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

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

That’s Houston physician Dr. Stefanie Steel receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Jan. 19, 2021 from RN nurse manager Cindy Cockle. (Northern Health photo)
First Houston vaccinations take place

Long term care residents, health care workers on list

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

COVID-19 exposure reported at Houston Secondary. (Houston Today photo)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Houston Secondary School

Self-monitoring for symptoms encouraged

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Most Read