The Art of Discoverability

YouTube is one of the most popular social media and video sharing platforms out there today, and it can also be a great way for businesses of all sizes to reach a wider audience and grow their revenue. 

YouTube has revolutionized the way people watch and share videos online. Founded in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees, YouTube quickly gained popularity, becoming the go-to source for all types of video content. 

With billions of active users, YouTube offers a vast library of content catering to diverse interests and preferences. From educational videos and music videos to product reviews and how-to tutorials, it offers something for everyone.

In fact, YouTube is the second-most visited website globally.

But how do you get discovered on YouTube? How can you make sure people are finding and engaging with your content? And what do viewers really want on YouTube? What are people watching on YouTube in 2023?

We’re taking a look at the latest YouTube watch trends so you can stay informed about the best types of content to create. Your target audience may have unique interests, but chances are, you can pick a few categories from the list below to increase views and engagement.

YouTube’s Trending Tab

Before we show you some of the most popular categories of YouTube video content, we want to give you some tips on how you can do your own research. This is because YouTube viewing trends changes constantly, so it will be helpful for you to be educated about how to find trending stuff. 

First, the best place to find out what people are watching on YouTube is to—you guessed it—head over to YouTube! When in doubt, go to the source. 

On YouTube’s main page, scroll down a bit and on the left hand side you’ll see an “Explore” section. And the very first subsection is called “Trending.” Click on this and you will be taken to a YouTube page that shows the latest trending videos and topics.

YouTube’s Trending Tab

Here is a list of the main categories on the trending page:

  • Now
  • Music
  • Gaming 
  • Movies

Think of the “Now” category a little like the news. It’s a snapshot in time of all the current events that are trending right now.

YouTube also sometimes features a “Creator on the Rise” at the top of “Trending.” They also have “Trending Shorts,” which are popular short-form videos. (To learn how to leverage short-form YouTube videos in your marketing plan, check out our top tips for creating bite-sized content.)

Browsing this “Trending” section will give you a good sense of what is popular on YouTube during any given time period. It’s a good idea for anyone who has a Youtube channel to look over the trending content to get ideas for their own channel.

Now let’s look at some of the categories of content people are watching.

1. Music Videos

Music Videos

Even though the days of MTV are pretty much over, music videos are still being produced and watched. 

Music videos are actually one of the most popular types of videos on YouTube. Musicians and artists across genres regularly release their official music videos on YouTube, attracting millions of views and likes. 

Music videos give fans a chance to connect with their favorite artists visually, enhancing the overall experience of the songs.

2. Unboxing Videos and Product Reviews

People love to watch someone review a product or unbox something. It gives them the chance to see what it’s like to buy something before they actually spend the money. 

These videos give viewers a detailed look at various products, giving potential buyers a better understanding of the features and functionality. 

It’s not hard to understand why product review videos are so compelling. It’s largely due to their authenticity. Unlike scripted commercials or promotional materials from big-name corporations, these videos provide genuine and unbiased opinions from individuals who have actually used the product. This transparency allows viewers to get a better and more realistic understanding of the product.

And product reviews often include demonstrations and comparisons, giving viewers a visual representation of how the product works and performs in real-life situations. This hands-on approach can help a lot when potential buyers are assessing the product’s functionality and usability.

Finally, YouTube product reviews can bring a greater sense of community and trust. Viewers can… 

  • Leave their own comments
  • Interact with the reviewer
  • Ask questions
  • Share their own experiences
  • Engage in discussions with the content creator and fellow viewers 

All this back-and-forth exchange of information makes the decision-making process that much easier and enjoyable for people.

3. Haul Videos

Somewhat related to product reviews and unboxing videos, haul videos have also become popular. 

These videos feature content creators showcasing their recent purchases—whether it’s clothing, makeup, home decor, or even groceries. Haul videos offer viewers a sneak peek into others’ shopping experiences and provide inspiration for their own future purchases.

For a lot of people, haul videos are also a form of entertainment and escapism. They can indulge in the excitement of shopping vicariously through the content creator, without having to spend any money themselves! They can also see the latest trends, fashion hauls, or beauty product releases all in one place, making it easier for them to stay up-to-date with what’s hot in the market.

4. Gaming


Obviously YouTube has also become a massive online space for gamers. Video game walkthroughs, let’s play videos, tutorials, and streaming have become a genre of their own on the platform. Gamers can tune in to watch skilled players in action, learn strategies, and immerse themselves in the virtual worlds of their favorite games.

With their immersive gameplay, stunning graphics, and interesting narratives, video games have the power to transport players into new worlds and provide endless hours of entertainment.

Whether you’re a fan of action-packed shooters, strategic role-playing games, or immersive open-world adventures, there is a video game out there for everyone. These diverse genres and game types allow players to find something that resonates with their personal interests.

Research has even shown that playing video games can improve cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, and hand-eye coordination. Many games also promote teamwork and social interaction, whether through multiplayer modes or online communities, allowing players to connect with others who share their love for gaming.

Another popular aspect of video games is the competitive scene. Esports, or competitive video gaming, has gained immense popularity, with professional players competing in tournaments and leagues for substantial prizes. This growing industry has given rise to a new form of entertainment, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch their favorite teams and players battle it out in intense matches.

