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Got a child or grandchild who is less than 5 years old? If so, you probably know all about Pinkfong and Baby Shark.
The song originated in the early 1900s as a children’s song sung at campfires. In it, different family members of sharks are introduced with hand gestures – first Baby Shark, then Mommy Shark, then Daddy Shark, and then Grandma and Grandpa shark. A dance version in German was popular on YouTube in 2007. A children’s entertainment DJ called Johnny Only noticed how kids enjoyed the Baby Shark song at camps, and he released a version of the song in 2011.
Pinkfong, a children’s educational brand from South Korea’s SmartStudy entertainment company, has over 4,000 children’s videos, songs, games and apps. Their “Pinkfong! Kids’ Songs & Stories” YouTube channel was launched in 2011. In November 2015, Pinkfong uploaded a song and video to YouTube called Baby Shark. They created different versions of the song and uploaded videos for them to their YouTube site. In June 2016, Baby Shark Dance was uploaded, and the phenomena took off. In late 2020, it became the most watched video of all time.
Now that Billboard includes YouTube views in their calculation of the “sales” of songs for the Billboard Hot 100 list, Baby Shark charted at #32 on the Hot 100 during the week of January 7, 2019, and for the entire year, it was ranked at #75.
Of course, with the popularity of the song and video, Pinkfong is chasing the money. There is a Baby Shark cereal, a Baby Shark stage musical, a Baby Shark series is planned to be broadcast on Nickelodeon, and you can be sure that there will be much more exploitation of the fad. In January 2020, it was estimated that the family that owns SmartStudy had already made $125 million from the song.
Baby Shark has been translated into at least 19 different languages – including Navajo.
In 2022, the video for Baby Shark Dance was the first video ever to top 10 Billion views. And that’s over 3 Billion more than the #2 most watched video of all time, Despacito, by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. Click below, and see what every kid under 5 years old sings over and over again every day!