The Views: Parties, Parodies and Pens
Some trends on YouTube seem to make no sense. Despite the relaxing sounds and tingles of ASMR and unboxings, the fame that these types of content creators get seems strange for doing such easy and achievable tasks. On the other hand, other content creators become popular for doing things that everyday people cannot. For example- buying the world’s most expensive pen. Viewers watch these types of videos knowing that they will never have to spend $10,300 on a single pen, but can join in on the fun of the purchase. In the end, all the buyer now has is a very pretty pen that they will most likely not use due to the fear of breaking it.
The YouTube channel, ZHC is very familiar with this trend of spending thousands of dollars for a single fifteen-minute long video. In the past, the channel has bought the world’s most expensive colored pencils from Louis Vuitton or paid artists exorbitant prices to finish his drawings. Centered around expensive art supplies, buying the world’s most expensive pen seemed to be a natural progression. This trend feeds into the viewer’s desire to purchase these expensive, somewhat useless items themselves, hence why ZHC has over two million subscribers with each video receiving anywhere from one to twelve million views. ZHC targets a specific kind of viewer wishing to spend thousands of dollars daily. The focus on art supplies set the channel apart from other unboxers or rich YouTubers who buy designer goods for a thousand dollar meals for content. It almost justifies the views for the honest and thorough review of the supplies and many calming and satisfying handwriting shots. This trend will never die as long as people enjoy watching others live a life they wish they did. As people continually hope and strive for something better, a flaunty channel like ZHC will continue to grow and grow.
The beauty community is so oversaturated with drama that it becomes difficult to figure out who to “stan” and who remains “unproblematic.” Also, in such a white-dominated community, viewers of color struggle to find a beauty guru who relates to the challenge of matching foundation and finding POC friendly products. Desi Perkins has succeeded in avoiding scandals in her six years on YouTube and her three million subscribers agree. She honestly talks about struggling in life as well as in makeup, such as the challenge of finding her perfect nude lipstick (spoiler alert: she created it). She also often takes breaks from makeup tutorial videos, which have since become tried and overdone on YouTube, to give her subscribers updates about her life, film packing and organizational videos or in this case, interview her mother and aunt, who is known to Desi and her fans as simply “Tia,” while sipping wine and applying face masks.
The three ladies speak to their skincare secrets, especially Tia whose skin remains youthful and bright at age ninety. The video is completely lighthearted and good-natured among targeted hate videos and negative product reviews that overpopulate the beauty side of YouTube. Desi continues to make positive content (in both English and Spanish) that cannot help but give viewers hope for the future of beauty vloggers. As this video continues to climb the trending page and rake in hundreds of thousands of views, it continues to earn every single one.
Comedy continues to prove its relevance on YouTube. Whether in the form of commentary or reaction videos or scripted skits, comedians find the openness and accessibility of the platform integral to their success in their comedy. Other content creators find their niche elsewhere. For example, Kyle Exum rounded up his two million subscribers through writing parodies of popular songs. Parody videos littered YouTube around ten years ago and the medium seemed to die off fairly quickly. Kyle proves the longevity of the form in his view count, with every video exceeding one million views, some with over ten million.
Kyle Exum finds success in parodying popular songs, to sum up, members of his family. In the most recent installment, Kyle unveils “The Little Brother Rap.” With well thought out lyrics and a catchy beat, Kyle captures the frustrations and struggles of having a little sibling. With common interjections such as “I’m gonna tell mom” and “Do you have any games on your phone,” the song makes all oldest siblings sigh in unison as they remember the few unlovable traits of younger sisters and brothers. It is easy to see that Kyle’s raps take work and he puts thought into every word he writes. With new parody videos every week, he proves himself as a hardworking content creator dedicated to making his viewers laugh (and he does).
In the same realm of viewers watching vloggers buy super expensive products, there is also a huge market on YouTube for content creators to show off their extravagant lives to envious viewers. The channel, This is L&S fit into this category. The channel features Landon and Shyla, a young couple living in Los Angeles who document their everyday life. Recently, the two have been gearing up to become a family channel as they follow Shyla’s pregnancy journey. Their most recent video has been climbing the trending charts as they announce the official gender reveal of their baby. No spoilers, but it definitely is extravagant.
There is nothing down to earth or homey about this couple’s vlogging style. The video begins with drone shots of a huge beach house where the gender reveal party is taking place. Everyone is dressed to the nines. The decor is immaculate. The camera shots look professional. Guests interact in slow motion as dance music blasts. Viewers enter this lavish lifestyle for fifteen minutes as they anticipate the final reveal, which comes in the form of a pink or blue colored Range Rover. The video looks entirely professional and you cannot help but envy their seemingly perfect life. The fear with family channels comes in the form of viewers admiring a certain couple and thinking their lives are perfect and disliking their own life in return. Hopefully, This is L&S’ two million subscribers know the difference between what is shown on camera and was isn’t. Either way, Landond & Shyla clearly know how to film and edit videos. With flashy titles and thumbnails and professional-grade video content, their high viewership is extremely warranted.