Opportunity Cost of watching Gangnam Style video

The Economist produced an interesting Daily Chart looking at the Opportunity Cost of watching the Gangnam Style video. Earlier this year the music video surpassed two billion views on YouTube making it the most watched clip of all time. At 4:12 minutes, that equates to more than 140m hours, or more than 16,000 years.

What is the opportunity cost of watching this video i.e. the other achievements that were foregone.

* 3 “supercarriers” like the USS Gerald Ford built last year
* 4 Great Pyramids of Giza,
* 1 more Wikipedia,
* 6 Burj Khalifas in Dubai (the world’s tallest building).

The song’s nearest rival is Justin Bieber’s “Baby” – one billion views. The opportunity cost of watching PSY’s frivolity is huge, but humanity has at least been entertained.

Gangnam style

2 thoughts on “Opportunity Cost of watching Gangnam Style video

  1. hamish

    This comparison is not smart. You might as well argument about the opportunity cost in tying shoe laces as opposed to we ring shoe laces.

  2. jgarrett

    It’s a ridiculous amount of man-hours, but proves a point, in that even small tasks, such as watching a music video, will start to add up if enough people attempt it.
    I do agree about the comparison, though. It seems almost unrealistic being that watching a YouTube video is barely comparable to the amount of time spent constructing the wonders listed above.


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