There’s a Simple Explanation Why the ‘Baby Shark’ Song is So Ridiculously Popular

You don’t even have to be a parent to understand the enormous popularity of the catchy children’s song “Baby Shark.” With well over 3 billion (yes, billion) views on YouTube, it has the distinction of being one of the most-watched video in the history of the website. The song even broke onto the Billboard 100 charts.

Baby Shark toys
‘Baby Shark’ toys | Leon Neal/Getty Images

There’s no denying that “Baby Shark” is captivating, with that sort of earworm quality that can get stuck inside your head for hours whether you like it or not. But that doesn’t explain why this particular song out of thousands of others catapulted to fame, taking over the culture and becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

It turns out there’s a reason why “Baby Shark,” doo doo doo doo doo doo is the one you can’t stop humming.

Not even the creators knew it would be so big

“Baby Shark” is the brainchild of Korean entertainment brand Pinkfong (a division of SmartStudy) and that’s not the only song they’ve ever made. The company has been posting videos on YouTube for years and are responsible for thousands of hours worth of content. But nothing has taken off quite like this.

US-based Pinkfong CEO Bin Jeong knew that “Baby Shark” had all the makings a hit. However, she couldn’t have predicted the virality of the video, which was released in 2016.

“We instantly saw that ‘Baby Shark’ started performing, even compared to our other best-performing videos on the channel,” Jeong explained to CNN. “We saw it was going to be special.”

That’s when the company started pushing it a bit with more exposure.

“We put more marketing behind it, but that’s not how or why it became so viral,” she continued. “To be honest, no matter what you do, the ones that make it, make it on their own.”

‘Baby Shark’ has all the elements of a classic kids’ song

The song does a few things right in terms of marketing to their target demographic: children. The combination of an easy melody, repetition, simple motions, and a colorful, graphic video makes the whole thing infinitely watchable.

And it’s short, which the parents appreciate. Any caregiver who’s heard their little one insist on hearing the same song over and over will attest that “Baby Shark” isn’t the most annoying children’s song out there. It’s actually pretty cute.

“When our content creators create songs, they know the pain of watching it over and over again,” Jeong said. “They are moms, so they wanted to really create something that can be enjoyed by the entire family.”

YouTube helped spur the ‘Baby Shark’ phenomenon

If “Baby Shark” was nothing but another nursery rhyme and the internet didn’t exist, there’s no way it would have become this popular. But now that some preschoolers have their own tablets and can access videos on their own, videos like “Baby Shark” have the potential to get big — really big.

This chart-smashing sensation has become a cultural movement, complete with hip hop remixes, internet memes, plush merchandise, and international recognition. Josh Groban performed the song on a late-night talk show.

The big joke is that in 15 years some ultra-cool DJ is going to drop “Baby Shark” in a nightclub and the place will go absolutely wild.

That’s probably true, doo doo doo doo doo doo.

Josh Groban
Josh Groban performs ‘Baby Shark’ | Jason LaVeris/CBS via Getty Images