1. YouTube Videos
From South Korea to the outer edges of the planet’s atmosphere, the most-watched YouTube videos of 2012 are a truly global collection. Psy’s Gangnam Style became the most viewed YouTube video of all time, and spawned countless parodies. Felix Baumgartner became the man who fell to earth and garnered the most simultaneous views, from everyone watching his record breaking jump live. And there was KONY 2012, but we’ve forgotten that now.
- YouTube Videos 2012 via the L.A. Times
2. Pirated TV Shows
Game of Thrones topped the list of shows that fans, mostly outside the US, couldn’t wait to see. If the US TV networks could figure out a global subscription model, it seems there’s a lot of money to be made.
- Most Pirated TV Shows via TorrentFreak
3. TV Commercials
Advertising spots around the world continued to straddle the boundary of entertainment and annoyance.
- Best Commercials of 2012 via AdWeek
Barack Obama’s “Four more years” got more than 810,000 RTs, making it the most retweeted comment of the year. Not even Justin Bieber’s farewell to a dying fan came close.
- 2012 Year on Twitter – via Twitter
5. World-wide Box Office
It was the same-old same-old Hollywood doldrums at the global box office this year, with the Top Ten dominated by superheroes, franchises, and superhero franchises. Audiences across the planet responded enthusiastically to big explosions, car chases, sparkling vampires, archers and talking cartoon animals – just as they always do. Only Brave (at no.11) is an original movie, everything higher up the list is based on pre-existing intellectual property.
- World-Wide Box Office – via Box Office Mojo
Documentary movies provide a fascinating measure of cultural temperature: what subjects resonated with both filmmakers and audiences in 2012? From the riches-to-rags down/up comparison afforded by The Queen of Versailles to the injustices exposed by Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God to the unique experiences explored in Jiro Dreams of Sushi or The Imposter, 2012 gave us a range of insights into the human condition. I’d also add The Ambassador and Paradise Lost 3 to this list — although they were officially released in 2011 they didn’t reach a wider audience until this year.
- Best Documentaries of 2012 via The Film Stage
Every year, Forbes compiles two lists. One is of the movie stars who deliver the most return per dollar of their asking price, the other details those who return the least. The young stars who dominate the MVP list owe their position to the blockbuster franchises they appear in (for a relatively low payday) rather than their audience-pulling clout. However, with the notion of star power, and the resultant massive paydays, fading into the 1990s in Hollywood, this metric is becoming more and more meaningful.
Despite the rise of other forms of social media, blogging refuses to die. It’s still the best way for individuals to bypass traditional media – in all its hegemonic glory – and communicate their viewpoint with the world. Whether you’re a Scottish schoolgirl complaining about the quality of your school dinners, a political pundit, an interior designer or a comic book expert, a blog is as vital as it has ever been.
- 25 Best Blogs 2012 via TIME
Sometimes, a blog is TL:DR and a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s where Tumblr rules. Whether the images are of Hillary Clinton, texts from a dog, face math or cats (LOTS of cats) Tumblr is best way of bringing memes to the masses.
- Best Tumblr Nominees 2012 via The FW Awards
10. Music Videos
The migration of the music video from TV to the internet is now complete. Their short length and instant brand identity makes them an ideal media form for viewing on smartphones or tablets. This year, Psy dominated YouTube but Carly Rae Jepsen’s lawnboy lust topped the views on VEVO. This is crazy…
- Most Viewed Music Videos of 2012 – via VEVO