Over time, many forms of media have come and enjoyed their moment in the spotlight. From radio
to television, media has enjoyed a climb and era of success. With the internet becoming mainstream,
it is time for a new form of media to emerge. Although sources like Netflix and Hulu Plus dominate
the market, they come at a price, while YouTube, although ad-ridden, has remained free and easily
accessible. YouTube is also home to many different types of channels that users can put up and watch.
A genre of YouTube video has started before the internet was around. Music videos were well known
from the early MTV days but had declined as television channels like MTV, VH1 and BET shifted the
focus off of music videos. When YouTube started in 2005, the art of the music video came back in a big
way. Along with the mainstream music videos on YouTube, mostly known as “VEVO channels,” other
channels show either covers of songs, parodies of popular videos or original music by aspiring artists.
One example of a musical YouTube artist making a huge success comes from a channel known as
“kidrauhl.” Although this channel simply featured a young person singing along with an acoustic guitar,
as many of these channels start out, but this person soon became one of the largest successes in music
and one of the most hated artists of our generation.
Another popular type of channel dominates the most subscribed list on YouTube. The sketch comedy
is seen in television in shows like Saturday Night Live, but this type of media is more suited for YouTube
rather than television, which seems better for sitcoms. These sketch channels range from the purely
sketch comedy like Smosh and NigaHiga, or to the channels that base their comedy on a video or
product, like RayWilliamJohnson.
These channels usually have videos that range from just a couple of minutes to over thirty minutes
long. As with musical channels, some of these sketch channels have made it to television and film,
although this is rarer. The best example of this is the Fred channel, which featured Lucas Cruikshank as
a 6-year-old with a high-pitched and sped-up voice. The Fred character became popular on Nickelodeon
with cameos, three full-length movies and a television series.
One popular type of YouTube channel is also one of the earliest. Before video sharing was common
and Facebook and even MySpace became popular, blogs were where many people posted their
opinions. When YouTube became commonplace, video blogs, or vlogs, also gained notice. Many popular
vlogs are simply supplements to other popular channels that focus on the daily lives of the simple
YouTube stars, while other vlogs, like iJustine, don’t need other channels to gather fame.
The latest trend of YouTube is the gaming channel. Although these have existed before, the gaming
channel has gained popularity to the point where other popular channels like Tobuscus and Smosh
have started a gaming channel. These channels range from just gameplay of popular games like “Happy
Wheels” and Minecraft to a full game experience from news to gameplay to reviews. One of the most
famous gameplay channels is PewDiePie, which features Swedish gamer Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg playing
games and adding commentary for many games ranging from sandbox games like “Minecraft” to scary
games like “Amnesia” to dance games like “Just Dance.”
Although this list goes over some of the most popular types of channels on YouTube, there are many
more that can be explored. There are many make-up and hair tutorials for ladies to watch and partake
in, cartoon channels for any demographic, machinima channels for people who enjoy both video games
and cartoons, and other channels that are unique, like the Fine Bros. YouTube is so diverse that almost
anyone can find a channel they like, so large that it offers more choices than television and so friendly
that anyone can be successful on this new media platform.