Anybody looking at the charts knows that music runs the table on YouTube. Decades after MTV's mythological "peak" there's music videos now online with view counts in the literal BILLIONS. Not only that but it seems like every album, EP, and unreleased demo ever put on tape has found its way to Google's servers as well. Thanks to the infamous Content ID system (which has gotten its fair share of hate for its let's say 'overzealous' implementation) people are free to share their favorite songs instantly while the record companies take their cut. It's a weird side effect that nobody talks about. The main draw of the world's most popular video service isn't technically video.
Now if they can only figure out who posted all those chintzy "lyrics" videos made in Windows Movie Maker that aren't timed correctly.
Half-talk show, half walkthrough, half improv comedy and half reality show (did I get those fractions right?) the Let's Play boom is a brilliant solution to a real problem many creators found with YouTube's limitations. By offloading the responsibility of producing dynamic visuals, video creators were free to ride on the strength of their personalities and create self-contained videos that remained watchable for years after their publish date. Just because its ascendance was a fluke doesn't mean it's not awesome. People have come to rely on LP channels like their Grandparents once found comfort in their favorite AM Radio serials. The personalities range from elite-level pro gamers to huggy-feely personal gurus, but there's no denying that "Gamers Hanging Out" is the undisputed King of YouTube... I mean except for...
Need an in-depth review of the new 2016 Gerber Mk II hatchet? How about a 40-minute guide on how to distill Birch bark to make lamp oil? You are in luck because YouTube is a streaming video resource for all the skills you'll need once streaming video is completely inaccessible due to the total collapse of our modern infrastructure. Great thinking, guys.
At its best it's like a more-accessible version of The Travel Channel, at its worst it's more painfully dull than your Aunt's tourist photos. Maybe it's pure jealousy talking, but this 5-part series on Hong Kong's nightlife is making me feel less like a citizen of the world and more like a "broke, old, and stressed out goober on his laptop".
Ugh. I understand the appeal. The prank video promises "raw" reactions and a chance to see humanity at its most primally scared or angry. Yet in practice it's all smoke and mirrors. Every time it's either too staged and fake to be taken seriously ("Murder My Best Friend's Son PRANK"), or even worse it's too real and you see YouTubers genuinely fucking with people like the homeless or fast food employees while they make money off the car insurance pre-roll ads. This is also the same genre that spawned the gross "ass-grabbing strangers" videos that STILL make my skin crawl.
The universe is big and life is short. Sometimes it's overwhelming to think about the chaotic forces that dictate our lives on both the cellular and cosmic levels. Luckily there are affable people willing to scribble some doodles on a whiteboard, or do some sweet vector animations as they calmly and slowly teach us about the nature of things. Who'd have thought that some of the most popular YouTubers ever are just friendly braniacs who lay out your insignificance while jaunty music plays in the background?
Once the only game in town for Internet media, now it's getting tougher and tougher to find any channel that exclusively does animation (even we here at Dorkly took the plunge to mix in live-action video with our usual cartoons). Yet for every aging copy of Adobe Flash that goes unopened, we're living in the golden age of animation as the same people who entertained us in years past are getting to work on shows on Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, or kickstarting projects of their own.
Just like the gadget bloggers, the Makeup Magicians have been keeping up with the latest trends and products for a decade. Mastering looks and techniques for an audience that will probably never use them, but like keeping up to date. From the latest face-fashions to incredible cosplays and Halloween transformations, it's uncanny to see how many people have built media empires upon their own cheekbones.
I'm not crying. I'm not crying. I. AM NOT. CRYING.
"UUUHHGHHHUHHGHHHGHH BLUUUUBBB BLLLOOOUGH BWAAAAAUUUUUGHGH!"
Right now there's thousands of videos claiming to be the unabashed truth that will lift us all from the veil of illusion and show us the metaphysical war that rages around us. Governments, aliens, and the spirit world all working against us and we can only fight back if we OPEN OUR EYES SHEEPLE. In reality we get grainy footage, misleading titles, and the dissociated ramblings of people that just KNOW the entire world is out to get THEM. Any opposition entrenches them further, not even Jet Fuel could melt their resolve.
