2016 was so wretched that the vast majority of people chose to watch music videos from the previous year. Vevo published their list of the year's most viewed music videos worldwide, with "Sorry" (a.k.a. "oh shit, Justin Bieber is good") claiming the number one spot at 1.8 billion views. If you'll recall, the dance-centric video is more than a year old, having come out in October of 2015. In hindsight, it's an appropriate choice: "Sorry"—and Bieber's Purpose album as a whole—helped crystallize the Caribbean-influenced soft EDM sound that became the default sound of the mainstream this year (call it "Biebercore" or "Diplowave" if you want, or don't) so it only makes sense that it silently dominated video content. We deserved tropical house all along.
Another 2015 classic, Adele's "Hello," comes in at second place in the list. In fact, only four of the videos from Vevo's list came out this year at all, with the videos in question being Fifth Harmony's "Work from Home," Calvin Harris' "This Is What You Came For," Rihanna's "Work," and the Chainsmokers' "Closer." Here's the rest of the list for reference, as well as Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk," a song which is on this list but came out all the way back in 2014. Again, we deserve this.
Justin Bieber, "Sorry" - 1,824,823,909
Adele, "Hello" 1,255,754,358
Fifth Harmony, "Work from Home" - 1,173,014,751
Calvin Harris, "This Is What You Came For" - 1,008,115,358
Justin Bieber, "What Do You Mean?" - 1,002,151,667
Justin Bieber, Love Yourself" - 966,846,883
Drake, "Hotline Bling" - 899,014,469
Mark Ronson, "Uptown Funk" - 825,589,463
Rihanna, "Work" - 800,984,121
The Chainsmokers, "Closer" (Lyric) - 776,806,154
Phil wonders sometimes. He's on Twitter.