In the past few years a massive trend has been sweeping across YouTube – Viral Kids Songs. This trend isn’t brand new, of course, as YouTube has been known for its viral content since its launch back in 2005. Iconic videos like Charlie Bit My Finger, Chocolate Rain and Numa Numa have been entertaining audiences across the world for over a decade now.
But the popularity of these kid-specific songs has surged recently, with kids and parents alike jumping on the craze of these songs and their associated dance routines. So what are these earworms actually like and what makes them so popular?
Let’s take a look at 3 examples of Viral Kids Songs to find out why exactly children and their parents love them so much:
This incredibly catchy tune from Korean channel Pinkfong has become an online sensation and gained over 1.9B views since its release. With a simple melody and easy-to-copy lyrics (‘Baby Shark doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo…’), the song has become a smash hit and recently entered the UK Top 40 chart. There is even a Baby Shark YouTube challenge inspired by Drake’s #InMyFeelings challenge that both parents and kids have been getting involved with.
This video acts as proof of the broad appeal of Viral Kids Songs on YouTube. The animation and music in the clip have been described as both educational and ‘terrifying’ after the video was remixed and made into various Twitter memes. With over 1.3B views, the video is a nursery rhyme in the style of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star where baby Johny repeatedly tries to eat sugar cubes before he is stopped by his Papa.
Somewhat surprisingly, the tune has become just as popular among teenagers as it has among kids due to the innumerable nonsensical and ‘trippy’ versions of the original online (if you want to learn more about brands can tap into these trends, you can check out our insights on Brands Using Memes here).
The Stick Song became a huge success after it was first aired on CBeebies’ Hey Duggee show. Following the standard format for Viral Kids Songs with straightforward lyrics and danceable backing music, the video has garnered millions of views on YouTube. The song features a talking stick insect repeating the word ‘stick’ over a rave beat, making the song easily memorable and extremely catchy. The Stick Song reflects a trend of ‘kids raves’ as family-centred dance events such as Big Fish Little Fish and Rave-A-Roo rapidly gain popularity.
All three of these songs demonstrate the power of Viral Kids Songs and their ability to entertain kids and parents of all ages. While the songs are solidly aimed at the under-5 market, their Gangnam Style-esque nature with memorable lyrics and dance moves means that all can get involved.
But what can be learnt from this trend?
Kids Content Enters the Mainstream
As online music and dance challenges have started to go viral in recent years, kids’ versions of these have developed simultaneously. This is unsurprising as younger kids are starting to view more and more YouTube content on tablets and computers.
And while many parents do voice concerns over YouTube content and the amount of time their kids are spending looking at screens, Viral Kids Songs offer an opportunity for the whole family to be entertained (or irritated, depending on how you look at it). Whether it be through dance, song or a shared viewing experience, these videos help to bring people together and have fun.
Just as dance challenges or footballers’ Fortnite-inspired celebrations might entertain older kids, these songs offer younger kids a chance to take part in a viral craze with the whole family. And in an age where fears about online safety are widespread, parents can switch on Baby Shark or the Stick Song and breathe a small sigh of relief… At least until the rave music kicks in.