VidCon is being held this week, and YouTube has published a new “Fandom” trends report to coincide with the event, and highlight to creators the importance of building community in the app.

The 10-page overview includes a heap of insights into the rising value of fandom, and the community ties that are formed around niche trends. Indeed, the report provides insight into why fandoms are valuable, and how users derive benefits from being part of topic-related groups.

As per the report:

According to KR&I’s Fandom Institute, fandom is a relationship between people and an object of their fandom; an object that is relatable, elevated, and inspires devotion and investment. As technology is evolving, so are fans’ relationships with their favorite creators, artists, and other entertainment vehicles.

YouTube Fandom Report

There are some interesting notes here about the consumption of expanded content around topics and trends, which often, YouTube says, generates far more engagement than the focus content itself.

An example would be something like “Skibidi Toilet”, a bizarre YouTube series, which uses video game characters in a wholly different context.

The series, now up to episode 75, has taken on a life of its own, and has become a part of broader web culture. And while the concept of “Toilet Heads” taking on “Camera Heads” (and now “G Squad” as well) seems like a strange idea at first blush, there actually is a narrative flow to the series, and a clear nous for cinematography and direction.

Which is why it’s become so popular, and now has its own huge fandom, largely facilitated on YouTube.

That wouldn’t seem like a significant entertainment trend, as such, but the capacity to build and engage an audience of millions is available via YouTube, even with less mainstream ideas.

And then there’s this:

YouTube Fandom Report

YouTube is a key hub for these fandoms and groups, with a whopping 80% of fans often engaging with topical content in the app.

And within that, there are also opportunities for brand tie-ins and marketing pushes.

YouTube Fandom Report

So should you be looking to sponsor “Skibidi Toilet” for brand placement?

I don’t think that’s an option, but for the right brand, definitely, that would be a valuable placement if possible, and there are heaps of these communities and fandoms within the app.

It’s an interesting consideration, and YouTube’s report provides a range of insights into the power of community, and tapping into such in the app.

You can download YouTube’s latest trend report here.

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