YouTube Sees Brand Fans Move From Consumers Of Culture To Shaping It

Some 65% of Gen Z -- defined as people between the ages of 14 and 24 -- describe themselves as video content creators, according to the YouTube Culture & Trends Report 2024 released this week during VidCon in Anaheim, California.  

User-generated content like the messages found in these videos is working its way into broader campaigns. Those videos act as the sounding board for potential successful programs.

One example is Hazbin Hotel, a show created on YouTube by Vivziepop, an animator who has been uploading content to the platform for more than a decade. Now she has a series on Amazon Prime and has set a global record as the streamer’s largest debut for an animated series.

The wave of new pop culture comes from fans, with 57% of people watching videos made by fans of specific content, artists or public figures in the past 12 months.



Many of Gen Z’s cultural touchstones come directly from creators and creative communities. In some cases, one video spurs thousands of fan-videos that generate as many or more views than the original. Traditional media is beginning to invest in these projects and their creators, but the size of these Fandoms allows these projects to transcend YouTube and become part of mainstream culture.

The report also identified a fundamental shift in video viewership, with 89% of Gen Z describing themselves as a fan of someone or something.

YouTube’s team researched hundreds of trends from the past year, consulted the Fandom Institute, and ran the survey in partnership with SmithGeiger, asking thousands of people about how they spend their time online as fans.

Some 80% of fans use YouTube to consume content at least weekly about the person or thing they are a fan, and creators are positioned to benefit from fan behavior as they drive new technologies.

Creators provide ways for fans to express their fandom through remixes, custom merchandise, or turning on alternative monetization features on YouTube, including channel memberships or Super Thanks stickers.

Sixty-six percent of Gen Z say they often spend more time watching content that discusses or unpacks something then actually doing it themselves.

Samsung, in an effort to impress Gen Zers with the Galaxy S24 phone, challenged MrBeast to put the phone's features to test -- which he did while suspended up to 100 feet in the air.

The video was featured in the No. 1 trending video spot on YouTube, and the brand’s Creator Takeover on his channel resulted in 25 million impressions in less than 72 hours.

YouTube estimates that 73% of fans turn to YouTube for content about their Fandom.

The NFL has turned its schedule release into an unofficial holiday for its younger fans, with teams posting videos on YouTube a la popular internet fandoms like ASMR, anime, The Sims, or leaning into video game aesthetics.

In 2024, the teams posted 78 release videos on YouTube during a few days and received thousands of comments and millions of views.



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