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People absolutely despised YouTube’s 2018 Rewind video. It’s the most disliked video in the platform’s history with 17 million thumbs down, and the fact it didn’t include a star like PewDiePie or the YouTube boxing extravaganza while including way too many celebrities upset many viewers.
In YouTube’s 2019 Rewind video, released on Thursday, the platform goes out of its way to acknowledge last year’s disaster—and tries its best to make amends.
The video opens with the statement from YouTube that said, “In 2018, we made something you didn’t like. So in 2019, let’s see what you DID like. Because you’re better at this than we are.”
Played over Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” and Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” the Rewind features ASMR artists, beauty vloggers, science experimenter Simone Giertz, KSI and his Sidemen colleagues, and that amazing UCLA gymnast and her ridiculous floor routine. Oh, and PewDiePie.
YouTube pays homage to the 10 most liked videos of the year, featuring content from Shane Dawson, James Charles, and MrBeast. It also shows the 10-most liked music videos. And if you can guess who No. 1 is—hint: it’s not Lil Nas, Billie Eilish, or BTS—that proves you’ve really been paying attention.
YouTube also makes room for the most-watched dance videos, the most-watched gaming videos, and the most popular new creators from around the world.
Missing from the action are Jake and Logan Paul, but then again, both have cut down on their YouTube presence and both have said they’re moving away from the platform. So, that exclusion makes sense. The same goes for new late-night talk show host Lilly Singh.
Though this year’s Rewind plays it safe—and there doesn’t appear to be any footage that was shot specifically for the video—early viewers seem to enjoy it more. Thirty minutes after the video dropped, it already had logged 250,000 views with 34,000 likes and 22,000 dislikes.
The video, though, is certainly more about the numbers than about the personalities on the platform. Maybe YouTube fans will like that more, at least on the superficial level. But if YouTube isn’t taking a risk with its Rewind video, it’s unclear whether it’s worth watching at all.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.