In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the most popular YouTube channel types. What makes them successful & can you start a YouTube channel in 2021 & be successful?
YouTube is an interesting platform, having constantly changed and developed throughout its years. Having started in 2005, it’s come a long way from the first video at the zoo. The videos & quality of videos has changed drastically, with technology & professionals moving onto the network. With over 1.5 billion active users every month & over a billion hours of videos watched every day, YouTube is still expanding & growing at an incredible rate of 20% per year!
The big question regarding YouTube is whether can you start a YouTube channel in 2021 & be successful?
Let’s get straight to it. Yes, you can. There are hundreds of millions of new people joining YouTube every year. These are potential new viewers, subscribers & possibly even customers or sponsors.
Now you may be eager to get started with YouTube but you’re not sure how exactly to get started. For this reason, we’re going to highlight 20 of the most popular YouTube channel types that you can start today! Grab some inspiration, see what speaks to you, and create something incredible. 😉
Some of YouTube’s classics are still going strong, but a lot of these Channel types may come as a complete surprise to you!
YouTube was once dominated by gaming channels. At one point, even channels that were in completely different niches set up their own gaming channels to ride the popularity wave. It’s safe to say that wave has died down, but dedicated gaming channels are going as strong as ever.
With gaming channels being eligible for sponsorships & live streaming growing in popularity, monetizing your gaming channel is becoming easier. The most popular types of gaming channels are commentary let’s play. These are, as the name suggests, play through gaming with entertaining commentary.
There are many popular gaming channels to draw your inspiration from, Markiplier is one of the most popular.
2. Make-up & Beauty
Beauty channels focus primarily on make-up & skincare. With their expertise, they offer viewers detailed tutorials to attain certain looks, or how to use certain products for the best results. They cover their daily makeup routines & give an insight to both make-up novices & experts alike.
The popularity of beauty YouTubers means that makeup brands often reach out to them in order to reach their target markets. These YouTubers are seen as trendsetters & often products that they feature become very popular.
Zoella is one of the most successful beauty YouTubers.
3. Reviews & Unboxing
Technology may be the niche that comes to mind when you’re thinking about reviews & unboxing channels. There is a wide variety of other niches that it could be applicable to. The interest in review & unboxing channels for viewers is to gauge whether a specific product will be worthwhile purchasing.
These are most popular with tech channels, smartphones, computers & cameras being some of the most popular products reviewed. There are niche markets, however, and Wranglerstar is a great example of this. By reviewing primarily tools his channel receives millions of views and the rest of his channel content is also outdoors-related so he doesn’t turn away many subscribers.
Unboxing is another aspect of a review channel that deserves to be a topic all on its own. These typically show what you get when you purchase and highlights some of the main features of the product without going into too much detail in that particular video.
Unbox Therapy has revolutionized the way high-quality unboxings are done with his backgrounds, camera angles & humor.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) was, & still is, one of the fastest-growing niches on YouTube. ASMR refers to the soothing sensation felt when someone brushes their fingertips lightly over your skin or whispers softly in your ear. YouTubers with ASMR channels cover various topics and can even combine their topics with other niches like make-up and how-to. The main attraction, however, is the soothing sounds & imagery used by these YouTubers to relax their viewers.
Some of the most popular ASMR channels have over 1 million YouTube subscribers, with ASMR Darling being one of the most viewed.
Vlogging is a portmanteau of video & blogging. The whole concept revolves around filming and bringing viewers along with you on everyday experiences.
Daily vlogging is very popular, with good vloggers becoming part of viewers’ daily routine.
Good vloggers are capable of capturing normal events and turning them into “wish I was there” moments.
Vlogging became popular with Casey Neistat’s interpretation of the daily vlog. Casey uses his background in professional filming to create high-quality videos. He takes the time to set up shots & create epic B-roll to enhance his video quality. He’s also incredibly consistent, which is one of the main success factors on YouTube.
6. Health & Fitness
These channels share healthy diets, fitness, and exercise routines with their audience. Some upload full-length workouts, whilst others post short clips of exercises you can do at home or at the gym. These YouTubers are either fitness professionals teaching you how to live a healthy lifestyle or people that are sharing their fitness journey with the world.
FitnessBlender is one of the most popular channels, posting regular fitness workouts you can follow along with at home.
Prank & challenge channels are popular for their entertainment value. These channels push boundaries and follow trends. Often found to be tricking family & friends or eating weird things, these channels attempt to shock & humor their viewers.
Roman Atwood is not only one of the most successful prank channels, but he’s also one of the most financially successful YouTubers.
Music channels can take many forms on YouTube. Singers, songwriters, choreographers & dancers are all apart of this category. Singers and songwriters produce their own original compositions or cover popular pieces. Some even create parodies of popular songs, like Malinda Kathleen Reese.
