It’s the king of online streaming entertainment, with over 500 million hours of video being watched worldwide on YouTube every day. Here in Canada, a lot can be said about our regional proclivities by looking at what’s constituting our current YouTube fix.
And on that topic, social media watcher CreatorHype has done us a service by tracking down the most popular YouTube channels per province and territory.
Here’s the breakdown, with a warning to anyone over the age of 15: the following results may seem bewildering. (There’s a brief description following each entry to lend a hand.)
Most-watched YouTube channels per province:
Alberta: PopularMMOs — video game commentary (mostly Minecraft)
British Columbia: Markiplier — video game commentary
Manitoba: Unbox Therapy — technology porn, unboxing videos
New Brunswick: Nickelback — goateed Canadian wünderband
Newfoundland & Labrador: Jacksepticeye — video game commentary
Nova Scotia: Markiplier — video game commentary
Nunavut: Justin Bieber — badass Canadian heartthrob
Ontario: Simply Nailogical — “the face of nail art in the Internet world”
Prince Edward Island: Jake Paul — Jackass 2.0
Quebec: WatchMojo — daily “top ten” videos
Saskatchewan: VanossGaming — video game commentary
Northwest Territories: Pewdiepie video game commentary
Yukon: WWE — pro wrestling
So, what does this list tell us other than that we’ve got a lot of puerile interests up here in the Great White North? “If there’s one major takeaway from this… Canadians seem to love gaming channels from coast-to-coast,” says Zach Bussey, writer for CreatorHype.
To arrive at the rankings, Bussey looked to Socialblade for the list of top 500 subscribed YouTube channels and cross-checked it with Google Trends for YouTube Searches in Canada and then Googled the results by province.
Bussey admits that his list is a bit skewed, since he was looking for Canadians’ interests as far as YouTube creators goes and excluded “most VEVO channels, and major media brands (the night shows/trailer channels, etc.)” because those stats are “boring.”
Still, the results show that the volume of streaming traffic devoted to kids (and it’s mostly kids) watching other people (now very rich other people) blather on while they play a video game is huge.
Interestingly, even beyond the Beliebers and Nickel-heads out there, Canadians seem to have a patriotic impulse when it comes to their fave YouTubbers, as personalities like Lewis Hilsenteger (Unbox Therapy), Evan Fong (VanossGaming) and Cristine Rotenberg (Simply Nailogical) are Canadian.
The interest in gaming commentary is not ours alone, of course, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, representing many of YouTube’s largest channels. And as CBC News reports, debate is currently swirling over the copyright legality of the practice.
Unlike other materials such as music videos, TV shows or movies for which YouTube enforces strict copyright regulations by taking down unauthorized uploads, video game commentaries are allowed, meaning that the game makers themselves do not reap the benefits of all those millions of viewers.
For years, game companies haven’t complained, as there is some promotional value in having eyes glued to their graphics. But as the dollars pile up for the commentators, companies are realizing that the added exposure hasn’t amounted to significant growth in sales.
“We tend to think of streamers as just another facet of our community, and they play a role in exposing the game to new players who may then decide to pick the game up for themselves,” said Raphael van Lierop, co-creator of game, The Long Dark. “That said, in nearly three years of streamers playing The Long Dark, I can count on one hand the instances where streaming had a noticeable impact on our sales.”
At the same time, as the power of the gaming channel keeps rising, it would seem to make YouTube’s decision to assert copyright and shut down some of their most-watched channels less likely.
And until then, keep up with the Pewdiepie, Northwest Territories.