Viral music video on YouTube

YouTube as a video-sharing platform included a large number of clips for the audiences to watch, the clips’ brevity and the way they can exchange with their family or friends are the main advantages distinguished from other media (Vernallis, 2013: 129).

Dario et al. (2013:26) summarized that YouTube was the third most popular website in the world, 4 billion videos were uploaded every day, and over 3 billion hours of videos were viewed by over 800 million unique users every month. Not only the professionals can make video clips, but also all the amateurs can edit their productions and post them in YouTube, sharing with their friends and family. Even some clips can be reedited, some of them were related with the topics like health care or political issues to lampoon the social phenomenon, the effect is often more powerful.

Watching funny videos on YouTube has been a daily activity for most people increasingly, because they are short, memorable and easy to watch, share and forward. Every year People set up the list of top funniest videos on YouTube to sum up the hottest hit videos that year.

“I Knew You Were A Goat When You Walked In” is a good example, uploaded in 2013. A cry from a goat replaces the tracks “oh” scream in the climax of the song. It seems a remixed version of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The 30s video goes viral online and has amassed over seven million views, competing with another hot clip “Grumpy Cat”. The screaming goat has fascinated the Internet and taken over the pop world, like some popular songs by Kanye West, Katy Perry, Usher.


Those viral clips on YouTube, which adapted from popular music videos, can be the effective tools to promote the sales within a low budget of advertisement. After Stephen Kardynal adapted Katy Perry’s “Peacock” into Chatroulette Version which received 9.8 million hits, the song increased by 64 percent in sale in 2014 (, 2017).



Dario, C., Andrea, F. and Umberto, L. (2013). Viral Video: Content is king, distribution is queen. p.26. (2017). Impact of online viral videos on music sales in the United States in 2014. [Online] Available at [Accessed 10 March. 2017].

Vernallis, C. (2013). “YouTube Aesthetics”, in: Unruly media: YouTube, music video, and the new digital cinema. New York: Oxford University Press. p.127-154.

Written by Yijun Zhang

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