Music Video Year End Report for 2014

Posted by Adam Fairholm on December 31, 2014

Staff Post

Well, the time has come to say goodbye to 2014. We've already taken stock of the year with our favorite music videos, but now that the actual year is closing out, it's time to evaluate thing by the cold, hard numbers in our annual report. What trends can we glean from the hundreds of millions of views that soared so high as to even "break" YouTube's view counter? Where did people choose to spend their hard earned music video viewing time? Let's take a look.

Katy Perry Came Out On Top in 2014

If we're talking most popular music videos released in 2014, Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" (featuring Juicy J) came out as the number one video, with a pretty staggering 750+ million views since it was released in February. "Dark Horse" as a single and a video was unique in a lot of different ways - it was basically forced in a single release in December 2013 via unsolicited radio airplay, and subsequently hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early February 2014, staying there all month and into the first week in March. So it's an anomoly that Matthew Cullen's Egyptian-inspired video for the single didn't come out until Febraury 20th, when the track was a #1 hit for almost a month. The video itself is now Katy Perry's #1 music video by views, no small feat for an artist that has so many music videos above the 100 million view mark.

The timing of the single release versus the video release makes it pretty clear that the strength of the song was driving the interest in the single, and while the video is colorful and interesting, I don't think it's Katy Perry or Matthew Cullen's best work. However, the public in general could not get enough of "Dark Horse" in 2014, and it sits at the top of our list.

These Were the Top 25 Most Popular Videos of 2014

The criteria we use to compile the top 25 is that they must be released as music videos (so David Guetta's "Bad," which is marked as official audio, does not get a spot on the list) and be released in 2014. This means that some songs that had music video releases in 2013 but charted high in 2014 (such as "Happy") do not rank on the list either:

Katy Perry 'Dark Horse' music video

1. Dark Horse

Katy Perry

Director: Mathew Cullen

Enrique Iglesias 'Bailando' music video

2. Bailando (Version 1)

Enrique Iglesias

Director: Alejandro Perez

Shakira 'Can't Remember To Forget You' music video

3. Can't Remember To Forget You


Director: Joseph Kahn

Meghan Trainor 'All About That Bass' music video

4. All About That Bass

Meghan Trainor

Director: Fatima Robinson

Shakira 'La La La (Brazil 2014)' music video

5. La La La (Brazil 2014)


Director: Jaume De Laiguana

Jason Derulo 'Wiggle' music video

6. Wiggle

Jason Derulo

Director: Colin Tilley

Taylor Swift 'Shake It Off' music video

7. Shake It Off

Taylor Swift

Director: Mark Romanek

SIA 'Chandelier' music video

8. Chandelier


Director: SIA, Daniel Askill

Iggy Azalea 'Fancy' music video

9. Fancy

Iggy Azalea

Director: Director X

Ariana Grande 'Problem' music video

10. Problem

Ariana Grande

Director: The Young Astronauts

Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda' music video

11. Anaconda

Nicki Minaj

Director: Colin Tilley

Calvin Harris 'Summer' music video

12. Summer

Calvin Harris

Director: Emil Nava

Pitbull 'We Are One (Ole Ola)' music video

13. We Are One (Ole Ola)


Director: Ben Mor

The Chainsmokers '#SELFIE' music video


The Chainsmokers

Director: Taylor Stephens, Ike Love Jones

Taylor Swift 'Blank Space' music video

15. Blank Space

Taylor Swift

Director: Joseph Kahn

Wisin 'Adrenalina' music video

16. Adrenalina


Director: Jessy Terrero

Ariana Grande 'Break Free' music video

17. Break Free

Ariana Grande

Director: Chris Marrs Piliero

Enrique Iglesias 'El Perdedor' music video

18. El Perdedor (Pop Version)

Enrique Iglesias

Director: Jessy Terrero

Chris Brown 'Loyal' music video

19. Loyal

Chris Brown

Director: Chris Brown

Katy Perry 'This Is How We Do' music video

20. This Is How We Do

Katy Perry

Director: Joel Kefali

Sam Smith 'Stay With Me' music video

21. Stay With Me

Sam Smith

Director: Jamie Thraves

Iggy Azalea 'Black Widow' music video

22. Black Widow

Iggy Azalea

Director: Director X, Iggy Azalea

Jessie J 'Bang Bang' music video

23. Bang Bang

Jessie J

Director: Hannah Lux Davis

Kiesza 'Hideaway' music video

24. Hideaway


Director: Kiesza, Ljuba Castot, Rami Samir Afuni

Psy 'Hangover' music video

25. Hangover



This is a pretty interesting list - here are some things we can learn from it:

Latin Artist Music Videos Were Hugely Popular in 2014

If you sort the top 25 most popular music videos of 2014 by their Billboard Hot 100 top rank, the four videos at the bottom are all Latin artists who charted extremely high in Latin music charts but came in 50 or lower in the Hot 100. 5 of the top 25 music videos are by Latin artists, including the #2, #4, and #5 music videos of the year.

Latin music videos got a boost from the 2014 World Cup (2 of the videos in the top 25 are promo tie ins with the World Cup), but I think in general it's safe to say that Latin artists are major music video contendors now.

15 Of The Top 25 Music Videos Were Top 10 Billboard Singles

Although we had some outliers in there ("Hideaway" by Kieza peaked at #51), in 2014 big music videos numbers went hand in hand with big chart performance. While 15 of the top 25 were top 10, 10 of the top 25 peaked at #1, #2, or #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While this isn't entirely surprising, it does point to the general idea that if you want to put out 150+ million view videos, you generally need a track that can perform on a chart, no matter how fantastic the music video is. All of the videos in the top 25 made an appearance on the Hot 100, and many charted high on other Billboard charts as well.

We Added More Than 20,000 Music Videos To The Database in 2014

Up from 6,162 from 2013, we added 7,667 music videos released in 2014 to the database this year. In raw intake terms, we added 20,518 videos, up from 13,703 in 2013.

One thing we always find interesting is to look at view releases by month. For 2014, you can see that the summer is generally the biggest release month by volume:

However, when you look at the average views by month, you can see that videos released early in the year, as well as in May and August do particularly well. Sometimes these numbers are tied to events - for instance, in August of 2014 we had the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and the subsequent high profile releases around that ("Anaconda", "Shake It Off," and "Bang Bang" were all released on or around the time of the MTV VMAs).

This is also visible in the top 25, where we see a similar trend towards these months overall:

Monday And Tuesday Are Still The Most Popular Days To Release Music Videos

Last year, Monday won by a hair for the most popular day of the week to release a music video, and in 2014, Tuesday eeked out a few more video releases. However, in general, the music video release pattern remains pretty similar - releases front-loaded in the early days of the week:

2014 Music Videos Accounted for 25+ Billion Views

All the music videos in our database that came out in 2014 account for over 25 billion views total. That's enough views for every human being on earth to see 3.5 new music videos a year.

On that note, we'll see you in 2015!

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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