Now that the great conflict of Fine Bros. V Everybody is over, can we talk about how the real enemy is lazy, repetitive and cookie-cutter reaction videos? Literally the easiest type of video to make, every new trailer or announcement ends up with hundreds of "Reaction" videos clogging search results when you're looking for genuine information/content. There's room for commentators giving their takes on recent events, and some of the candid reaction videos (like filming your parents when they first watch "The Red Wedding" on Game of Thrones) are enjoyable. It's the people grabbing their hair in a dimly lit bedroom trying their damndest to go "viral" that need to stop ASAP.
GOOGLE PLUS LOGIN REQUIRED FOR COMMENTS!? AT LAST HAVE YOU NO DECENCY!? I understand the inescapable irony of criticizing ranters and ravers in the middle of the MOST curmudgeon-y post ever for this site, but there's a self-defeating pattern that emerges when someone gets big by railing against YouTube drama, and then has to post a new screed every week to keep up the momentum. Nerds are passionate and that's great, but holy cow not everything is the goddamn Dreyfuss affair.
Vine by its very nature encourages quick, easy payoffs and these compilations just blast you like a shotgun with jokes, dances, and of course people hurting themselves. The fact is these videos are infectiously watchable because every six seconds something new pops up and promises to make you feel SOMETHING, and even if/when it doesn't a new clip has already started in its place.
I can count the number of folks who actively keep up with Heavy Metal music on one hand. And the people who actively seek out ukulele music are 100% just Hawaiian tourists killing time at the gift shop. So why is YouTube inundated with long-haired guitar acolytes and pixie-cut string pluckers? COVERS. Are some people so insecure or so twee that they cannot listen to pop music unless it is properly encased in their chosen aesthetic? Am I ignoring the channels that succeed due to a legit love for two musical styles that have fans across the world? YES. Yes I am.
Human beings seek spectacle. The filthiest pornography, the most violent videogames, and the most emotionally brutal documentaries all serve to satisfy our own need to explore the extremes of human experience. And if you're too squeamish for those you can just watch a man in a backwards baseball cap try to eat 7 Large Pizzas in front of a webcam. Whether it's forcing BuzzFeed employees to eat Balut or lovingly filming a recipe called "The Nacho-pocalypse" these people are destroying their bodies for our amusement.
I've seen these women on bus ads; they seem 'wacky' yet 'earnest'. Most of them have books and they plug them whenever possible. They have advice on relationships, fashion, and crafts and seem very very nice. If you've ever felt down, or lacked confidence it's because you failed to follow their advice. Some of them do ASMR videos and I don't know what to feel about that.
People like what they like. That's not a revolutionary thought. So if you have a talent or a skill, one of the only ways to get noticed is if you entwine that talent with an existing IP or franchise. Most viewers aren't going to look for Tuvan throat singing unless it's as a kickass medley of the music from Super Mario 64. Comedy, music, and animation all have to be forced through the fine mesh of "parody" before finding a wide audience and it's not a tragedy, it just makes the hits that are actually original truly special.
Thanks to YouTube I've seen cats that can talk, dogs that can dance, and birds that can sing the theme from Final Fantasy. The entire internet has become so efficient at finding and distributing cuteness that I know specific Japanese Pomeranians BY NAME. This is truly a wondrous time to be alive.
WHO WANTS TO SEE HD FOOTAGE OF A TARANTULA MOLTING? HOW ABOUT THIS BREED OF SCALE-LESS PYTHON I DEVELOPED THAT LOOKS UNCANNILY LIKE A 7-FOOT PENIS WITH FANGS? THESE ARE THE MOTHERS OF BEASTS AND THEY LOVE EACH OF THEIR MONSTER BABIES. HERE'S A GUIDE FOR HOW TO CLEAN YOUR VAMPIRE SQUID TANK AND CARE FOR ITS EGG SACS. NOTICE THEM! NOTICE THEM!!!
