Celebrate National Cat Day with YouTube’s Most Popular Felines

October 28, 2016

October 29 is National Cat Day, which means it’s the perfect moment to reflect on one of the most important memes in YouTube’s canon. Who are the most popular cats on YouTube? Have YouTube viewers tired of watching cute kittens? Are cats more popular than dogs?

We’ve crunched the numbers to deliver answers to these momentous questions.

Have we achieved peak cat?

Fans of felines can rest easy: according to figures dating back to 2007, cats are as popular as ever.

  • Weekly views of cat videos have grown by over 10,000% since early 2007 
  • Dec 2009 - “Surprised Kitty” video finds huge popularity online 
  • May 2011 - A video of a cat hugging her kitten goes viral 
  • May 2014 - Video of the family cat saving a boy from a dog is covered by media outlets across the world

The Most Popular Cat on YouTube is…

To no surprise of YouTube’s cat enthusiasts, the most popular channel, by cat-related video views, is dedicated to Simon’s Cat. For years, creator Simon Tofield has illustrated a web series about his cat, inspired, in large part, by the real-life version of Simon’s cat, named Hugh. At the time of writing, the channel has amassed over 4 million subscribers.

Simon’s Cat in “Cat Man Do” has received over 58 million views
Here's the full list:

(Check out their channels here: Simon's Cat, mugumogu, ignoramusky, Talking Kitty Cat, かご猫 Blog)

Cats vs. Dogs

There are few rivalries that can match that of cats vs. dogs. And, despite the popular belief that YouTube is only an archive of cat videos, dogs seem to be the more popular of the two on YouTube. Views over the past two years seem to suggest that this trend is going to continue.

As YouTube continues to grow as a destination for filmmakers, chefs, and educators, there is a simple joy that cat videos still provide in 2016.
Over the past 11 years, YouTube has given us the chance to melt over friendships like Oskar the blind cat and Klaus, develop existential crises from Henri’s life musings, and celebrate the personality of the late Colonel Meow, the 2014 Guinness World Record holder for the cat with the longest fur.
Though the future may soon be dog driven, both YouTube’s founding fathers — Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat, and Lil Bub — and their digital legacy will remain very much feline.

Halloween ‘16: Clown Sightings, Harley Quinn Costumes, and Other Trends

October 26, 2016

Whether it’s decorations or costumes, YouTubers take Halloween very seriously. As big fans of the holiday, we’ve been closely watching the biggest Halloween trends of 2016.

Clown Sightings

Prior to this year, the fear of clowns was a relatively niche phobia that served more as a topic for humor than a widespread phenomenon. Yet this fall, we’ve observed a sudden increase in clown-related content on YouTube:

The impetus for this trend? Clown sightings. YouTubers have been uploading footage of solitary clowns frightening passersby in droves, and as news of these unnerving encounters has spread, so have views of clown-related videos.

Although bizarre clown sightings are reported as far back as 2014, their sharp increase only goes back to late August this year. The real peak, however, occurred on October 15th, after hundreds of news stories.

Harley Quinn, ‘The Purge,’ and Clown Costumes

As clowns have become prominent, so too have clown costumes: “clown” has become one of the most searched-for costumes on YouTube this October.

Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn

  • Costumes inspired by this year’s video games, such as “Overwatch” (released in May ‘16) and “Five Nights At Freddy’s” (the latest installment of which was released this October), are also in the top 10.

Other Halloween 2016 Trends

Halloween’s Biggest Hits

October 24, 2016

Holidays have unique soundtracks. Christmas has Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” while Valentine’s Day sees play bumps for Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” and Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply.”

But what about Halloween? To find out what’s played as we celebrate the most ghoulish day of the year, we dug into the data for tracks with the highest increase in plays on October 31 compared to a song’s average the rest of the year.

Songs That Receive the Greatest View Increases on Halloween

All songs on this list receive at least 10k average daily views throughout the year and received at least 2x the number of views on Halloween than they do on all other days in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

In first place: the timeless "Monster Mash," recorded by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt Kickers in 1962.

Geographic Trends in Gaming: Who Plays What, Where?

October 10, 2016

Gaming, often touted as being larger than Hollywood, is an international phenomenon, with a sprawling YouTube community. We’ve been publishing a monthly list of the games trending globally for some time, but recently got to wondering: are there distinct geographic quirks to gaming on YouTube? Is everyone, everywhere, watching Minecraft videos? Or do some countries have a preference for a unique title?

To find out, we selected the 251 countries with the highest gaming viewership by watchtime on YouTube in 2016. Then, we examined which games consistently made the top 25 most-popular games in each country. Here’s what we found:

  • To no one’s surprise, there are only two games that appear on the most-popular lists of all 25 countries: Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Of the two, Minecraft is the more popular, at #1 everywhere apart from Vietnam and Thailand. Even there, it only slips so far as #2.
  • There are also two games that are popular in nearly every country’s top 25: Pokemon Go, which makes the most-watched list everywhere apart from Russia, and Five Nights at Freddy’s, which is popular in every country we looked at apart from Taiwan and Japan.

We also examined games that were uniquely popular in each country — that is, which games appeared on the most-popular list of one country, but not others? Ten games, which you can see below, made the cut:

  • Due to the tremendous popularity of football in North America, Madden NFL ‘16 takes the #1 spot in the U.S. It’s also the only sports game on the list.
  • Three of the games had strong RPG elements (e.g., Puzzles & Dragons in Japan, Tower of Saviors in Taiwan, Dofus in France).

-- Posted by the YouTube Culture & Trends Team

1 Countries included: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, Great Britain, Indonesia, India, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States, Vietnam