If you’re venturing into the world of the video platform as a creator or the manager of a future famous YouTuber then you should be well versed in the type of content that gets the most views on the website.
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Without further ado, here’s a list of the 20 types of videos that get the most views on YouTube. SPOILER ALERT: Octuplets don’t make the list.
20 – Cooking
Much like Nigella teaches us to make that perfect Squid Spaghetti, these channels show recipes step by step. The only difference is that on YouTube they’re allowed a bit more creativity.
A perfect example is ‘You suck at cooking’ — that’s the name of the channel; I’m not trying to tell you anything — is not your average cooking channel. They do simple recipes but don’t take themselves too seriously and do it through humour.
Other cooking channels: Brothers Green eats, Just eat life, Tasty.
19 – The Couple Vlog
If you’re in a relationship and people say you’re the cutest couple ever, then chances are that you have what it takes to make a successful couples vlog. Relying on what made #CoupleGoals successful in the first place, this kind of videos want you to feel all fuzzy inside.
One of the most adorable couples on YouTube right now is Carrie Hope Fletcher and Pete Bucknall. They both love music and Disney. If that’s not a recipe for cute then I don’t know what is.
Other couples on YouTube: MisteryGuitarMan, The Nive Nulls, Shep689.
18 – Covers
It is no secret that YouTube has been a trampoline for musical acts like Justin Bieber and Panic! at the Disco which is why many musicians flock to the video platform in hopes to become famous.
And one of the most common ways to get themselves known is by performing covers. With over 4 million subscribers, English singer Conor Maynard is one of the most famous YouTube musicians at the moment.
Another cover channel: Alex Aiono.
17 – Self-improvement
Much like the educational videos, these are meant to give tools to the viewer instead of entertain. But rather than teaching a particular subject, self-improvement is aimed at making someone’s life better through self-knowledge.
School of Life is my favourite self-improvement channel. Through short animated videos, they tackle complex issues from self-love to how to handle depression. The quality of the production shows the potential of YouTube that only a few explore.
Other self-improvement channels: Marie Forleo, Roberto Blake, Madeline Shaw, Holistic Habits.
16 – Parodies
YouTube is the perfect place for parodies and many have noticed. To various degrees of success, several channels have tried to profit from it, but few have done it gracefully.
How it should have ended (HISHE) is probably one of the funniest channels out there. Their animated videos about how movies should have ended are well written and professionally produced.
Other parody channels: Bart Baker, Barely political, Teddiefilms.
15 – Celebrity Gossip
While YouTube makes it possible for anyone to create and publish their content, it doesn’t mean that it’s impervious to the vices of mainstream media like celebrity gossip.
Nicki Swift is probably one of the best since their videos are not as ‘tabloidy’ as others. One of their most popular formats is ‘Why Hollywood won’t cast…. anymore.’ Because who doesn’t like to find out about the demise of the rich and famous? I mean, the Germans didn’t invent the word Schadenfreude for nothing.
Other celebrity gossip channels: TMZ, Hollywood.TV, Entertainment weekly.
14 – Funny animals
I dare you not to at least smile while watching the video below. They’re cute, they’re funny. What’s not to like?
Among the best, is the BBC ‘Funny Talking Animals’ series of short videos where they dub footage of animals with the voices of professional actors.
Other funny animals channels: Humorous animals, Klaatu42, Gardea23.
13 – Pranks
They seemed to have taken a second place to other videos, but for a while prank videos dominated YouTube. They range from silly practical jokes to controversial stunts.
Without a doubt, the most famous prank channel on YouTube is PrankVSPrank (PvP). The premise is simple, a couple that would prank each other and get it on film. Judging by the many years they did this, it is hard to believe that they were still able to fool each other towards the end, but it is still entertaining nonetheless.
Other pranks channels: Remi Gaillard, Just for laughs gags.
12 – Collection of Products
Again, not much to say here. This is usually people showing their collections and explaining where the items come from.
One of my favourite collection videos ever is ‘Sh*t I do with SHOES’ from the famous drag queen Willam. In it, she goes through some of her favourite shoes and as you’d expect from the drag race alum, hilarity ensues.
Other channels with collection videos: Shaaanxo, Salomondrin.
11 – Q&A
People ask and YouTubers answer. This is one of the most popular ways for content creators to interact with their followers. Usually, they collect the question using another social media network like Twitter and/or Facebook and answer them all in a single video.
Jim Chapman is one of the frontrunners of the British YouTubers club. His videos go from comedy to style and they’re usually pulled off in an unpretentious and casual way.
