YouTube trend report: The post pandemic rise in participatory consumption

New stats from Nielsen show that being home bound resulted in a high spike of video content being consumed. To back this up, YouTube APAC culture & trends lead, Ashley Chang, takes us through why we should be paying attention to trends, but not relying on them.

65 percent year on year is how much YouTube views have risen through television watching in Australia alone. The comparisons between the Australian market and our own mean the way in which we consume is very similar, and Ashley Chang, speaking across a Think With Google event, says marketers and creatives need to be constantly watching content to see what audiences are connecting with.

“There are three different categories that we are seeing a growth in. Creative ingenuity, new online communities and self sufficiency/self improvement.

Ashley Chang

“Considering the current market, it’s no surprise that we’ve also seen content spikes in things like financial literacy and digital up skilling.”

The new spike in video, including a spike in ‘with me’ content where people will do day to day activities like cleaning or studying to motivate others, shows a perfect example of a new way in which people use media in a way we don’t expect but still connects with them on a very personal level.

“We usually think of content as either passive or absent minded. But this new ‘with me’ trend is very different. It is very intentional but it is something we’d call participatory consumption. It induces an action in the audience in the real world and through this creators are turning solitary tasks like cleaning or studying into communal experiences as a proxy for human connections.”

Chang says the adaptability of video is a contributing factor as to why it its seen such a spike as people pivoted their entire lives due to the pandemic.

“Video is amazing because it can be a teacher, a coach or a companion, and a lot of people are just finding that out first hand.”

Chang says although, shockingly, he can’t predict the trends of human behaviour, they are seeing that these trends are expected to grow even as we exit Lockdown.

“Isolation has allowed people to fully realise we don’t need as much consumption as we previously thought we did. People want to make more stuff and buy less things, and we’re seeing that through self sufficiency videos spiking.”

Although these trends are important for content creators to be aware of, Change says they should not often dictate what is created for the market.

“Trends can be the format and are great as a tool, but underlying any great campaign is a story or a message. I would never trade a story to focus on a trend. However creatives need to be constantly watching content, the best content marketing is the best content full stop.

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