ⓘ YouTube Rewind


ⓘ YouTube Rewind

YouTube Rewind is a video series produced and created by YouTube and Portal A Interactive. These videos are an overview and a recap of each years viral videos, events, trends, and music. Each year, the number of YouTube personalities featured has increased. The series annual installments are uploaded onto YouTubes official channel.

The 2018 episode of YouTube Rewind, YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind, received near universal disdain from critics, YouTubers, and viewers alike garnering over 10 million dislikes in its first two weeks, becoming the most disliked video of all time on YouTube. The latest episode, YouTube Rewind 2019: For the Record, received negative reactions from fans, citing that it was better than the previous installment, but was criticized due to being uncreative and lacking in energy compared to previous episodes of Rewind.


1. History

The first Rewind was created by YouTube in 2010 and featured a Top 50 list of the most popular YouTube videos for that year. In 2010, YouTube had started to create and produce Rewind videos with the help of Seedwell and Portal A Interactive. From 2011 onward, the YouTube Rewind videos have only been uploaded to the YouTube Spotlight channel now known as just YouTube, with additional "behind-the-scenes" content.


1.1. History 2010

On December 13, 2010, the first YouTube Rewind was uploaded, titled "2010 YouTube Rewind: Year in Review". It featured the top 10 most popular videos on YouTube for the preceding year. It was uploaded on two channels: YouTube Trends on the first day, and YouTube Spotlight on the second.


1.2. History 2011

On December 20, 2011, "YouTube Rewind 2011" was uploaded. It was created and produced by YouTube and Portal A Intercreated, and features Rebecca Black as the host. Her music video "Friday" had become a viral video in March 2011. Like last year, it featured another top 10 most popular videos on YouTube for the year.


1.3. History 2012

In 2012, YouTubes Rewind videos changed to featuring several popular YouTubers; the most popular music, videos, and videos; breaking news; and internet memes from the year.

On December 17, 2012, "Rewind YouTube Style 2012", referencing "Gangnam Style", was uploaded to YouTube Spotlight. It was created and produced by YouTube and Seedwill.


1.4. History 2013

On December 11, 2013, "YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?", referencing "The Fox What Does the Fox Say?", was uploaded to YouTube Spotlight. The video also made prominent use of PSYs popularising "Gentleman", however following a copyright claim from the artist, the audio on the original video was remixed in 2015 to no longer include the song. The video was created and produced by YouTube and Portal A Interactive. This was the first year that the YouTube Rewind Button was used; otherwise, it was very similar in style to the 2012 video. DJ Earworm mashed up six popular songs from the year. Jimmy Fallon and The Roots from The Tonight Show made guest appearances. Popular YouTuber PewDiePie made his first appearance on a YouTube Rewind in the 2013 rewind.


1.5. History 2014

On December 9, 2014, "YouTube Rewind: Turn Down for 2014", referencing "Turn Down for What", was uploaded to YouTube Spotlight. It was again created and produced by YouTube and Portal A Interactive. Over 10 songs were mashed together by DJ Earworm for the video. The video was not structured around songs, as in previous years. More internet memes and trends were used alongside the music. Its main features were the YouTube Rewind Button flag, with which YouTubers and characters run from the beginning of the video all the way to the end. The flag was run through the sets of The Colbert Report by Big Bird; Conan by Conan OBrien, running through his own with Freddie Wong acting as the host and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, by Kid President. The actual Rewind Button was not shown until the end of the video.


1.6. History 2015

On December 9, 2015, "YouTube Rewind: Now Watch Me 2015", referencing "Watch Me", was uploaded to the YouTube Spotlight channel. It was again created and produced by YouTube and Portal A Interactive. It was the first one to feature a hashtag; #YouTubeRewind. The video heavily incorporated previous years of YouTube due to 2015 being the websites 10th anniversary. The music mashup was composed by The Hood Internet and include songs like Lean On by Major Lazer and DJ Snake, Cant Feel My Face by The Weeknd, and What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber. Additionally, Avicii composed an original remix for the video. The video featured more gamers than previous years, such as YouTube personalities Markiplier and Captainsparklez, with a segment set up to resemble the Five Nights at Freddys, an indie, survival horror, point-and-click video game that has gained recognition since its first release in August 2014. The Rewind Button and logo were shown throughout the video. Its main appearance was with PewDiePie and Zoe Sugg about halfway through the video. They appeared next to a scoreboard with two dates of December 9, 2015. The scoreboard referenced Back to the Future Part II which was set in 2015. Zoe changes one scoreboard date back to February 14, 2005, leaving the other at December 9, 2015. Afterwards Felix "brofists" the rewind button, triggering the video to show viral videos and memes from 2015 back to 2005. After the credits, the Fine Brothers were shown arguing about whether PewDiePie was in the video.