With the advent of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, video game content creators have found a new avenue to engage with their audience and showcase their skills. Gamers can now watch their favorite streamers play live or catch up on recorded gameplay videos, providing an interactive and immersive experience. This has created a community of passionate gamers who bond over their shared love for gaming and eagerly await new releases and updates.

5. Comedy and Skits

Another popular type of video on YouTube is the ever-entertaining genre of comedy and skits. 

Talented comedians and creators bring their wit and humor through hilarious sketches, pranks, and funny challenges. These videos give viewers a much-needed dose of laughter and entertainment and bring in millions of views.

So if you’re looking for ways to spice up your YouTube channel and bring in more views, you really can’t go wrong by leaning into humor.

6. Educational Videos

Educational videos are another popular type of content found on YouTube. 

From informative documentaries to step-by-step tutorials, online videos offer a wealth of knowledge on various subjects. Users can learn new skills, explore different topics, or gain insights from experts in their respective fields. This type of content appeals to people seeking personal growth and learning opportunities.

Want to learn how to do some cool science experiments for your kids? There’s a video for that.

What about interesting history lessons? YouTube has you covered.

Educational videos on YouTube cover a wide range of subjects, and make learning both engaging and accessible. These videos use multimedia elements like animations, graphics, and real-life examples to present information in a visually appealing and interactive manner.

And it can all be watched on-demand, meaning you don’t have to subscribe to anything to get access to great educational content. And you can watch it on your own time, whenever you want. The on-demand nature of YouTube gives people the ability to personalize their learning experience and explore subjects that traditional education might not cover.

Educational videos typically cater to these groups of people:

  • Students of all ages
  • Homeschoolers
  • Lifelong learners
  • People learning a new language
  • Professionals looking to enhance their skills

When it comes to educational videos, check out channels like TED-Ed, Khan Academy, and National Geographic.

7. How-to Video Tutorials

How-to Video Tutorials

Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill or find a solution to a problem, how-to videos offer a clear and practical approach to tackling various tasks. 

But what makes how-to videos so popular and why are people turning to them as their go-to learning resource?

It’s mostly because of their visual and interactive nature. Unlike written tutorials or guides, videos provide a step-by-step demonstration of the process, making it easier for viewers to follow along. 

For instance, if they’re trying to figure out how to change the oil in their car, they can pause the video at each step or rewind or forward it to different sections. This allows viewers to see the exact techniques and actions required to accomplish a task.

And through SEO (Search Engine Optimization), YouTube has made it super easy to type in whatever you’re looking for and get relevant results. With just a few clicks, viewers can access practical instructional videos on virtually any topic they can think of. Whether it’s learning to play a musical instrument, master a recipe, or fix a leaky faucet, there’s a video tutorial available to guide them through the process. 

How-to videos can also be inspiring and encouraging for people who want to learn new skills. They can stay motivated by watching others who are farther along in the learning journey.

Channels like Tasty, DIY Creators, and Good Mythical Morning offer step-by-step instructions on everything from cooking delicious recipes to creating DIY crafts.

8. Long-Form Video Content

As people’s average attention span goes down, it might seem strange that long-form videos are still popular. But it’s true! 

Long-form video content is a rising trend. Unlike the shorter and snappier videos that dominate platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels or even YouTube Shorts, long-form videos give viewers a deeper and more immersive viewing experience.

Longer videos allow content creators to dive into a topic, cover extensive details, and offer a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. This not only provides value to viewers but also positions the content creator as an expert in their field.

Long-form videos also have the potential to tell captivating stories and evoke strong emotions. With more time available, content creators can develop compelling narratives and take viewers on a journey. This storytelling aspect can be particularly effective in capturing the attention and interest of the audience, leading to higher engagement and longer watch times.

Creators like Casey Neistat and Shane Dawson have mastered the art of storytelling and captivate audiences with their extraordinary videos that often span hours in length.

Something for Everyone

So, what are people watching on YouTube? Pretty much every type of content you can think of.

We’ve seen that YouTube’s content cuts across a wide range of genres. Whether users are looking to learn a new skill, gain knowledge on a specific topic, or be entertained by funny videos, YouTube has it all.

With hours of video content uploaded every minute, YouTube is now an integral part of the online video landscape. Its user-friendly interface, expansive library, and legitimate views make it a preferred platform for Internet users seeking entertainment, education, and everything in between.

But figuring out exactly what types of content to create for your viewers can sometimes be difficult. This is because the type of content you should create to build up your YouTube channel depends on your target audience.

Reach out!

Mastering the wild world of YouTube isn’t easy. If you’re struggling to build up your YouTube channel, and not seeing the kinds of results you would expect, it might be time to get help.

At Raffiti media, we offer multiple different packages to help people just like you level up their YouTube game and grow their business.

Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed about how to build your audience on YouTube or which types of content you should focus on. We can help!

Schedule a free call to learn more and get a customized plan in place for building your YouTube channel.

The Art of Discoverability: What Viewers Really Want on YouTube