News today from the horrified, “doo doo doo doo doo”-ing subconscious of millions of parents planet-wide: “Baby Shark” has just become the first kids song ever to go Diamond, according to the RIAA. That is, the horrifically infectious kids song—and specifically, the version fired straight at the jugular of the internet by South Korean entertainment company Pinkfong a few years back—has now sold more than 10 million copies, per the complicated metrics that translate its 7 billion (with, yes, a buh) YouTube plays and other streaming metrics into sales.
It’s also, not coincidentally, the first children’s song to go Platinum (11 times over), and the first to even go Gold (that’s 500,000 units sold) since a Disney album from 2000 that took 15 years to hit that same milestone. In other words, “Baby Shark”—doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo—is now the most successful children’s song pretty much ever, which is not bad for an old nursery rhyme that only briefly entertains the possibility of the person singing it being devoured by a shark.
The RIAA set its streaming rules a few years back, eventually landing on 150 streams as the equivalent of a single “sale” for certification purposes. The actual economics of “Baby Shark”—which is also the name of our academic thesis, coming next fall—are a little muddy; the video was produced by Pinkfong using vocals contributed by Boise teen singer Hope Segoine (at least, on the most popular version), with dancing from an actress named Elaine Johnston and god-knows-who doing the animation. All the ad revenue for the thing presumably goes through the “educational” company, though, which was founded back in 2010, and has clearly wrought much great, repetitive, K-pop-y evil on our world.