Guns are devices built for the primary purpose of ending human lives. They are also SUPER COOL. It's no surprise that people want to show off their expensive murder-toys and their particular skills with them.The gun channels obsess over these costly and complicated objects for an audience that most likely will never lay a hand on them. There's a gun video channel for young and old, man and woman, rebel and yankee alike. They're even popular in countries with much stricter gun laws because this isn't about politics, it's about how badass it is to hit far away things with very fast pieces of metal. Though they have titles about 'stopping power' or 'spring maintenance', the real theme of each one should be 'watch how cool I look shooting this rad gun'.
Need to know the best cellphone you can buy in 2013 for under $400? How about a 20-mintue review for a graphics card that isn't in production anymore? The vast and expansive world of YouTube's technology channels pump out so much content every day that you'd think they would have run out of things to say about electronics at this point. Infinitely bingeable, it's videos like these that have made every new purchase I've made in the past 3 years a research-engorged anxiety attack.
Every major corporation on Earth, from the coolest gadget manufacturer to the grimiest machine shop feels obligated to host a channel and populate it with wonky videos. It's one of the most bizarre time sinks on the internet. I can't fall asleep and now I'm watching sales videos for "revolutionary" HVAC systems by BloTech. It's like industrial ASMR.
What do you get when you light 16 lbs. of thermite inside a giant gummy bear? The answer is "very annoyed neighbors". Backyard Explosionists are armed with high-speed cameras, enthusiasm, and jusssssst enough engineering knowledge to not lose a finger in the resulting chaos of their "educational" experiments. On the one hand, this is kind of just "amateur Mythbusters" on the other hand I REALLY want to know what happens when you pour molten aluminum inside a wasp nest.
Do you sorta-remember a Taco Bell commercial from 1998? What was that Saturday morning cartoon that only ran for 3 episodes whose name you forgot? Before YouTube one would have gone their entire life simply forgetting and moving on. But these archivers of ephemera had 30 years of television history stored on VHS tapes in their garages and now they share their worthless bounty with us all. No advertisement, interstitial, or live promo shall be forgotten.
Recorded live on their iPod Touch, we have an awkward gateway into an actual 10-year old's thoughts and dreams. It's only natural that children emulate the media they love, who among us didn't record fake radio shows or staple together their own comic books as a kid? While it's a perfectly explainable phenomenon, that doesn't dampen the horror of watching barely formed proto-humans mimic their favorite YouTube celebrities, offering "hot takes" on politics, romance, and gaming. The only thing we know for certain is that a whole generation of young people is going to be sharing these videos of themselves as part of a drinking game at a future frat party.
WAKE ME UP INSIDE (I can't wake up) WAKE ME UP INSIDE (save me!) CALL MY NAME AND SAVE ME FROM THE DARK.
Repeat for every Japanese cartoon ever made.
A father sits at the dinner table looking at his family, a loving wife and adorable precocious children. As he beams with pride a thought crosses his mind: "oh man, I can totally exploit this". It seems weird and short-sighted to invest your family's livelihood on constantly projecting a sitcom-perfect image of togetherness and functionality. Families are complicated things, and though this genre has only been around for a few years I'm waiting for at least one of these dudes' viral spawn to reach become a teenager and start snorting pills on livestream.
Some handsome boys sing, others give advice, and some of them fancy themselves humorists. No matter what the handsome boy is doing just know that he appreciates who you are and believes in you 100%. The handsome boy thinks you are beautiful and understands that even though things can be tough, he longs to see your wonderful smile. Sometimes the handsome boy does something to make everyone mad at him and he posts an apology video where he cries. It's ok handsome boy, the 12-year-old girls of the world forgive you.
"Hi there! I'm a relatively trim person standing in a sunlit kitchen and I'm immortal. Unlike you baser humans my body does not know disease or suffering and the inescapable march of time has not affected my ability to run triathalons. Today we're going to be making one of my favorite recipes 'a single leaf of kale drizzled with organic grass-fed ghee'. Before we begin I'm going to ask you to finish consuming your gallon of bone broth that you prepared yesterday, allowing the rich collagen to imbue your corporeal form with vitality for millennia, as those who have dared to have eaten bread wither and die around you..."
Imagine a mashup of Shrek and My Little Pony and Team Fortress 2 and Gangnam Style and Old Nintendo Cartoons. Now imagine it was worse. Then imagine it was even worse than that. There you go. That's YouTube Poop