Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is a worldwide phenomenon where upon its release, it spread like wildfire to the point where even YouTube’s view counter could not keep up. It was also the first YouTube video to hit the 1 billion mark, but given that Psy has been in the music business for a while prior to the release of “Gangnam Style”, why or how did the song become as viral as it did?
This is something that researchers were curious about and that’s what Zsofia Kallus and team at the Eotvos University in Budapest set out to find out, and apparently they have since managed to figure it out. They started by searching on Twitter for geolocated tweets that mentions “Gangnam Style”, where it was revealed that the video had initially spread from South Korea to the Philippines before moving on to the rest of the world
This is because of the relative proximity of the Philippines to South Korea, and the fact that they have stronger links to the rest of the world through its diaspora, and that apparently they have stronger English language links. They confirmed this by searching on Google Trends for “Gangnam Style” and discovered that the results matched those on Twitter.
This is very interesting since breaking down and understanding how viral videos and memes become viral could be instrumental for companies looking to advertise their products or services, or for musicians and record labels to better figure out a way to distribute their content more effectively.