Skip to Main Content
Analyzing pop culture with YouTube's Culture & Trends Report

Culture & Trends

Analyzing pop culture with YouTube's Culture & Trends Report

  • By Kevin Allocca
  • Head of Culture & Trends
  • Dec.14.2020
Analyzing pop culture with YouTube's Culture & Trends Report
What's behind the most interesting trends of 2020

Over 40 million views of virtual choirs. Over 1 billion views of face mask-making tutorials. Over 5 billion views of home workouts. These are just some of the numbers we couldn't have predicted at the start of 2020.


In addition to forcing so many of us to alter our way of life, the past year may come to represent a significant point of change in culture. This feels particularly true in the world's evolving relationship with digital media, where we're seeing all kinds of relevant, if unexpected, trends play out. Here are just a few:


  • 70% of people used YouTube during 2020 to watch online replacements of live events1

  • 40% of people say they participated in an activity simultaneously while they watched a video online2

  • And 47% of people agree that this year, online videos helped them cope through a problem in their life3

YouTube's Culture & Trends team analyzed hundreds of individual pieces of trending phenomena. We then combined that with new Ipsos MORI surveys conducted across 9 countries to try to sum up this extraordinary moment in creation and viewing behavior, globally. 


Some of what we saw felt specific to the context of that moment. But much of it spoke to bigger shifts, with the events of 2020 accelerating some trends we've seen developing over the past few years, while also driving creative innovation in other areas.


The result of this analysis is the first YouTube Culture & Trends Report: an interactive, video summary of the present moment in digital entertainment, content, and culture. Examining everything from the emergence of creator cultures centered on seniors and virtual avatars to new forms of audience behavior (like sports watchalongs and mass livestream workouts), the report offers insight into what's behind the most interesting trends of the past year. And in doing so, it aims to provide some perspective on how to think about this space for 2021.


You can watch and experience it here.





[1] On behalf of YouTube, Ipsos MORI conducted online survey of individuals aged 18-44 in US, UK, FR, DE, JP, IN, BR, SA, EG, Nov 2020. n=16,525. Q text: During 2020, how often, if at all, have you personally used YouTube to do each of the following? Watch online replacements of live events (e.g. concerts, sports) [Sum of everyday to less than once a month]


[2] On behalf of YouTube, Ipsos MORI conducted online survey of individuals aged 18-44 in US, UK, FR, DE, JP, IN, BR, SA, EG, Nov 2020. n=16,988. Q text: Which of the following activities, if any, have you done this year? I participated in an activity simultaneously while I watched a video online (e.g. did a workout, cooked, created art, played an instrument)


[3] On behalf of YouTube, Ipsos MORI conducted online survey of individuals aged 18-44 in US, UK, FR, DE, JP, IN, BR, SA, EG, Nov 2020. n=16,988. Q text: To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? This year, online videos helped me cope through a problem in my life [Sum of strongly agree and tend to agree]