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

The Comox Valley Seniors Village and Casa Loma communities planted a tree on Earth Day - April 22, 2021. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Going green – and pink – for Earth Day

The Comox Valley Seniors Village and Casa Loma communities planted a tree to honour the day

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

Col. Bryn Elliott is the new wing commander of 19 Wing Comox. Photo submitted
New wing commander at 19 Wing Comox

The ceremony was presided over virtually by the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.

Comox council voted to change the speed limit from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr along a stretch of Lazo Road. Photo submitted
Speed limit change coming to Lazo Road in Comox

Racing, pedestrian safety issues presented to council

The new childcare centre on Denman Island opened in April. Photo, Comox Valley Schools
New Denman Island childcare facility opens

The facility offers 20 new licensed care spaces

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read