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PSY's 'Gangnam Style' hits 1 billion views on YouTube

The Associated Press, Friday, December 21, 2012, 7:30am (PST)

PSYs "Gangnam Style" has just become the first video in the history of the Internet to surpass one billion views.

At approximately 10:10 a.m. ET on Friday, PSY's mega-hit reached this unprecedented milestone just 27 days after surpassing Justin Bieber's "Baby" as the most watched video on YouTube.

In the days after breaking the 803 million YouTube view record, "Gangnam Style" has sustained over 6.5 million views per day - that's 76.4 view per second.

To compare to the second most popular video on the Internet, "Baby" likely won't cross the 1 billion view mark until late 2014, according to projections provided by Next Big Sound. Its decelerating view count currently hovers just above 300,000 per day, or only 3 views per second - a rate that is likely to continue to shrink.

Unsurprisingly, PSY has gone on to become the platform's top trending YouTube video in 2012.

"Gangnam Style" spent 5 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100, reaching the No. 1 spot before even debuting on the Hot 100. The song is in its 15th week on the U.S.-based Hot 100, with 7 weeks spent in the No. 2 position, held from the throne by Maroon 5 's "One More Night"

For a time "Gangnam Style" was the most listened to song on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Rdio and Mog, holding the No. 1 spot on the On-Demand Songs chart for 5 weeks.

As YouTube has become the number one place teens go to listen to new music, according to a Nielsen study, the platform has emerged as a revenue generator for many artists. What exactly does 1 billion views look like from an earnings standpoint? Using conservative estimates across several verticals, we can create a breakdown of "Gangnam Style" approximate earnings. At a reported rate of $2 for every 1,000 views, Gangnam generates $2,000,000 from YouTube alone. Factoring in 3.07 million $1.29 digital single downloads of "Gangnam Style" (according to Nielsen Soundscan), PSY brings in an estimated additional $3,960,000 from digital downloads and $50,000 in additional revenues generated from On-Demand streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio and Mog. Excluding additional his puts "Gangnam Style" an estimated $6.01 million in revenues from this recorded piece of music in just the 5 months the single has been out.

Undoubtedly, the greatest contributing factor to the success of "Gangnam Style" were the fans who created covers and shared the songs with friends, helping the video to go viral. But the song also gained a lift from the exposure it received on radio and television. It garnered 519 million in cumulative audience, according to Nielsen BDS, over its 12-weeks-and-counting run on Hot 100 airplay. It peaked at No. 12 on the ranking the week of Oct. 27.

"Gangnam Style"'s popularity afforded PSY a litany of opportunities to appear on television, both in the US and abroad. He appeared on ABC News, NBC's "Today" show (twice), the MTV Video Music Awards, "Ellen" (twice), "Saturday Night Live," "Chelsea Lately," "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", "The View," the American Music Awards, MTV's "EMAs," as well as a halftime show during a Buffalo Bills-Seattle Seahawks game.

These are just his in-person appearances -- his music or video has also been featured on "Glee," Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," CNN, etc; but not his actual self appearing.

The rapper's 2012 isn't over, though. Look out for PSY performing on "Christmas In Washington 2012" tonight on TBS and he'll close out the year with an appearance on "New Year's Rockin' Eve." He's also at work on new material for his newly-minted deal with Scooter Braun's Schoolboy Record and Universal Republic.

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