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2020’s top-trending videos and creators

As the world changed, this is what you were watching.

Living room workouts without any equipment (except maybe a couch). Comedy sketches about at-home haircuts. Virtual graduation ceremonies facilitated by John Krasinski. 

Like many of you, this is not what we would have predicted 2020 would look like, either. 

As the world changed in unimaginable ways, you looked to creators and artists to help you make sense of these shifts, find connection, and expand your boundaries beyond the four walls of your homes.

In the U.S., this year’s top trending videos show how creators quickly adapted to the unforeseen challenges of 2020 while also addressing the unique, personal needs of their communities.”

In the U.S., this year’s top trending videos show how creators quickly adapted to the unforeseen challenges of 2020 while also addressing the unique, personal needs of their communities.

When protests against racial injustice swept the nation, Dave Chappelle channeled his thoughts into an impromptu, socially-distanced show that captured the emotions felt by many. When audiences sought out sources of levity, creators provided no shortage of options: Mark Rober constructed an elaborate ninja warrior course for… squirrels; MrBeast celebrated the July 4 with the world’s largest firework; Dude Perfect laughed at the many relatable stereotypes to emerge in quarantine; and John Krasinski shared positive stories through SomeGoodNews. Also included among this year’s top trending videos: The most-viewed coming out vlog of all time, a break-up announcement, a new take on playing a popular game, and an election parody from SNL. 

While engagement was up across YouTube, these 10 videos resonated with U.S. viewers the most. Collectively, they were watched more than 356 million times and for around 48 million hours. The channels behind them total more than 175 million subscribers.

Top Trending Videos (U.S.)

  1. Netflix Is A Joke - 8:46, Dave Chappelle

  2. Mark Rober - Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

  3. SNL - First Debate Cold Open

  4. JeffreeStar - We Broke Up

  5. MrBeast - I Bought The World’s Largest Firework

  6. NikkieTutorials, I’m Coming Out.

  7. Dream, Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters GRAND FINALE

  8. NBC - Ricky Gervais’ Monologue - 2020 Golden Globes

  9. Dude Perfect - Quarantine Stereotypes

  10. SomeGoodNews - Some Good News with John Krasinski - Ep 1

This year’s top creators list demonstrates MrBeast’s continuing impact, and the popularity of gaming creators like Dream, Tiko, JoshDub, and LazarBeam, who found connection through social gaming.

Top Creators (U.S.)

  1. MrBeast

  2. Dream

  3. ZHC

  4. SSSniperwolf

  5. Tiko

  6. Chloe Ting

  7. JoshDub

  8. The Royalty Family

  9. LazarBeam

  10. James Charles

Among the year’s breakout creators, Chloe Ting helped viewers sweat at home with workout challenges, SomeGoodNews brought the class of 2020 a virtual prom and graduation to remember, and Hyram offered a fresh perspective on skincare.

Breakout Creators (U.S.)

  1. Dream

  2. Tiko

  3. Chloe Ting

  4. EddieVR

  5. charli d’amelio

  6. GeorgeNotFound

  7. Dixie D’Amelio

  8. Corpse Husband

  9. SomeGoodNews

  10. Hyram

In music, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion took on the world of hip-hop, Drake cemented his influence, Lil Baby released a powerful protest anthem, and so much more. 

Top Music Videos (U.S.)

  1. Future - Life is Good ft. Drake

  2. Tekashi 6ix9ine - Gooba

  3. Lil Baby x 42 Dugg - We Paid

  4. NLE Choppa - Walk Em Down ft. Roddy Ricch

  5. Cardi B - WAP ft. Megan Thee Stallion

  6. DaBaby - Rockstar ft. Roddy Ricch

  7. Roddy Ricch - The Box

  8. Drake - Laugh Now Cry Later ft. Lil Durk

  9. YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Lil Top

  10. Lil Baby - The Bigger Picture

For a deeper look at the way video trends shaped digital culture in 2020, check out the Culture & Trends site