A quick look on Shane Dawson’s Social Blade right now will show you that he’s absolutely smashing it. Shane has been creating YouTube videos for 10 years but his recent documentary series (especially the current series on Jake Paul) has resulted in his subscriber count going up… and up… and up.
Shane currently has over 18 million subscribers. A recent episode of his Jake Paul series gained over 7 million views in 24 hours, which is incredible. This suggests that his YouTube channel has a very dedicated viewership that is threatening mainstream television. Yet, only a couple years ago Shane Dawson’s channel was slowly dying, with low video views.
By creating a TV style series on his YouTube channel, Shane has done something drastically different to other YouTube creators. We feel like this is exactly what needed to happen on YouTube.
Vloggers such as PointlessBlog and Zoella have been losing viewers recently due to audiences growing up and becoming bored of this style of content. The quality of YouTube creators content has improved massively recently, who would want to watch a video of someone doing their weekly shop at Tesco when they could watch a high quality short film on the site? With the addition of the rise in popularity of streaming sites such as Netflix, something big needed to happen on YouTube to keep viewers on the website.
PointlessBlog’s recent videos compared to Shane’s recent videos, just look at the difference in views.
Instead of just making videos about his life. Shane has created gossip style celebrity entertainment videos that create conversation, viewers are made to wait a few days between the episodes and can’t wait to see more. Shane has created an anticipation for his content that any Hollywood documentary director would be proud of.
Shane's documentary series started with a series where he confronted his abusive relationship with his Father. He then chose to focus on other online celebrities and made series featuring Tana Mongeau, Jefferre Star and his most recent series, featuring Jake Paul. In the Jake Paul series, Shane has been exploring if YouTube Stars are sociopaths but in turn has uncovered a more genuine side of Jake Paul.
Youtube culture in 2017 and 2018 has become all about extremism, which is why the Paul brothers have become so popular. With the site becoming so saturated with content, only the most extreme pranks and controversial topics will gain an audience.
Shane is tapping into this, but whilst exploring the topic has in turn changed what has become most popular on YouTube. He's basically made a series exploring why the Paul brothers are so popular, and in turn has become the most popular channel on YouTube.
Shane Dawson has become an online phenomenon. His new content is heavily influenced by popular mainstream shows such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians, with an editing style that competes with Television. Shane is warm, loving and relatable to his audience, a stark contrast with other popular YouTubers who have become arrogant celebrities due to their online fame.
But has he outgrown YouTube?
It will be interesting to see if Shane will stay on YouTube or will move his content onto a mainstream platform such as Netflix. Using social media to share his content, Shane has created a community in which viewers can interact with each other and with Shane in the comments of his video and on his other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. Editing episodes of his series in real time, Shane has been able to incorporate this feedback into the episodes and shape the content of the videos based on his audience’s opinions. This interaction is not possible on streaming platforms like Netflix.
We think that Shane Dawson has shaped the future of YouTube. Creators will start to create long form video series, with Netflix style marketing that create an anticipation for when the next episode will be posted.
Shane’s recent content is of such a high quality that it really raises the bar of what people should be creating on YouTube. Viewers are now expecting a lot more from YouTubers to encourage them to keep watching. Shane also encourages YouTube creators to show a more genuine side of themselves and communicate with their audience, this is something that has been lost recently due to the rise of online celebrities.
This means that if your brand wants to focus on creating YouTube content you need to spend a lot more time on it! Viewers are now expecting a lot more, your videos need to be long, well edited and leave your audience wanting more.
You need to also really think about who your target audience is and what they will enjoy most from you in a video. Think about the current trends within this target market and how you can incorporate this into your content. Shane really knows who his audience is and has consistently kept up with current trends over the years, another reason for his YouTube success.
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