The Wonderful Web of YouTuber Collaborations
We thought it would be fun to try and map out how the YouTube Creator community are connected to each other in the UK - by looking at who has collaborated with who in their videos. Little did we know what a mammoth task this would be, but after several days of hard work our team created the wonderful web of UK YouTube collaborators infographic below.
We appreciate that we’ve only scratched the surface and there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of collaborations, connections and Creators missing - but we had to start somewhere and it will be interesting to see how it develops over time.
So what is a YouTube collaboration?
In simple terms, a collaboration is where two or more YouTubers get together to record and create a video together. The videos are usually based around a theme - 'Q&A' / 'Crossbar Challenge' / 'Never Have I Ever' / or the latest craze ‘Smash or Pass’ - and they will often make a couple of versions, so there is a different video to watch on each of their channels. Also, when the YouTubers post the collaborations they often link to each others channels in the video description, which helps cross-promote their audiences to each other.
There are some obvious benefits to collaborating. First off it just helps make fun and enjoyable videos, that people want to watch - but more importantly it helps drive up video views and channel subscriptions, as the videos will appeal and get promoted to two or more audiences (e.g. people can watch a collaboration between Zoella and Sprinkles of Glitter on both their channels). These collaborations are also cross promoted via the Creators social channels (Twitter / Instagram / Snap etc.), so it all helps with the general awareness and discoverability of their content. All this is extremely helpful when new YouTubers are trying to grow their audiences.
Collaborations can often lead to the creation of new channels, for example when YouTubers and Non-YouTubers collaborate. This can also happen between family members (ThatcherJoe first appeared in Zoella’s video), significant others (Jim Chapman participated in multiple videos on Tanya Burr’s channel before creating his own) and friends.
What brings them together?
There are a whole host of reasons why Creators might collaborate together...including:
Friendship: This is an obvious one - Creators like to collaborate with their friends. For example, The Ultimate Sideman (http://ultimatesidemen.com/) was formed by a group of friends who met when they were 12/13 years old at school and later started playing and recording GTA videos together. Now the seven members collaborate and support each other on videos, events and other projects.
Location: Another key reason for collaborating is location. Maybe Creators live in the same house, town or area as other YouTubers, which makes it easier and convenient to get together. It’s well known that Brighton is a favourite haunt for a number of top YouTubers, who like to hang out and collaborate in each others videos.
Joint interests: It makes perfect sense to collaborate with people who have a similar interest to you and more importantly to your audience. From Minecraft to make-up to fitness - YouTubers can help each other make compelling and engaging content, in the knowledge that their audiences will most likely love it. Finally, if a YouTuber wants to make a short film, or record a new song, or just needs more people to make a great sketch - why not collaborate with like minded folks, who understand how it all works!
So how to read our infographic.
The circle size of each YouTubers' profile photo indicates the amount of connections / collaborations they have made. The larger the circle, the more connections. The infographic also starts to highlight and group together YouTubers into categories, based on their interests, their collaborations and the content they produce. But we understand that this is very fluid, as YouTubers can easily collaborate with whoever they choose and create whatever content interests them.
What's your favourite collaboration...?
We know there are lots of UK YouTubers and collaborations missing, so please help us out and share your favourite videos with us?