Note: Chapman makes our list of the top 20 UK male fashion bloggers. Check it out here.
10 – Unboxing
Whoever knew that opening a package could become a thing? Pretty straightforward, someone shoots themselves opening a package and uploads it to YouTube.
English Simmer is better known for her The Sims ‘Let’s Plays’, but her ‘unboxing’ videos are quite popular as well due to her charisma and honest quirkiness.
Other channels with unboxing videos: Unbox therapy, iJustine.
9 – Educational
Self-explanatory. These are videos created with the intent of educating on a particular subject.
CrashCourse is a great educational channel thanks to the various topics they cover (from world history to computer science) and the charismatic hosts they hire to conduct the videos.
Other educational channels: Veritasium, Vsauce, C.G.P. Grey.
8 – Favourite/Best of
These are pretty similar to the hauls with the difference being that instead of highlighting the things they bought during a shopping trip, it showcases their favourite items from an entire month. These are usually sponsored, but if you find a YouTuber that speaks to your niche then these might be worth it.
Tanya Burr (Jim Chapman’s girlfriend) is known for her monthly ‘favourites’ where she talks about makeup and fashion.
7 – Memes/Tags
Memes and tags are very varied and they go from the silly ‘cinnamon challenge’ to the altruistic ‘ice-bucket’ one.
The ‘Draw my life’ videos are particularly refreshing because instead of some silly practical joke, YouTubers get to talk about their private lives creatively. Markiplier, better known for his gaming videos, created one of the best.
6 – Haul Videos
Loved by some and hated by others, haul videos are a YouTuber showing off all of the things they bought on their latest shopping spree. Well, the ‘buying’ part is debatable because when these people start getting enough views, brands give them stuff for free.
Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, better known as Zoella, is a British YouTube known for her hauls. Even though she has grown from content creator to full-on brand (her products include a full makeup line and novels which she may or may not write) she still sticks to the hauls that made her famous in the first place.
Another channel with haul videos: Lindsey Hughes.
5 – Comedy/Skit Videos
This can go from an improvised skit in someone’s living room to full-on productions that compete with the likes of Saturday Night Live.
Ryan Higa, better known as nigahiga, is a Hawaiian YouTuber who has become famous for his high-production comedy videos. He is even a member of the faux k-pop band BgA (boys generally Asian).
Other comedy channels: Smosh, Epic Rap Battles of History
4 – Gaming Videos
‘Why would you want to watch someone playing a video game when you could do it yourself?’
Is the question I often hear when the subject of gaming on YouTube is discussed. It’s not my job here to explain the phenomenon but to highlight just how popular it is. It’s so big that YouTube launched last year a separate site just for video game streams.
And to top it off, PewDiePie is the channel with the most amount of subscribers (54 million at the time of writing) and he mostly does ‘Let’s play videos.’ Not even the controversy regarding his questionable humour (that cost him a contract with Disney) knocked him off the spot.
Other gaming channels: JackSepticEye, VanossGaming
3 – Vlogs
Vlogs are blogs, but in video form (hence the ‘V’… duh). These are usually fun and snappy, but some YouTubers dare to delve into serious topics like mental disorders and physical abuse in romantic relationships.
Some of the most famous vlogs are those of YouTubers coming out of the closet; Ingrid Nilsen’s emotional confession is one of the latest to go viral. While these subjects are often trivialised and exploited, when they’re treated with the respect they deserve the result can be a powerful one.
Still, comedy seems to be the winner here which is why we’ve decided to highlight one of our favourites danisnotonfire; who along with his friend AmazingPhil have created their brand around their self-deprecating humour and references to obscure internet jokes.
Other vloggers: Shaytards, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig
2 – How-to’s/Tutorials
Where would us bloggers be without the power of the ‘how-to’? The same thing applies to YouTube, as it now stands as the second most popular search engine in the world.
Some of the most popular how-to’s/tutorials include make-up, technical skills, software troubleshoots and… slime?
Other how to’s/tutorial videos: Michelle Phan, Nitraa B, HouseImprovements, Kayley Melissa
1 – Product reviews
No, it’s not kitty videos. I was also surprised.
Pretty straightforward, product reviews are just that. A YouTuber talks about a product and what they think of it. The most popular ones are about technology, but they can be about anything really, from a movie to a restaurant.
One of the most popular channels at the moment is MKBHD run by Marques Brownlee who makes sick techie reviews.
Another channel that does techie reviews: Jonathan Morrison
Text: Harald Meyer-Delius
Research: Luna Giontella
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