Xiaxue’s NOC exclusive topped Singapore YouTube for 2021

From left to right: Xiaxue, Sneaky Sushii and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in videos that were hits with Singaporeans this year. Photos: Xiaxue/YouTube, Sneaky Sushii/YouTube, Prime Minister’s Office
From left to right: Xiaxue, Sneaky Sushii and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in videos that were hits with Singaporeans this year. Photos: Xiaxue/YouTube, Sneaky Sushii/YouTube, Prime Minister’s Office

Singaporeans were most hooked this year on local YouTubers whose videos made them laugh, spilled the tea, and kept them informed.

Six of the 10 videos most watched in Singapore (MVs not included) unveiled today on YouTube’s annual list of top domestic videos and creators. Suspenseful interviews, a TV parody and home tours caught the most Singaporean eyes this year.

Rankings were based on views garnered from Singapore.

Controversy-addicted YouTuber Xiaxue won the coveted top spot with her two-hour October interview with Night Owl Cinematics cofounder Sylvia Chan about the scandals which had consumed her life. The video, now watched more than 1.2 million times in total, featured Xiaxue, the stage name of Wendy Cheng, injecting herself into the year’s most talked-about drama alongside Chan, who spoke out for the first time about her alleged cheating, abusive workplace behavior, and even sexual exploitation. 

Coming in second was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressing COVID-19 concerns followed by one of Night Owl Cinematics’ home tours featuring Chan. Both were posted in May and have garnered more than 800,000 views apiece.

Total Singaporean views were not disclosed.

Popular YouTuber Jian Hao came in fourth with a parody of critically acclaimed Korean drama Squid Game with a whopping 23 million views and Mothership’s interview with burn victim Charlene Chew, with over two million views, was seventh. Another luxurious house tour of the CEO of Sheng Siong supermarket in Singapore by South China Morning Post made the list at fifth.

As for top-trending music videos, the list is a mishmash of mostly international tunes, but the National Day Parade theme song of the year, The Road Ahead by singer-songwriter Linying, topped the list with more than 3.4 million views. 

The nationalist anthem played better with the home office than jams by popular international artists such as K-pop stars BTS (No. 2 and 6), Blackpink’s Lisa (No. 5) and IU (No. 9), as well as Bruno Mars (No. 4) and The Weekend (No. 10), which also made the list.

There are roughly 450 channels in Singapore with more than 100,000 subscribers, YouTube said, noting it was an increase of 35% over previous years.

Top channels belong to local creators like Sneaky Sushii (No. 4), who dishes comedic takes on current events to his with nearly 190,000 subscribers. Kelvin Learns Investing (No. 7) is a personal finance guru with more than 53,000 subscribers. The top three spots include American creator Mr Beast (No. 1), Korean entertainer Kim Jong Kook (No. 2) and American entrepreneur Dhar Mann (No. 3).

YouTube will reach out to media companies in Singapore to further push local content to viewers since over 90% of watch time on Singapore content came from overseas.

“To help more creators grow their reach on a global scale, we will continue to work with partners like IMDA and Bloomr.sg to open up more rewarding opportunities for our local creators,” Ben King, country director of Google Singapore, said in a news release.

Correction: An earlier version of the story mistakenly said that 10% of watch time went to content produced by Singaporean creators; in fact, it was 90% that came from overseas.

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