Some of you media-nomming Mixers may have read the article in yesterday’s New York Times about the current clash between amateur YouTube posters and Warner Brothers Music Group. (If not, here’s the gist: Basically, tens of thousands of clips on the site contain copyrighted songs, from sports-blooper montages to home movies and acoustic covers of Foreigner jams recorded in blacklit suburban basements. And since WBMG and YouTube are having a licensing disagreement, the former has started pulling down these clips, no matter how small their view count.)
So far, so business-y. But hark! What have we here? The piece offhandedly mentions what some of us may not know, or have purposefully blocked out, along with certain junior high traumas and embarrassing sexual episodes: The number-one most watched clip on the site—not just for music videos, or Canadians, or people who wear arm-warmers—is AVRIL FRICKIN’ LAVIGNE. More than 117.6 million views for her 2007 schoolyard-chant single “Girlfriend”, as of today. (The embedding code is disabled, so you won’t be upping that count here, buddy.)
Now, granted, there has long been speculation that the numbers have been artificially inflated by tech tricks propagated on Avril fan sites. And the all-time top-ten list is kind of a motley crew: Sure, there’s Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love,” “Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music” and the Timbaland/One Republic collaboration “Apologize,” but also a ventriloquist act, and a Spanish-language short film. (A homemade clip for “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex,” by Brazilian art-punks CSS, crossed the 100-million mark artificially before being debunked last year.) Still, zut alors! Readers, if you ruled the internets, what would your YouTubetop ten look like? Would Avril be allowed anywhere near it? Do tell.