s YouTube Channel has only 900,000.
Wordstream said Psy had benefited from high-profile celebrity support from Josh Groban, Katy Perry, T-Pain, Britney Spears, Ellen Degeneres, MC Hammer, Chelsea Lately, Heidi Klum, Madonna, Ban Ki-Moon, Eric Schmidt, Dwight Howard, and many others.
“While the internet is no stranger to viral YouTube videos, ‘Gangnam Style’ has shown rare endurance for a one-hit wonder,” said Larry Kim, founder and chief technology officer of WordStream.
“Where other videos drop off the radar, ‘Gangnam Style’ seems to multiply its supporters with each passing week – the quirky K-pop hit has continued to thrive long after many pundits have prophesized its end – this astonishing achievement has redefined the very notion of viral video success”.
Kim told Horsetalk: “I think the big question is if Psy will be the next Justin Bieber or the next ‘Macarena’?
“The intensity of the numbers that I’ve uncovered leads me to believe that he’ll be around for a while, influencing pop culture on a global scale for many years to come!”
Psy, 34, whose real name is Park Jae Sang, has been touring the globe on the back of his “Gangnam Style” success.
Gangnam Style last month became the first Korean song to top Britain’s official pop chart.
Psy’s horse-dance moves have spawned hundreds of parodies.
YouTube noted in its trending blog: “It’s been a massive hit at a global level unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Gangnam Style, the title of both the song and the album, is named after the affluent Gangnam District in Seoul.
Psy revealed earlier this month it took him 30 nights to perfect the dance.
He tried and rejected elephant, monkey and kangaroo moves. Even slithering snake manoeuvres got a try-out.
He finally decided that his horse moves were the answer, he said in an address to the Oxford Union debating society.
Online music magazine NME reported Psy as saying: “I tried every creature: elephant, monkey, kangaroo, snake. The kangaroo hopping was too slow, so we ended up imitating a horse.”
Psy explained he invented the dance featured in the video after being offered a spot dancing on a television show.
“I was so desperate to get noticed I went to a TV production company in Korea and started doing a dance – a crazy dance – up and down the corridors,” he said.