The collective experience of lockdown inspired people to look for attainable authenticity and focus on productive entertainment. Content creators have also faced the same limitations as consumers when it comes to access to resources and travel, so under lockdown they have had to adapt.
As a result, new habits have formed and the new emphasis on creator content is realism over perfection. This has seen a huge spike in viewership, the discovery of new channels and ultimately creators adapting their video formats to at-home production on YouTube.
Patreon CEO and YouTube creator Jack Conte talks specifically about the importance of authenticity and how ‘perfectionism isn’t perfect when you’re a creator’.
The first month of lockdown saw YouTube subscriptions dramatically increase. Following the announcement of the lockdown, the subsequent 45 days saw a huge 20.5% surge in subscribers across multiple categories.
As lockdown continued, viewing habits changed. Gaming, Animal & Pets, Food & Drink came out on top for the greatest increase in YouTube views between February and June this year, with gaming alone seeing over a 30% rise in viewership. Shortly followed by Home & DIY and Health & Fitness, both gaining around 15% in views on YouTube. As for the unfortunate losers of lockdown content, Fashion & Style and Sports came out the worst off, with 13.7% and 15.3% drops in views respectively.
In response to social distancing, many YouTube creators saw vast demand for more content and human connection from their expanding audiences. Maintaining mental health and thriving amongst the anxiety of a pandemic is difficult for everyone, but even more so for creators whose fans demanded more from them during this period.
This pressure came from three directions:
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard, a lifestyle and LGBTQ+ creator on YouTube is in a vulnerable position. She runs a lifestyle channel and talks about the pressure to create under COVID-19, whilst being unable to leave the house.
If you’re interested in how we’re adapting as lockdown eases, as well as a more in-depth analysis of the effects and future of creator marketing throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, feel free to download our full report below.
So what’s the best platform to promote your brand - the ever-popular alpha of video content YouTube, or the fresh newcomer TikTok?
It is time to open our eyes to the injustice towards black lives and take time to deeply understand privilege, structural inequalities and how people’s experiences differ.