YouTube just released its annual Culture & Trends Report with some interesting takeaways on fandom, generative AI, and the death of monoculture.
YouTube has published its annual Culture & Trends Report, providing an informative snapshot of some of the shifting trends for content creators. Among the notable statistics: 82% of online 18-44 year-olds polled have posted video content online over the past year — and that’s across all platforms, including Instagram Stories, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Interestingly, 54% of people surveyed “prefer to watch creators breaking down a major event rather than the event itself (e.g., Oscars, Grammys).” That coincides with the evident decline in viewership of awards shows in recent years and speaks to the longevity of streaming and other “online coverage” of events such as music festivals.
47% of Gen-Z (users now aged 18-24) have “watched videos made by fans of specific content, artists, or public figures” over the last year — speaking to the importance of user-generated content in fandom in 2023. Coupled with 82% of users aged 18-44 having posted video content online across all platforms in the past year, it becomes increasingly evident how much value fans place on memes and user-generated content of specific interests.
For example, YouTube says that “casual fans” might have a feed that helps them passively consume more content relating to their fandom, “from lore to behind-the-scenes content.” Meanwhile, a more “active fan” might use Shorts to create memes or interact with a brand’s campaign by remixing or riffing on its content.
“Rapid technological change in media and creativity has given viewers new expectations, and it has also generated opportunities for all of us to engage with the things we care about,” says YouTube.
Unsurprisingly, YouTube’s report backs up the platform’s continued multi-format push, with a figure of 87% of those surveyed having “watched at least four content formats YouTube offers” in the last year, including long-form and short-form videos, livestreams, podcasts, and streaming videos on TV. 67% of Gen-Z surveyed say they like when their favorite creators are making content in multiple formats.
“Viewers increasingly expect personalized experiences and use different formats to meet different need-states — viewing long-form, short-form, live, and pre-recorded content across mobile and connected TV screens.”
YouTube also hails the surge of videos utilizing generative AI and virtual YouTubers (vTubers), stating that 60% of those surveyed “are open to watching content from creators who use AI to generate their content,” and 52% have watched a vTuber in the past year. Videos relating to or using generative AI tools racked up more than 1.7 billion views on YouTube in 2022 as such tools and the subject overall become increasingly mainstream.