Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)

What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Were you glued to your screen in the early months of the pandemic? Or are you still?

Well, you’re not alone, according to YouTube trends expert Zaitoon Murji.

“We definitely saw more people come to YouTube this year to deep dive into issues,” Murji told Black Press Media by phone.

“What we saw, mostly, is that Canadians came to YouTube for content that met a specific personal need.”

The top three reasons? To laugh, learn a new skill or to stay informed about what was happening around the world in 2020.

The year’s top video certainly reflects the abundance of time that many Canadians had as they locked down, isolated and tried to get through the pandemic.

“The top video this year was an eight-part Ninja Warrior course to prevent squirrels from getting into a bird feeder,” Murji said.

“That might not be the type of video someone might make when they didn’t have so much time on their hands.”

That video, recorded by former NASA engineer Mark Rober, has had more than 50 million views since it was posted near the end of May.

The third video on YouTube’s list of top trending videos was a parody video of a phrase that has made it onto masks, T-shirts and into the collective Canadian imagination this year.

That video was “actually a parody video someone made from a press conference of Prime Minister Trudeau,” Murji said.

That phrase?

“Speaking moistly,” Trudeau said, perhaps not on purpose, during a press conference in April.

“It was an example of people trying to find humour in a really serious moments,” Murji added.

The second video on the list of trending ones was, perhaps to no surprise to many, about gaming.

“This was a very big year for gamers,” she said. While streaming replaced what may have been live events in a pre-pandemic world, it also met another need: connection.

“Watching different creators do different gaming runs and then being able to implement or practice your own at home with that free time you did have.”

But some of the viewing took a more serious turn. A Dave Chappelle video titled simply “8:46” came out in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police and in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests.

“It’s an example of the ways Canadians were looking to learn more about racial justice this year,” Murji said.

But while Canadians were watching a lot more videos, they were also trying to not spend their whole year on their couches, and no YouTube creator demonstrates that more than MadFit, whose channel grew exponentially in 2020.

Also known as Maddie Lymburner, the Ontario-based creator got people moving, grooving and doing their squats in 2020.

“She really took her channel and adapted it so that she was able to provide her online community with what they needed,” Murji said.

“Whether that was doing workouts in a condo-sized space or trying a workout at with home products… knowing that most people didn’t have workout equipment at home.”

And as the pandemic continues for its ninth month, Murji said there’s been a bit of a shift in the videos blowing up on YouTube.

“Earlier this year, we saw a lot of ‘workout with me, cook with me, clean with me,’ that was really strong on the platform,” she said.

“The way we saw that change a little bit is it turns into ‘find a way with me… find a way to cope with me, find a way to meditate with me.’ It shifted a little bit in that the need for connection became even stronger.”

ALSO READ: Sorry, Grinch. Virus won’t stop NORAD from tracking Santa


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusYouTube

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley MP Tako van Popta visited Aldergrove's Return-It Depot to commend owner Sung Kim on the oil collection project. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Langley MP commends Aldergrove Return-It Depot’s environmental efforts

Oil collection has been occuring at the facility since December through the help of a grant

Police were called to the scene of 198A Street and 81st Avenue on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Possible shots fired on Langley/Surrey border Thursday evening

Police had one vehicle towed and gathered evidence at the scene

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Agates like these are up for auction on Jan. 27 at Aldergrove’s Able Auctions site. (Able Auctions/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Gems and geodes up for auction in Aldergrove

The auction has everything from diamonds to amber

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
WEATHER: Flurries in the forecast for Sunday

Langley could see snow throughout the week starting Jan. 23

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

Most Read