In December 2014, global entertainment media were flooded with reports on a YouTube phenomenon that refused to go away. Posted on YouTube in July 2012, Gangnam Style , the official music video of a pop song recorded by Korean singer Psy, 1 had been viewed so many times that it threatened to ‘break’ the YouTube view counter. By the end of 2012, the Gangnam Style view counter had recorded a billion views. By the end of 2013, the number had risen to 2 billion. Now it had reached 2,147,483,647, the highest number, according to a BBC news report, 2 that YouTube’s 32-bit integer view counter could handle. Bending beneath the strain of the popularity of Gangnam Style , YouTube’s view counter was in need of a replacement that would ensure that this problem never happens again. Announcing the launch of a view counter that was capable of registering more than ‘nine quintillion’ views, a YouTube spokesperson proudly declared that the company had ‘never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer . . . but that was before we met Psy’.