Top 10 Most Played New Zealand Songs On YouTube

Mt Eden

It’s been quite a while since the last time I wrote a YouTube top twenty and this time I’ve only got the energy to list the top ten. I don’t think I’ll go through my all my reasoning on how this was constructed (see my 2011 and 2012 posts if you really want to know the details), however, I’ve decided to introduce one new rule. I count the top two versions of each song to get a final figure, since many of the songs have a local and overseas version on YouTube. Last time, Andy from Dawn Raid hassled us for not taking into account all the many versions of Savage’s track, ‘Swing’, and hopefully this fixes this problem slightly. (Savage still gets lower than he could’ve, but I’m afraid there’s no time for digging through twenty versions, though he’d probably top 15 million views if I did).

But the real news is the emergence of Lorde and that was what finally stirred me to compile this rough top ten. 30 million views and counting. Yea gods! ‘Tennis Court’ is starting to pick up steam too, with 5.4 million. Imagine what her cover of Tears for Fears on the Catching Fire soundtrack is likely to do. Suffice to say that compiling these YouTube top tens is hardly an exact indication of an artists’ popularity, but make of it what you will. And cross your fingers that Lorde finally beats Neil Finn for most played kiwi song overseas at the Silver Scroll Awards. Surely it’s time – it’s been two-and-a-half decades now!

The only other thing to mention is that some artists actually seem to have gone backwards in views. Mt Eden Dubstep’s ‘Sierra Leone’ was up to 8 million views but now seems to have been removed from YouTube (copyright problems perhaps?). Similarly, I’m sure there used to be another version of Brooke Fraser’s ‘Something In The Water’, which also seems to have disappeared.

1 Mt Eden Dubstep ‘Still Alive’
(official video) – 39,669,322

2 Lorde ‘Royals’
— (combined US version and original)30,423,261

3 Kimbra ‘Settle Down’
— (combined version one and two29,715,594

4 The Naked and Famous ‘Young Blood’
— (combined version one and two26,636,800

5 Kimbra ‘Cameo Lover’
— (combined official video and live version15,594,853

6 Crowded House ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’
— (combined karaoke version and original version12,805,349

7 The Naked and Famous ‘Punching In A Dream’
— (combining version one and two10,337,696

8 Princess Chelsea ‘Cigarette Duet’
— (official video) – 9,654,406

9 Savage ‘Swing’
— (combining the version with lyrics and the original version)6,075,704
— (the top four versions would give almost 12 million)

10 Brooke Fraser ‘Something In The Water’
— (combining the original version and live version) – 5,988,948

And, in case you were wondering …

11 Ladyhawke ‘My Delirium’
— (combining version one and two)5,720,104


  1. I was curious to see how Lorde compared with her peers in the US top 10 chart. Here’s the list:

    1. “Wrecking Ball” Miley Cyrus (174,416,038)
    2. “Roar” Katy Perry (99,237,542)
    3. “Royals” Lorde (30,423,261)
    4. “Wake Me Up!” Avicii (194,875,204)
    5. “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke (231,235,625)
    6. “Holy Grail” Jay Z (31,123,001)
    7. “Hold On, We’re Going Home” Drake (21,898,897)
    8. “Applause” Lady Gaga (74,201,128)
    9. “Summertime Sadness” Lana Del Rey (15,502,617)
    10. “Safe And Sound” Capital Cities (25,232,637)

    Lorde has a long way to go before she’s on par with the might of Miley and Katy, but she’s doing well, especially compared to Jay Z and Drake. It’s quite outrageous to think that for a video to chart impressively actually requires tens of millions of views, if not hundreds of millions. This is how things are now.

    • Matthew says:

      that drake video only came out like a week ago as well, btw

    • Gareth Shute says:

      Yeah, that’s interesting Robyn. It also puts things in perspective that the gotye and kimbra vid has over 400 million views. Still think it makes sense to only cover songs written by NZers. Though I’ve started to think it was mean to exclude Flight of the Concords. Business Time has 27 million views so might include it next time. Lorde will probably be well over 50 million by then…

      • Royals is now up to over 36 million total. Lorde will be overtaking Mt Eden soon.

      • Bingo – Royals now has over 40 million combined views, Mt Eden is still on 39 million. So that’s, what, 10 million views in a week? All hail the new queen, etc.

      • Hussein says:

        ‘Royals’ now at 70 million – (US version 50m, original 20m)

  2. Gareth Shute says:

    On 31 August, it looks like the vid had just over 13 million views:

    31 August – the local version at 7.8 (it was loaded on May 12)

    31 August -the US version was at 5.6 million (it was loaded on June 18)

    So I guess there’s been 27 million views during the intervening two months. Not too shabby but, from what you say, the pace is really starting to pick up. “Tennis Court” is now at 7 million so that would’ve been on this top ten too if I’d waited a week. Maybe I’ll do another post when “Royals” reaches 100 million views, just in time for Christmas…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *