In case you spent your entire Friday stuck inside the black hole of the DMV or you chose today to “unplug,” I’m excited to tell you the Supreme Court announced this morning that same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states effective immediately! Within minutes of the decision, YouTube released the video “#ProudtoLove” that is being described by AdWeek as “the perfect video on the historic day of gay rights.” The video is not only a celebration of marriage equality but pays homage to the countless LGBT creators and YouTube users who have influenced the course of this monumental decision. Our team has continued to celebrate this ruling with playlists highlighting influential LGBT creators, emotional same-sex proposals, inspiring coming out videos, advice on how to be an effective LGBT ally, and a music list all about dancing to the beat of your own drum.
Just when we thought Pentatonix had abandoned the YouTube airwaves for a Europe, then Asia, then the United States tour, the a cappella group surprised fans with an “Evolution of Michael Jackson” video that hit 1.8M views in the first 24 hours. The video follows in the footsteps of Pentatonix’s past hits “Evolution of Beyonce” and “Evolution of Music,” which was the video that began PTX’s rise to fame over two years ago. In other PTX news--to keep you in the know with the hip, “Pitch Perfect 2” obsessed kids--the group is at work on their first all-original album, gearing up to tour with Kelly Clarkson, and recently released their first documentary “On My Way Home” on Vimeo.
In under a week, this video of a cat surprising a pilot mid-flight has received over 14M views, driven mostly my viewers curiosity over how the story of this acrobatic kitten will end. While this whiskered hero is certainly the biggest animal video of this week, close contenders in the cuteness category go to these goats and these dachshunds who swallowed their pride, threw on a Minion costume, and danced around for your entertainment. All I can say is, bless them and their thumbless, Minion-like ways.
Vlogger Franchesca Ramsey nails it once again in her popular MTV series “Decoded,” where this week she examines how race plays a huge role in every person’s dating life. While people often see their dating preferences as a personal choice, Ramsey explains in her signature comedic and thought-provoking way all the ways racial bias and stereotypes are subconsciously molding the chemistry we feel for another person. Ramsey has long been known on YouTube for her honest, complex discussions about race. Though she started her YouTube channel Chescaleigh in 2006, it wasn’t until six years later, after the viral upload of her video “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls,” that she began to gain notice in the larger YouTube community. Her candid conversations about race, the LGBT community, self confidence, beauty, and relationships have made her a role model to young girls-- especially young black girls--who see her as not only someone who resembles them but understands the issues they face on a daily basis.
Every June, the gaming industry embarks on its annual pilgrimage to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This year, for the thousands who showed up in person, there were millions who tuned in virtually. New announcements, radical technology, and reveals from much anticipated projects pushed the number of E3-related searches on YouTube to double compared to 2014 - making this the most searched-for E3 on YouTube.
One of the popular questions to ask the week after E3 is “Who won E3?”. With the E3 Trailer Battle, we posed that question to the global gaming audience on YouTube. Sixty-one participating trailers were watched for over 2 million hours from Monday to Friday of E3 week - that’s twice the amount of time people spent watching trailers in last year’s battle. We also received five times the number of votes compared to 2014 and a clear winner emerged.
Congratulations"Fallout 4"! With the most votes, most comments and over 14 million views, this post-apocalyptic masterpiece is something we can’t wait to get our hands on.
From canine companions to dueling lightsabers and beyond, take a look at the five most voted for trailers in YouTube’s E3 Trailer Battle 2015. You can check out all the participating trailers at youtube.com/e3.
Ed Sheeran, you’ve done it again you beautiful dreamboat. This week, after hearing someone performing his song while shopping in a Canadian mall, Sheeran went to investigate, surprising 13-year-old Sydney Bourbeau with an impromptu duet of “Thinking Out Loud.” With 6.6 million views to date, the video shot by Sheeran’s cousin is just one of many capturing the personal, kind deeds of the Irish singer including his wedding performances, duets, and messages to hospitalized superfans. While people didn’t need more of a reason to love Sheeran -- “Thinking Out Loud” has become the wedding song of 2014/2015 and after 36 weeks, still sits on the Billboard top 100 list -- it’s these very down-to-earth, human moments that endear him to his audience.
It’s the combination of this pair’s confusion about Frisbee, coupled with the fact that no one else at the beach seems to appreciate their athleticism, that has lead to this video’s rise to fame. The hilarious video of two Bosnian men engrossed in what they believe to be a game of beach Frisbee has delighted the hearts of nearly 1.5 million viewers who can now take this unique sport and share it with the rest of the world.
After seven years of making short sketches on YouTube, comedy duo Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs have branched into the world of short film with “Ghost Hunting Corporation.” The short follows two best friends who hire a mysterious ghost hunter to evict a messy spirit from their flat. Over the years, Jack and Dean have become huge influences in the U.K. creator community and through YouTube, gone on to host live comedy shows and a BBC radio show. The short is part of the Incubator series from New Form Digital, a studio founded by Ron Howard that assists classes of YouTube filmmakers in producing their dream short films. Nine other filmmakers were part of this class including Wong Fu, Tim H, Ben Cook, and Arden Rose, who each released their own film. The most popular to date among the program has been Kick the PJ’s “Oscar’s Hotel,” which is now in production for a full Vimeo series.
This week, Ingrid Nilsen (Miss Glamorazzi) came out as gay on YouTube in an incredibly emotional video that has already garnered over 3.9 million views. In the video, Nilsen talks candidly about her journey to understand and embrace her sexuality, as well as addressing her past relationships with men -- one of which she frequently shared on her channel. In the past four days, the overwhelming amount of support -- both in traditional media (Time, CNN, Vanity Fair) and online (with comments from John Green, Joey Graceffa, Hannah Hart, Zoella, Alfie Deyes) -- has demonstrated just how fast the conversation around LGBT relationships is changing for the better. Nilsen follows in the footsteps of countless creators, such as the Rhodes Brothers (their January video now stands at 18.8M views), whose coming out experiences have not only been used to inspire LGBT individuals in the same situation, but educate potential allies around the world.
For anyone who has ever had a beef with bees, this video is for you. Comedian Mike Falzone is one of those hidden gems of YouTube who has built a loyal fanbase with videos that epitomize quality over quantity. Looking at the numbers, Falzone would be considered “little YouTube” with just over 122,000 subscribers and 13M views in the past nine years. But like so many other smaller creators (Lex Croucher, Beckie0, Akilah Hughes), Falzone’s influence reaches far beyond his view count, and instead lies in his long run on YouTube and loving fanbase of YouTube power players such as John and Hank Green, Olan Rogers, and SourceFed. He’s also laugh-till-you-snort hilarious, an extremely talented musician, a published author before every YouTuber became a published author, and, as I like to call him, “the Kevin Bacon of YouTube.” It’s a real thing, everyone is in one way or another connected to Mike Falzone.
As a former Los Angeles resident, I think I speak for everyone when I say at one point or another, we’ve all wished we could approach gridlock traffic with a few “Grand Theft Auto” tricks. But, alas, due to a still engaged moral compass, Corridor Digital’s recent viral hit “Grand Theft Auto IRL” is the next best thing. Filmmakers Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer hit a high note with their recent video-game inspired short that has gained over 11M views in four days -- a huge accomplishment even for filmmaking veterans like Corridor. The pair have become known for their studio-level special effects, past collaborations with Freddie Wong (they were roommates), and infinite love of bringing video games to life with popular hits such as The Glitch and Superman With a GoPro.
In recent months, beauty gurus have begun experiencing what is being called “makeup shaming,” a trend in which someone who enjoys wearing makeup is labelled as unfeminist, insecure, conceited, and vain. (For further explanation, see Amy Schumer’s incredible music sketch “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup.”) Popular beauty guru Nikkie Tutorials confronts this trend head on through her video “The Power of Makeup” which has inspired a conversation of over 5,300 comments. In the video, Nikkie walks viewers through her makeup routine while discussing why women are recently ashamed rather than empowered to admit to wearing makeup. With half her face left bare and half made glammed up, Nikkie drives home the point that makeup should be seen as source of expression and confidence that depends on no one’s opinions but your own. “The Power of Makeup” is reminiscent of last year’s “Ray Rice Makeup Tutorial,”“How to Put on Your Face,” and “Honest Makeup Tutorial,” which have made political and social statements through the use of a makeup video.