1.7. History 2016

On December 7, 2016, "YouTube Rewind: The Ultimate 2016 Challenge", referencing the increasing number of challenges that took place in 2016, was uploaded to the YouTube Spotlight channel. It was again created and produced by YouTube and Portal A Interactive. Music was developed by The Hood Internet with an original remix by Major Lazer. The video begins with Dwayne Johnson showing a miniature Rewind button, and YouTube personalities hunting for Rewind symbols in the style of Pokemon Go. The video also references objects being crushed by a hydraulic press, Hodor from Game of Thrones, the water-bottle flip challenge and the dabbing dance move. The video also references songs like: Work From Home by Fifth Harmony, Closer by The Chainsmokers. The video ends James Corden and other personalities in a car, in reference to the Carpool Karaoke segments from The Late Show.


1.8. History 2017

On December 6, 2017, "YouTube Rewind: The Shape of 2017", referencing the song "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran, and was uploaded to the YouTube Spotlight channel.

The Shape of 2017 received mixed reviews from critics, YouTubers, and viewers alike following its release. Some of the various criticisms were directed at its overuse of memes, and the notable exclusion of PewDiePie for controversies earlier in the year.

To date, it has received 4.09 million likes, making it 9th most liked non-music YouTube video of all time. It also received significantly more dislikes than the previous years excluding 2011, at 2.2 million dislikes as of 2020, making it the 20th most disliked YouTube video of all time.


1.9. History 2018

Upon its release on December 6, 2018, Everyone Controls Rewind was overwhelmingly panned, receiving extensive backlash from critics, YouTubers and viewers alike. Many YouTubers deemed it the "worst Rewind ever". Criticisms ranged from the inclusion of celebrities and personalities who are not affiliated with YouTube as well as the exclusion of certain controversial acts, such as Shane Dawson, Lil Pump, KSI vs Logan Paul and PewDiePie vs T-Series.

Everyone Controls Rewind incorporated user comment suggestions as a part of the video, although many viewers stated that the trends that the video included such as Fortnite and K-pop were unpopular to majority of the community, calling YouTube "out of touch" with its viewers and their interests. Julia Alexander of The Verge suggested that YouTube Rewind had intentionally left out the biggest moments on the platform in 2018 in an attempt to appease worried advertisers over controversies that had plagued the platform over the past 2 years: "it’s increasingly apparent, however, that YouTube is trying to sell a culture that’s different from the one millions of people come to the platform for, and that’s getting harder for both creators and fans to swallow". Meira Gebel of Business Insider shared a similar sentiment, saying that "The video appears to be an attempt for the company to keep advertisers on its side following a rather rocky 2018." In her February YouTube Newsletter, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki admits that the video did poorly, saying "Even my kids called it cringy ".

Everyone Controls Rewind is currently the most disliked YouTube video of all time, with 17 million dislikes in comparison to its 2.51 million likes. It is also the first video to reach 10 million dislikes. Meanwhile, PewDiePies own version of Rewind titled YouTube Rewind 2018 but its actually good, claimed the top spot of the most liked non-music videos only two days after being uploaded.


1.10. History 2019

On December 5, 2019, YouTube Rewind 2019: For the Record" was released. The 2019 edition returned to a format more reminiscent of the early iterations of the series, featuring a montage of the top videos of 2019, divided into several themed countdowns based on statistics and trends. Kevin Allocca, YouTubes head of culture and trends, explained that the video was intended to be more reflective of the years trends, acknowledging that it was becoming more difficult for the previous format to "authentically represent" the communitys overall experience. The video has been criticized as coming off as" passive-aggressive” towards consumers, or "lazy" as it does not have the same level of production as the previous rewinds and was noted as being akin to WatchMojo videos. Many also felt the new format lacked energy and a" soul,” saying that it showed that YouTube was being openly more corporate. However, many saw improvement with casting choices in some areas, particularly with the inclusion of Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg, who was absent in previous Rewinds. Similarly to last year, some viewers criticized the site for not honouring the deaths of famous people on the site such as Desmond "Etika" Amofah.