2021’s top trending videos and creators
Dec 01, 2021 – minute read
In 2021, you tuned in to see NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover land (live!) on Mars, joined together to set a new record for BTS, and took part in the epic storylines that played out across the Dream SMP, a collaborative Minecraft server with an active fandom full of animators and commentators.You also raised short-form video to new heights, watching new cooking, dental (yes, dental), and magic creators transform traditional entertainment.
As the year comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate with a look at the videos, creators, and artists you helped propel to mainstream success.
This year’s top trending videos saw creators convert some of their most popular content into longer running phenomena. By producing sequels in response to audience demand, these creators showed how to turn one-off wins into full-on series with fresh influence: Dream made speedrunning a spectator sport with his increasingly innovative attempts to defeat Minecraft’s Ender Dragon; Mark Rober went from busting package thieves with his homemade glitterbomb to catching phone scammers; and Dude Perfect used their humorous stereotypes format to shine a light on the types of people you’re likely to meet at a game night.
Also making the year’s top trending list: A new survival challenge from MrBeast, the Weeknd’s much memeified performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, a hot take on one of the most talked-about games of the year, a scripted morality lesson, a moving musical audition, and a fight against zombies. Oh, and the socially-distanced inauguration of a new U.S. President and VP.
Watchtime of the top trending videos was even bigger than last year’s: Collectively, these 10 videos were viewed more than 485 million times and for around 70 million hours. The channels behind them total more than 238 million subscribers.
MrBeast once again took the No. 1 spot on this year’s top creators list, while a number of gamers, including Dream, TommyInnit, and Technoblade used social gaming to foster a sense of community.
Among 2021’s breakout creators, Kallmekris turned character-driven sketches into must-watch viewing, Casual Geographic reinvented the nature documentary, and Beluga used the interface of chat platform Discord to riff on internet culture.
This year’s first-ever Top Shorts Creators list is full of creators who took run-of-the-mill, everyday experiences and transformed them into entertaining snippets, from gaming-themed sketch comedy to relatable workplace vlogs.
And in music, artists who reflected culture and tapped into the language of the Internet — with songs that inspired dance challenges, memes and so much more — saw chart-topping wins.
Want to learn more about the creators and videos that made this year’s top lists? Head to the Culture & Trends site, where you can find all the global moments that defined 2021. And for a deeper dive into this year’s ads trends check out this post.