This weekend, NewMediaRockstars posted an infographic detailing the primary statistics and averages for the top 10 YouTube channels based on subscriptions. The information for the graphic was gathered two weeks from the post date, which in an unintended way gave insight into the nature of YouTube.
In that two week time span our listed tenth spot, Fred, dropped two tiers and was replaced by EpicMealTime. EpicMealTime picked up 35,971 subscribers while Fred only grabbed 2,507. Both channels have maintained their weekly video upload schedules, yet EpicMealTime has seen a meteoric rise in subscribers and channel views.
These numbers bring up several perceptions in regards to the YouTube community. YouTube was created in such a way that it could not be compared to any other media format. Cable television and film are ranked on a weekly basis, yet are rarely offered as free entertainment. Both forms of media also have millions of dollars in advertising and marketing dedicated to getting audiences watching the show or movie. However, YouTube marketing is typically limited to the creators using social media outlets to promote their work and subsequent products. The rise of EpicMealTime proves that the YouTube community has created a new standard for entertainment ranking and viewership.
Specifically in the case of film, the top box office spots do not often go to the movie with the best content. Take this week’s box office numbers for example. “The Lorax,” “Project X,” and “Act of Valor” all hold top 3 spots, yet all 3 films are reviewed under 60 percent at Rotten Tomatoes. There are thousands of reasons why average movies make box office millions regardless of poor reviews. One of the primary reasons comes down to audience expectations. A person must decide if he or she wants to pay to see a movie based on the trailer, the cast, and some level of familiarity. Hollywood has become exceptionally good at pumping out films with this perfect storm of viewer accessibility. Take popular and beautiful actors (Megan Fox and Shia LeBeuof), give the audience something that generates nostalgia (90’s cartoons), wrap it in an explosion filled action packed trailer and viola, you have “Transformers.”
The fact that mainstream film is rarely judged by content in terms of box office numbers brings me back to the YouTube community. What makes YouTube such a stunning place for independent artists is that without decades of market research and audience standards, creators are genuinely judged on their actual content. EpicMealTime has risen to the top 10 based solely on the content that they have produced. There was no team up with He-Man or guest appearances from a Kardashian; EpicMealTime has just consistently put out content that the public wants to see.
Due to the fact that YouTube offers anyone the opportunity to start a channel, content can be accurately judged on its creative merits. The YouTube audience has been given the chance to view any and all content for free, which has created a system of popularity based on more than just who has the most money.
Could all this be the reason why EpicMealTime knocked Fred off the top 10? Are YouTube viewers aware of what really defines media art? Or do they just want to see guys shovel entire farms into their faces?
Why do you think EpicMealTime beat out Fred in the top 10? Let us know what you think in the comments below or tweet us at @NewRockstars.