4 Weird YouTube Video Trends Earning Millions of Gen Z Viewers

You might know about slime and unboxing, but you’ve probably never heard of these other weird, unbelievably popular genres of YouTube videos that Gen Z is growing up watching…

YouTube is Gen Z’s cable and they’re growing up watching content you don’t understand. Gen Z is more likely to watch video content on YouTube weekly than any other platform, including cable. According to our most recent media consumption survey, 69% of 13-17-year-olds watch video content on YouTube weekly, compared to 21% who watch cable weekly. About half of Millennial parents let their kids watch free videos on YouTube weekly or more often. The fact that YouTube is Gen Z’s top entertainment source drastically changes the kind of content that they’re watching. Unregulated, privately made short-form videos for kids are their norm. According to The Atlantic, the biggest kids’ content creators today are YouTube upstarts, not traditional media companies, with channels like ChuChu TV and Billion Surprise Toys garnering billions of views for weird content. 

And the videos earning huge audiences on YouTube are impacting traditional entertainment, and creating offline trends. Insight Strategy Group found that eight in ten five-to-twelve-year-olds would watch a TV show or movie featuring a YouTuber or Instagrammer they know, and over half had purchased, tested, or asked their parents for a product after learning about it on YouTube or Instagram. Of course, trends like unboxing and slime mixing originated on YouTube and have become major phenomena, sparking new types of toys, packaging, and offline experiences. Ryan ToysReview, the breakout unboxing star, recently got a greenlit Nickelodeon show. The infamous “Baby Shark” video blew up first on YouTube, and is also now going to be a TV series on Nickelodeon. Viral…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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