Choreographers & dancers create dance routines & tutorials and share these on their channels.
Lindsey Stirling is a popular violinist & dancer with over 10 million YouTube subscribers.
YouTube is a great medium to create or launch a music career, numerous stars have gotten their big break from the platform, most notably, Justin Bieber.
These channels can fall into a range of topics and branch into other categories, like Malinda Kathleen Reese that uses parody/comedy on her music channel… Or is it a parody/comedy channel that uses music? 😉
The main objective of these channels is to get their audience to laugh. Simon’s cat falls into the comedy side of things. This animated channel creates skits that all cat owners will enjoy.
Tutorial channels show you how to do things. YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine in the world. Second, only to Google, and even there a lot of the time YouTube videos will be presented in your search results. YouTube tutorials are visual, which can make them easier to follow along with and to judge if you’re doing something correctly.
There are a wide variety of tutorial channels out there if you’re looking for great graphic design & Adobe CC tutorials check out Nathaniel Dodson’s channel Tutvid.
11. How-to & DIY
How-to & DIY channels are similar to tutorial channels in that they show their audience how to achieve something. These channels are more targeted at creating things & teaching you about how to do something, whereas tutorials are more of your step-by-step guides. These can of course also overlap.
These channels present their viewers with information in an engaging and interesting way. These can also be inspirational channels that teach through experiences.
13. Commentary (book, movie, etc.)
Book and movie reviews are becoming more and more popular and on YouTube. Pointing out aspects of books that readers may have missed, highlighting narratives and for movies, even analyzing the videography of the film. These channels reach out to both people with an interest in literature & film as well as those for the specific book or film title.
CinemaSins take a unique approach to film reviews by pointing out everything they find wrong with popular movies.
Sports channels generally require one thing, a sporting talent. You may be quite funny though and still get away with it, but the sporting ability is normally a prerequisite. 😉
The guys over at Dude Perfect are a great example of a mix of humor and talent, however, they’ve even leveraged their massive following on YouTube to get their own TV show.
Compilation channels are usually short clips from other creator’s videos, put together to create the best of video. These could fall into all sorts of categories, from comedy or gaming to even conspiracy & creepy.
A good example of creepy compilations can be found over at Chills’ channel.
Compilation channels have seemingly always been one of the most popular YouTube channel types, are you going to start one of your own?
News and journalism channels on YouTube have gained in popularity, but thanks to some of the new rules around monetization on YouTube, channels that focus on political news & sensitive subjects have had to find alternative sources of monetization.
Other forms of news channels are thriving, however, with gossip channels also falling into this category. Even if you are planning on focusing on current events, Philip DeFranco is an excellent example of how you can still be successful on YouTube.
Lifestyle channels are generally not limited to one specific niche. These creators share aspects of their daily life whilst forming a community on their channels. Often collaborating with other YouTubers, these channels can become very popular if you find the right audience for your personality.
You’ll find a lot of channels turn into lifestyle channels when they become popular. For some, this works as their personality is what brought viewers to their channel. Whereas others find the transition difficult, as their viewers came to their channel for the niche-specific content.
I may have already mentioned Zoella as a make-up & beauty channel, but if you go through some of her videos you’ll notice there is quite a lot of videos that are more lifestyle-related than beauty.
Recipes & guides for creating some of the most delicious meals and treats on the internet. These channels show you how to make everything from boiling water to the crème de la crème of fine cuisine.
One of my personal favorites and one of the fastest-growing channels on YouTube is Binging with Babish. On his channel, Andrea shows you exactly how to create some of the most appetizing meals that you may have come across on your favorite TV shows or films.
These channels combine information with entertainment to create engaging and enlightening videos. These channels don’t really on humor as their main form of entertainment, inside they provide interesting facts & historical events you’ve never heard of. It doesn’t do them any harm if they throw some charismatic humor into the equation, however. 😉
With the increased affordability of high-quality camera gear, YouTube is taking a larger part of travelers’ planning. Travel channels take their audience to a wide variety of places, some of the most exotic of places or to those hidden gems that you didn’t know are right in your backyard.
Some travel channels take their viewers in the form of vlogs, whilst others present their travels in high-quality highlight videos. Lost LeBlanc provides a mix of both of these forms whilst uploading regularly. Sam Kolder is another popular Travel Influencer.
You’ve seen the most popular YouTube channel types, now the real question is, what type of YouTube channel are you going to make? Let me know.
If you want to start a YouTube channel, or already have a YouTube channel, then you need to know YouTube SEO to get your videos to the top of search results.
If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone that’ll also find it useful. Share the course too, it’s time to grow on YouTube.
As always, drop any YouTube related questions in the comments below & I’ll do my best to answer them.
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