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

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

(THE NEWS – files)
Snowy days ahead for the Okanagan and Shuswap

The region could get up to 5 cm by Thursday

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Most Read