In online entertainment, niches for particular interests are bound to emerge. No other spot on the internet does this idea ring more true than on YouTube, the internet’s largest video website (if you didn’t already know that).
However, just below the trending videos lay an underground ecosystem of creative output, where even the most outlandish ideas for a video series can garner thousands of loyal fans.
Many of these content creators can credit their success to the nature of YouTube: anonymity, millions of people with similar interests and the creative freedom given to producers by the site itself.
YouTube grants users a degree of separation from their personal lives through whatever anonymity you choose to have. With this, many find an opportunity to make videos about what they enjoy, as the potential social repercussions about having such outlandish interests is nullified when no one knows who you really are. This applies to the viewers as well as the videos produced to suit them and draw their attention.
Along with keeping your identity unknown while online, another advantage of a site as ginormous as YouTube is that no matter what interests you, there is bound to be at least a handful of people that share that same interest. For many, it seems that their hobbies aren’t as strange as first thought given that there are over .
Two specific channels on YouTube come to my mind as examples: and . Both channels have seemingly abnormal selling points, their reach is nothing to scoff at. Dan Bell produces mini-documentaries on abandoned buildings, dead malls, and haunted locales, and has amassed a following of over 435,000 subscribers, as well as hosting his own TED Talk. Fredrik Knudsen hosts a show called Down the Rabbit Hole, where he showcases absurd and eccentric individuals from both internet culture, as well real life. Knudsen has procured a loyal following of 297,555 subscribers as of this article.
Both Bell and Knudsen have taken advantage of YouTube’s mostly free-reign guidelines to amass sizable followings of like-minded viewers. Many agree with YouTube’s original idea of unrestricted creativity. As long as what they produce isn’t illegal or promoting harassment, a user can post whatever they want on to YouTube. With freedom, creativity flourishes. And with creativity, many people online may find something they wouldn’t have in the restrictive medium of life outside of the internet.
With the rise of YouTube, specific niches and content creators can give credit of their rise to the site. And with so many creative minds out there, who knows what could be the next big channel.
Jack Gleckler is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jack by tweeting him at @thejackgleckler.