Back when Youtube started in 2005, videos of parodies and the cinnamon challenge flooded the website. Short videos were very popular, with Youtube wanting more and more clicks per clip uploaded. –Until 2012, when Youtube decided to start changing its ranking algorithm to watch time.
To get videos onto the recommended screen on Youtube’s home page, the video has to be more than ten minutes. This has caused creators to make less interesting content because they are more focused on how long their videos turn out to be.
This included renowned creator, Shane Dawson. Dawson was one of the first youtubers to gain popularity on the site. He posted edgy videos and parody content when he started, but then moved to videos of him trying weird food combinations or him trying popular internet trends.
This was all until 2018, when Dawson moved onto doing documentary style videos. He would take an internet personality and talk with them about what they were going to. His most popular one to date was his one with Jeffree Star back in August 2018 where Dawson talked with him about the beauty industry Star runs. Dawson has also done videos on Youtubers like Tana Mongeau, Jake Paul, Grav3yardgirl, and Eugenia Cooney in the past.
These videos are not taken for granted. Most of these videos earn up to 20 million views each, and the first ‘episode’ of his Jeffree Star series earning 45 million views. Dawson has now started his second series with Star called “The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star.” This series dives deep into the life of a beauty mogul with Dawson starting his own makeup line with Star’s brand, Jeffree Star Cosmetics.
With success comes criticism, which Dawson is no stranger to. Dawson made a documentary on Youtuber, Jake Paul, which goes into detail about if Paul is a sociopath or not. Hate flooded his comments, talking about his videos were too long and that they were stretched out into many episodes so that Dawson could make more profit.
But this is not the case at all. Documentary style videos are coming to Youtube, and is changing the site in the best way possible. Instead of ten minutes of mediocre videos being pumped out per week, creators like Shane Dawson are taking months to produce high quality videos on the lives of other famous influencers.
In my opinion, I would much rather wait a few months for a nine part series that is high quality than fluff pieces put on channels for extra content. It’s like a short series on television, but you can watch whenever and wherever you want because it is on your phone. Also, these videos tend to be so much more interesting than other content on Youtube.
My favorite thing about these documentary videos is that they are really long. These are great because I can watch them on the weekends with little interruption and they keep my attention every time I watch. Also these type of videos are very beneficial for Youtube’s platform. These videos brings more watch time to the site which means more ad revenue for the creator and for Youtube’s company.
Overall, documentary series are taking Youtube by storm. These videos are not only beneficial to Youtube’s website, but very interesting to watch and better quality than ten minute videos every other creator puts out.