What Is The Youth Watching On YouTube These Days And Why?
The Internet has changed the very approach to media consumption among people. Ever since the Internet became available to the common public at modest prizes, and on handheld devices, media has become more democratized than ever. Be it news or entertainment, it is just at a hand’s length.
One of the biggest success stories on the Internet is that of the video-sharing website YouTube. Conceived by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in February 2005, it generates a revenue worth billions of dollars every year, implying that it has a massive audience. According to Defy Media, 96% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 24 use Youtube on a regular basis for an average of 11 hours a week to view videos of their choosing, whether it is gaming, music, or how-to videos, says The Current.
There is a reason why YouTube is popular among the youth. One of the distinctive features of video viewing and sharing website is its ability to provide varied forms of content in one place. You can find a video about anything just with a tap of your finger. While television tries to do the same, it lags behind in terms of its affordability and limited content. All you need is an internet connection and a smartphone, and you can easily enter the world of entertainment and unlimited media content.
96% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 24 use Youtube on a regular basis for an average of 11 hours a week to view videos of their choosing, whether it is gaming, music, or how-to videos.
It is all about likes
A recent feud between famous YouTuber Pewdiepie and T-series is an excellent example of how intense the competition is on the platform; a struggle to remain at the top, is also a struggle to earn more money. Which further brings our attention to the consumers, the very base of this industry. As aforementioned, a majority of the consumers are people between the age of 12-24. Therefore, most YouTubers create content keeping these people in mind. They are constantly pumping out free content sometimes twice or thrice a week lest they become irrelevant or their subscriber count might go down.
YouTube and Empowerment
For young girls around the world, YouTube has emerged as a platform for them to not just voice their opinion but also find an audience. Many girls turn to YouTube icons for inspiration and their words and work fills them with a sense of empowerment.
Take Lilly Singha.k.a IISuperwomanII for instance, who is a famous name in the YouTube industry today. A Canadian YouTuber of Indian descent, she rose to fame with her comic videos and relatable content. She struggled with depression and decided to start the channel as a way to deal with her feelings.
Lilly is an icon to a lot of people struggling with mental health and self-doubt issues. In her Instagram posts as well YouTube videos she has time and again talked about self-confidence and has also criticized problematic issues like homophobia that can be seen in her video “A Therapy Session for Homophobic People”.
Sameeksha, a 17 year old says, “I have been a fan of Superwoman for quite some time now. She is really fun and has helped me deal with a lot of my insecurities.”
Educational channels like TEDx and Vox too garner a large number of young viewership, as they explain complex concepts using innovative and effective methods.
In 2010, TED curator Chris Anderson in reference to several YouTube contributors asserted that “What Gutenberg did for writing, online videos can now do for face-to-face communication.” So it’s not far-fetched to say that this is a medium which encourages learning and may play a big role in creating educational awareness.
A lot of YouTubers make videos on study tips and exams preparation. Khan Academy’s success is an example of how YouTube helps in gaining immediate audience leading to the popularity of any channel.
Youth and YouTube
It is important to understand how and why the youth consumes YouTube content.
Aditi Choudhary, a 16-year-old says, “I use YouTube to watch vlogs, music videos, stand up comedies and for important information. It helps me pass time as well as get both information and entertainment without investing additional time.”
Mansi Rathi, a 19-year-old from Lady Shri Ram college says, “I use it mainly to view Vines, fun videos, study content, sports, stand-up shows, for news updates, movie trailers and interviews. It is an amazing source of relaxation and the study material is so much more interesting to learn from, as compared to books.”
Somya Gupta, a 23-year-old says, “I mainly YouTube to watch entertainment news and DIY videos. I am a very artsy person, I love making craft and DIY videos give me so many ideas on how to turn waste into useful products. I once learnt to make plant holder out of a plastic bottle and since then I have been unstoppable!”
Prachi Johri explains, “I love dancing but it is difficult to manage with college. So I watched dance videos daily and tried to copy them. It is safe to say I have become a decent dancer now.”
Snigdha Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv.