By Sahil Patel
“Animals and YouTube videos go hand-in-hand,” says Megan McCurry, VP/group media director, DigitasLBi. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees with that statement. After we all, we’re talking about a platform that brought “dogs on skateboard” (as both an actual viral video and a phrase that annoying people like to use when acting flippant about YouTube) into the popular lexicon.
That said, as popular as animal videos on YouTube can be, it’s not easy street for brands looking to take advantage of said popularity. “[It] actually create a challenge for brands, because it’s easy to get lost among all the videos of baby pandas and cat memes. You can’t just place your ad adjacent to any pet or animal content, and think you’re going to break through and be remembered,” says McCurry, VP/group media director, DigitasLBi.
Brands have to get creative, advises McCurry. Instead of just running pre-rolls against what the brand perceives to be relevant animal-centric content, they should take the extra step to not only be creating content themselves, but partnering with those who are already making cool animal-related stuff on the site.
“Having a content strategy that includes a mix of both brand-produced work but also leverages influential content creators takes some of the heavy-lifting off of the brand,” says McCurry. “And it helps seed the right cues to consumers about your company’s values.”
With that in mind, here are the top five emerging animal/pet channels on YouTube:
5. Animal Wire
- SlateScore: 473
- Total Subs: 48,797
- Monthly Views: 6,371,940
- Influence: 8.0
Capturing oddities from attack otters (below) to bees that build their nests with plastic, this channel narrates truly bizarre moments in the animal world. Follow the narrator’s equally bizarre cadence as you swim with two-headed whales on Animal Wire.
- SlateScore: 520
- Total Subs: 105,976
- Monthly Views: 18,322,530
- Influence: 8.1
Capturing the long-held internet trend of showcasing adorable cats and dogs doing whatever it is that adorable cats and dogs do, Tiger Productions features loads of furry footage. This channel brings you more of what you love, which is obviously dogs cuddling with babies.
3. Eldad Hagar
- SlateScore: 530
- Total Subs: 263,089
- Monthly Views: 1,889,010
- Influence: 8.3
Bringing you truly devastating videos of dogs in need of rescue, Eldad Hagar shows these animals throughout their healing process. Requesting donations to Hope For Paws, the channel works to fund rescues like the ones they feature in their videos.
Embedding is disabled by request, but Eldad Hagar’s channel, which helps abandoned or stray animals find new homes, is one that you absolutely have to check out.
2. Taipei Zoo
- SlateScore: 536
- Total Subs: 91,370
- Monthly Views: 2,171,790
- Influence: 8.1
Whether you understand what these pandas are “saying” or not, you’ll want to see them plodding around the Taipei Zoo. They move slowly enough to keep you captivated for hours.
Embedding is disabled by request, but there are a LOT of panda (and baby panda) videos that you might want to check out.
- SlateScore: 573
- Total Subs: 127,907
- Monthly Views: 2,310,510
- Influence: 8.2
Bringing you news of the animal kingdom, this channel employs an educational format along with some ridiculous character acting to teach you about the scaly, the furry, and the winged. From “Breaking News” to “Did You Knows?” the channel has a show for everyone interested in beasts of all sizes.
Emerging channels data is provided by DigiasLBi and Outrigger Media and is based on data from the Emerging Talent Tracker from OpenSlate, a YouTube analytics platform created by Outrigger Media. Data for the top emerging animal/pet channels is as of March 12, 2014.