Top 10 YouTube videos
Top 10 YouTube videos Reuters

Anything can go on YouTube except sex but the top videos on the Google-owned website are a pretty predictable bunch, really.

Those with the biggest numbers of hits are mainly pop songs, but the likes of Justin Bieber and the other titans of social media such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga have to line up behind one roly-poly bloke from South Korea.

In fact, the top 20 chart is pretty much a Western pop music shut-out. The only entry not produced by a record company for marketing purposes is the classic Charlie Bit my Finger from the UK, which certainly has the cute factor.

The domination of pop music makes you wonder if the industry's doom-laden pronouncements about it being sunk by peer-to-peer pirates are not just a wee bit exaggerated. There's obviously a gigantic market for these products and scooping up even a small share of it in legitimate sales should keep everyone's swimming pool heated for another winter.

Top of this pile is Gangnam Style by Psy, which has racked up more than 1.9 billion views. To be clear, that is nearly 2,000,000,000 views. Two billion. That's the equivalent of one in every three and a half people on planet earth today - if you can imagine a half person.

Psy sure hit the internet's sweetspot with his Gangman Style video. It contained the internet's taste for the fringe, a funny dance routine and a surreal-tinged collection of special effects. And it combined them to pretty awesome effect.

PSY: All over YouTube
PSY: Winning YouTube Reuters

In the end, the Gangnam phenomenon became about getting it through the one billion barrier. The fixation with measurement enabled by YouTube (and the web) helped fuel Gangnam Style to historic heights – for social media.

More than 12 months later the second-placed video had failed woefully to keep up. Bieber's track Baby was toiling away in the puny 900 millions – a sliver more than half the number of Gangnam Style. Unfortunately for the Biebs, this video had amassed fewer 'likes' than 'dislikes' from the YouTube 'community' - nearly four million at the latest count.

Psy also made the top 10 with his follow-up tune, Gentleman, hitting No 7 (as of February 2014). The challenge of having to follow up his novelty hit – especially one as big as Gangnam Style, was simple for Psy: he made another novelty song.

Here is the top 10 all-time YouTube videos from No 10 – just like the old chart countdown on radio. Nowadays, YouTube views count towards a song's chart position in some markets, which could the be case for bringing back Top of the Pops (if only). Things could get pretty random.

10 Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michael Teló (>552m)

9 Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (>566m)

8 Waka Waka (This time for Africa) by Shakira (>609m)

7 Gentleman by Psy (>638m)

6 Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO (>640m)

5 Charie Bit my Finger by Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr (>657m)

4 Love the way you lie by Enimen (>660m)

3 On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez (>730m)

2 Baby by Justin Bieber (>987m)

1 Gangnam Style by Psy (>1.9bn)