The YouTube Hall of Fame: A Cappella Boxes

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Okay, the YouTube Hall of Fame exists only in concept at the moment. But it will one day be a real place where you can visit and receive little guided tours from people who used to be sort of famous. But it has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is here. So NMR: Weekend Edition is kicking off the YouTube Hall of Fame induction campaign. Every time we decide someone is a worthy inductee into the Hall of Fame, we build a case for why they deserve to be there.

This week’s entry: A Cappella Boxes


Here’s why:

I never thought we’d be making a case for an editing trick in the YouTube Hall of Fame, but, well, here we are. A Cappella boxes are a hallmark of ALL major YouTube channels from Mike Tompkins to Peter Hollens to Pentatonix and beyond. If you’re going to make a career singing a cappella onYouTube, you pretty much need to divide the screen up into a bunch of little segmented boxes that show you (and/or all the members of your group) singing, harmonizing, humming, beatboxing or whatever. And considering how white hot a cappella is on YouTube, it pretty much makes this editing technique a key facet for success in the medium. In fact, it’s so integral to music at large on YouTube, even non a cappella channels use this technique to show either juxtaposition, multi-camera collaborations, competing videos on gaming channels or even just the picture in picture technique the game players use now. The point is: the so-called a cappella box is a major component of YouTube and YouTube technique, so it does in fact merit a place in the hallowed halls and annals of YouTube.

Mike Tompkins

Peter Hollens


Kurt Hugo Schneider


Toby Games

Some notations:

– Kurt Hugo Schneider has 91 million views with at least one of his videos doing this.

– Pentatonix has over 121 million views from a video doing this.

What other proof do you need?

If there is something you absolutely think deserves to be in the YOUTUBE HALL OF FAME, recommend it in the comments below. And do some article sharing, wouldja?