Gambling has become ‘a main part of pop culture’, says expert

YouTube trending expert Madeline Buxton joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss several of the platform’s top creators and the most popular types of content.

Video transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: I know it may come as a surprise, but the top trending YouTube video of 2021 isn’t of a meme stock influencer breaking down their next big trade. No, it’s a young man with 76 million YouTube subscribers who buries himself alive for 50 hours. wow.

Madeline Buxton is a YouTube trending expert and is joining us now. Madeline, nice to see you. So, as I just mentioned, this video from someone who calls himself MrBeast is truly one of the best videos of this year. What is the secret sauce? Why does this guy keep making these hits?

MADELINE BUXTON: Absoutely. Best video of the year. And MrBeast is also our number one top creator for the second year in a row. And I think there are a few factors at play here.

First, he’s been known for creating these really extravagant, often ultra-charity videos where he donates big bucks. And I think people tune in because they want to see – like in this video where he buries himself alive, they want to see what the outcome is. They are drawn to this challenge.

But the other element here is that MrBeast is a really, really savvy businessman. He has grown his YouTube presence across multiple channels. And he has really made a name for himself with his online presence and his offline presence. He started his own MrBeast Burger offline business this year and is really building his brand.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, that’s what interests me so much about these guys. It’s not just some kind of random stuff they do. It’s sort of calculated. They– through a lot of trial and error, they find out what’s going to happen and what the people are–

MADELINE BUXTON: Exactly.

JULIE HYMAN: –attracted to. What are some of the – you mentioned some of the genres, on the right, that he buried himself alive. He does these charitable things. What are some of the emerging genres or types of videos that have become really popular this year?

MADELINE BUXTON: The big one we’ve seen break through is gaming content. If you look at our top 10 videos, we have several gaming videos. Our list of top creators has several game creators. And what we’re seeing is that the game is really evolving to really become a main part of pop culture.

And what might have started as “let’s play” videos, where creators just film themselves playing a game, has really evolved into this elaborate storytelling platform, where if you look at something like the Dream SMP , which was this universe where the players in “Minecraft” were building these elaborate scenarios and building these really involved narratives, it drew people in in a different way and just evolved the narrative.

BRIAN SOZZI: Madeline, I know there are people watching this and they’re like, wow, you know what? I will stop investing in the stock market this year. I will devote all my time and resources to creating a YouTube channel. Help them earn money. How to create a successful YouTube channel in 2022?

MADELINE BUXTON: I think the best way to start right now is really to get started with short content. We see our shorts platform growing like crazy. And it’s a great place for casual creation because it’s so easy to create those videos right from your phone, really mobile-friendly. And getting into the game that way, I think, is the way to go.

JULIE HYMAN: And for people who don’t know him as well, remind us how people make all that money. Someone like Jeffree Star– who I believe, what, is a makeup artist, isn’t he? How YouTube–

MADELINE BUXTON: Yes.

JULIE HYMAN: How do the views translate to making a living for these people? So there are two different components. One is the component on the platform, where creators make money from ads, where they monetize their channels, which they can do once they reach a certain number of subscribers.

The other thing is that a lot of these creators have really built their businesses offline. So they have derivative products, their own brands that they sell. They go on tour. They write books. So they have really evolved to have both online and offline presence.

BRIAN SOZZI: Is there a new designer emerging, Madeline, that we need to watch out for?

MADELINE BUXTON: A new creator emerging– I would say Dream. He’s a video game creator who was on our list of emerging creators last year. He is on our list of top creators this year. And he’s one of those creators who really drives that in-game storytelling experience.

JULIE HYMAN: Okay, well, my kids are…would recommend some of the Mark Robers. We watched the squirrel video this weekend.

MADELINE BUXTON: Oh yes.

JULIE HYMAN: I don’t know if you are aware of this.

MADELINE BUXTON: [LAUGHS] It’s good. Yes, the obstacle course. That’s wonderful.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, it’s a lot of fun and kind of educational, too, surprisingly enough.

MADELINE BUXTON: Absolutely, absolutely.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. All right, Madeline, thank you very much. Madeline Buxton is a YouTube trending expert. Check out some of these best videos on YouTube. Some of them are surprisingly entertaining and educational.

Raymond T. Helms