YouTube has released its year-end list of videos that Canadians couldn’t stop watching in 2017.

This year, the list reflects videos that saw high engagement rather than videos that simply had the highest view counts.

“You don’t just watch videos - you share, like, make responses and more. So we looked at the many ways you interact with videos to identify the top trending videos that everybody was talking about in 2017,” YouTube Canada spokesperson Nicole Bell explained in an email. “The final list is then ranked by views.”

The list includes some of the most talked about moments put to video this year, such as “Woman interrupted during BBC Interview” (#6), a comedic take on how a busy mom would have handled things if she was in the same spot as Robert Kelly, the professor who was interrupted by his two young children during a live interview with the BBC.

The list also includes rapper Eminem’s freestyle cypher tearing into Donald Trump (#2), the adorable moment when a young child stole Prince Harry’s popcorn (#7), and a duo’s mission to compare a $1 donut with a $100 donut (#9).

As usual, a number of animal videos made the list this year, including an epic battle between a moose and a wolf (#5) caught by a drone camera in Northern Ontario and a livestream of a giraffe giving birth to a calf named April at Animal Adventure Park in New York (#3).

Topping the list this year was another animal-related video – a frightening moment caught on camera in Richmond, B.C. when a sea lion dragged a little girl into the water . The girl was pulled out of the water almost immediately and was ok, but the video continues to elicit gasps from millions of viewers.

In addition to the top trending videos in Canada, YouTube also compiled a list of the top music videos Canadians watched on the service.

International hits such as Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” (#2) and Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” (#6) did well.

But nearly half the videos on the list feature Canadians. They include “Reminder” by The Weeknd (#7), “Stay (Lyric Video)” by Zedd and Alessia Cara (#8), “There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back”(#10) by Shawn Mendes and “I'm the One” (#3) which features Justin Bieber.

Smashing records as the most viewed video in the world is the music video for the ubiquitous Luis Fonsi hit “Despacito” (#1). The video has 4.4 billion views and counting worldwide. While Bieber recorded a version of the song, it was actually the video for the original Spanish version that broke records.

“This is THE music story of 2017 on YouTube - it was the first video in YouTube history to surpass 3 billion views, and it broke the record for the most-viewed video of all time on YouTube,” Bell said. “It’s now at 4.4 billion views. The video has propelled Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee to international stardom and multiple Grammy nominations - if it wins song of the year, it will make history as the first non-English song to win that honour since the 1960s.”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” nabbed spot #1 on a list of top movie trailers on YouTube Canada this year.

It was followed by trailers for “It” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” both of which went on to be hits at the box office.



While millions flock to YouTube to watch music and video clips, advertisers have also been working hard to create ads that people would actually want to keep watching instead of skipping through.

“The YouTube Canada Ads Leaderboard showcases the most creative ads that Canadians chose to watch during the year, determined by an algorithm that factors in audience engagement (watch time, likes, shares), video views, and audience retention (how much of a video people watched),” Bell said. “In addition, we factor in organic versus paid views.”

Ads for Chevrolet Canada, SickKids, WestJet, Coca-Cola Canada and Nintendo managed to do a good job of holding eyeballs online this year.