From a brand perspective, emerging talent on YouTube is in some ways a more powerful ally than creators who are already established. Emerging creators represent talent who have not yet hit their full potential but still have rising audiences, views, and engagement metrics. “Emerging talent used to be thought of as folks who hadn’t quite cut their teeth yet. But the YouTube creators on this list are producing smart, compelling content and making waves in social media — and that kind of trending shareability is gold for any digital-savvy brand,” says Michael Fasciano, associate director of social content at DigitasLBi.
As Fasciano explains, creators who are growing are far from inexperienced. In fact, these creators are making waves on YouTube with great content and a level of audience engagement that any brand would be insane not to take notice of. “Our industry is seeing a sea change in digital media activation and talent management. The brands that adopt a ‘strike first’ approach with the ETT will be able to identify undervalued opportunities before the market catches up,” Fasciano says. “By partnering with emerging creators like the ones in this list, marketers can get ahead of the game, with the potential to reap millions of views for their content.”
So who are the top emerging channels across YouTubes nine key categories? Who are the burgeoning creators behind some of this year’s fastest growing channels? With data from Outrigger Media’s OpenSlate platform and its Emerging Talent Tracker tool, in partnership with DigitasLBi, we’re here to tell you.
Gaming: Extra Credits
Total Subs: 181,278
Monthly Views: 1,438,200
Although you’d probably expect Extra Credits to be a “Let’s Play” channel or a walkthrough channel, this rising group of YouTubers is offering something much more valuable — knowledge. Every week, Extra Credits takes a pressing issue in the game community — from both a professional and player standpoint — and examines it using hand-drawn illustrations accompanied by a voiceover. Amazingly, in less than five minutes, Extra Credits is able to dissect an important topic with zero bias in an insightful, thought-provoking way.
Total Subs: 163,510
Monthly Views: 1,609,920
Comprised of singer/musicians Corey De Luca, Blake Hayes, and Rajiv Dhall, pop group TwentyForSeven is climbing the YouTube charts with their mix of original ballads and popular cover songs. At the end of each year, TwentyForSeven uploads a mashup cover video that spans that year’s most popular pop hits. 2012’s mashup featuring “Gangnam Style” has since racked up over 1.7 million views.
Total Subs: 4,456
Monthly Views: 96,390
Created by Nigerian British journalist Ikenna Azuike, YouTube channel Ikennaazuike is home to the weekly African comedy news program “What’s Up Africa.” The show covers hot button issues in African culture, ranging from Kenya’s “free media” to NSA spying. Azuike has gained mainstream recognition as well, as he was recently featured on BBC World show “Focus on Africa.”
How-To & Style: I Covet Thee
Total Subs: 139,836
Monthly Views: 361,890
Covering all things beauty, I Covet Thee delivers weekly vlogs and tutorials aimed at helping viewers find their perfect style. The I Covet Thee YouTube channel is primarily known for its makeup tutorials, but it also features day-to-day life vlogs from channel owner Alix.
Science & Technology: Minute Earth
Total Subs: 665,914
Monthly Views: 4,033,230
Similar to Extra Credits, Minute Earth examines an important topic surrounding our planet and its constantly evolving ecosystem. Using marker and pencil real-time illustrations, Minute Earth delivers simple explanations of complex topics like the formation of the planet and why the full moon is better in the Winter.
Minute Earth videos do not support embedding. You can check them out here.
People & Blogs: Epiphanized
Total Subs: 91,368
Monthly Views: 120,360
Epiphanized is all about finding the best lifehacks, health tips, recipes, and mind-blowing facts. Epiphanized blends traditional vlogs and collaboration videos with prank videos, how-to videos, and the occasional parody.
Comedy: Matthew Santoro
Total Subs: 126, 972
Monthly Views: 1,896,570
Like BuzzFeed in video format, Matthew Santoro delivers a new list of facts every week. Previous uploads include “10 Fictional Places That Actually Exist” and “The 10 Biggest Unexplained Mysteries of All Time!”
News & Politics: Truthloader
Total Subs: 485,498
Monthly Views: 5,991,220
Truthloader finds the best crowdsourced news clips on the web and presents an alternate side to traditional world events reporting. “We bring you news and views that will not get coverage in mainstream news outlets and we connect the dots to show you things they don’t want you to see.” writes Truthloader. While it may ring slightly of conspiracy theorism, Truthloader’s mission statement does promise backed, researched, and sourced context for each and every story it reports.
Total Subs: 168,842
Monthly Views: 1,955,940
NiceKicks — as you may have guessed — is all about the shoe game. The channel, which is owned by a shoe store of the same name, covers shoe unboxing and in-store events featuring celebrity shoe collectors and the athletes behind upcoming kicks. NiceKicks weekly feature “What’s New At Nice Kicks” also details what shoes have arrived in store as well as new events and signings.