YouTube’s 2020-2021 report says it all: the audience is part of the experience

At the opening of the Cannes Lions 2021 international festival on June 21, YouTube unveiled its global report “Culture & Trends”. Here are some of the highlights.

Presented by Kevin Allocca, Head of YouTube Culture & Trends, the report explores the creative trends that have emerged during the turbulent 2020/2021 period and how these trends will impact the future of video. In the face of Covid-19’s health crisis and restriction and containment measures, everyday habits like video usage have changed. New ways of watching videos have emerged such as: watching videos with others, whether physically or in the virtual world, which enhances immediacy and generates a stronger sense of connection (a trend that has been notably manifested in the explosion of livestreamed events: weddings on the Korean collective channel Wootso). Artists have also attracted larger audiences with more intimate performances. “With me” videos garnered more than 2 billion views worldwide in 2020. 

Using multi-sensory media to immerse the audience in an experience has become more popular than ever (ASMR videos, “audio-first”, video podcasts…).

Of note is Dream SMP, also known as “Minecraft Hamilton”, a player-built world and server themed role-playing game with an improvised plot featuring amateur storytellers (Minecraft-related videos with “Dream SMP” in their title have accumulated more than 2 billion views since May 2020, making it the most popular entertainment phenomenon of the past six months). It’s important to remember that participants are now an integral part of the experience, not simply consuming it. 

YouTube also announced the global launch of Ads Creative Studio, a new free Google Ads platform for creatives, to help brands and agencies streamline the creative process and be even more relevant to their audiences. The creative management platform allows users to create, collaborate and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns for display, video or audio formats. Ads Creative Studio will host all of Google’s advertising tools and will be available in beta for early access and testing in the coming weeks. It will be available worldwide at the end of 2021.