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Sitting in front of your PC (or tablet, games console, smartphone, or smart TV) you’ve probably absorbed many YouTube videos. Some of these might have been adverts; others tutorials. You might have witnessed some unboxing videos (good and bad!), observed people applying makeup, enjoyed some young singer/songwriters performing, or chuckled over some reaction videos.

But which of these are the most popular? And if you were to begin a YouTube channel, which of these popular video types should you start with?

Let’s take a look at the options.

1. The Unboxing Video

It is perhaps the most unusual of all of the YouTube videos, watching someone open a box and (hopefully!) getting exciting about the contents. Yet this video genre is hugely popular, and relatively easy to make. All you need is an unopened box full of tech/makeup/toys (or whatever you prefer) and a camera placed in a position to capture it all.

As long as you’re talking while the unboxing takes place, you should be able to produce a video that people will enjoy and respond to. Note that some unboxing videos have a soundtrack, rather than a commentary, but these tend to be shorter.

Our tutorial to producing an unboxing video people will enjoy How to Make YouTube Unboxing Videos People Will Like How to Make YouTube Unboxing Videos People Will Like YouTube unboxing videos are incredibly popular, but – in most cases – incredibly dull. Here are ten ways to make unboxing videos entertaining, fun, engaging, possibly amusing, and absolutely not dull. Read More will give you more information on getting started.

2. Everybody Loves Time-Lapse Videos

One very simple way to make a movie is with the use of a time-lapse camera, or if you’re using a smartphone, a time-lapse app Droid Timelapse: Create Smooth Time-Lapse Videos With Your Android Phone Droid Timelapse: Create Smooth Time-Lapse Videos With Your Android Phone Read More . These tools are simple to use and can produce amazing results, which is why the videos prove so popular – both for creators and the audience.

Time-lapse videos might be anything from a Lego construction to the building of a genuine building (such as the new World Trade Center), and even the creation of art, like this piece of hyperrealism:

Here’s a short time-lapse video I made using a Raspberry Pi How To Capture Time-Lapse Photography With Your Raspberry Pi and DSLR or USB Webcam How To Capture Time-Lapse Photography With Your Raspberry Pi and DSLR or USB Webcam Time-lapse photography can really give you a sense of how the world works on a macroscopic level, beyond anything conceivable to the normal human experience of time. Read More which has had over 3,700 views to date.

3. Video Game Walkthroughs

Like gaming? With the help of a screen capture device (or a video camera) you can pass on your expertise on a particular game (or level) and entertain people at the same time. Video games as a spectator sport is a relatively new phenomenon, one made popular by, where over 45 million gamers gather every month. Some gamers have become celebrities in the world.

YouTube has its own version, YouTube Gaming, where gamers can stream or upload their gaming activity. Unlike, these videos will remain on the site long-term.

Our guide to streaming games from a PC 3 Ways to Stream Live Gaming Action From Your PC 3 Ways to Stream Live Gaming Action From Your PC So let's say that you want to get in on that sweet live-streaming fame and fortune. Do you need expensive software? A degree in computer science? A jury-rigged second monitor with a webcam glued to... Read More will get you started on Windows. If you’re using an Android device, Google Play Games can help you record Record Your Screen on Android With Google Play Games Record Your Screen on Android With Google Play Games Want to record the games you play on your Android phone or tablet? Luckily for you, there's now a built-in way to do that. Read More and then upload. Console owners can capture their game recordings using third party hardware, or built-in software if using current-gen How To Capture And Stream Video Games From A Console How To Capture And Stream Video Games From A Console Read More game machines.

4. How To/Tutorials

YouTube is a regular destination for anyone looking for a way to do something. It might be technical help for dealing with problems upgrading to Windows 10 How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Version 1511 Now How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Version 1511 Now Can't seem to install the Windows 10 Fall Update? It wouldn't be the Microsoft we know and love, if there wasn't some kind of screw-up along the line. Let us help! Read More or something less computer-related, such as learning the basics of carpentry.

Here’s a screencast tutorial we produced:

If you feel you have a skill, ability or technique that you are happy to demonstrate, then making a how to video is the best way to share it with the world.

You might do a simple screencast (essentially recording your PC’s desktop to explain anything from opening a command prompt to performing a tricky technique in Photoshop) or opt for a more personal, camera-facing approach. This latter option might result in a quite a bit of work filming and editing, but as long as you have editing tools and ability, the results should be good.

As another example, here’s how to safely discharge a CRT TV or monitor:

5. Product Reviews

Related to the box opening video, product reviews are really simple to produce, BUT you would be well advised to make notes in advance. After all, you don’t want to be left without anything to say!

While first impressions are the domain of the box opening, product reviews should go more in depth, and include reflections upon your experiences with the product in question, whether it is a new frying pan, a bike, a collection of pencils, a new partwork magazine, a phone, some makeup… it’s up to you!

Best of all, you can conceivably manage a product review with a single camera, although you might like to add some photos and captions into the video to polish the finished production somewhat.

6. Fan Videos, Reviews and Commentaries

Another popular option is the fan video. This might be speculation on your favorite TV show, movie or book series, a review of the latest episode, or even a commentary.

Popular franchises under discussion in such videos include Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Doctor Who although there is no reason to limit yourself to these. But if you can find some popular videos discussing any of these, you’ve got a good idea of the type of video people are enjoying.

Best of all, the production is minimal. All you need is a webcam or digital video camera, and the ability to talk about the show or movie you like!

7. Show Off Your Reactions

Perhaps as surprising as the unboxing video, the reaction video is a popular option that is surprisingly easy to produce. On the other hand, however, this is potentially the slowest to produce, depending on how you set it up, what tools you use, and what you’re reacting to.

We’ve previously produced a tutorial on creating reaction videos How to Make a Reaction Video That YouTube Will Love How to Make a Reaction Video That YouTube Will Love Lots of different types of videos are successful on YouTube, but one of the most popular types of video is the "reaction" video. Here's how to make your own. Read More , and these can be made with anything from a computer webcam to a smartphone app. Get to it, and have fun!

Other Video Types

You’ve probably seen other video types, such as pranks, bad karaoke, and mashups. These are all fine, but not necessarily things that you can start making right away after you finish this post (pranks are particularly tricky to setup and record).

Have you already tried any of these video types? Perhaps you have been bewildered by the sheer number of video types, or intimidated by the filming and production. You really shouldn’t be – especially when it comes to using a smartphone camera, many of the editing options can be automated or ignored altogether in the case of reaction videos. But if you have any questions or observations, please share them in the comments.

  1. bob
    July 22, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    One of your suggestions is mashups, I did this and the video was taken down less than a minute after I posted it due to copyright.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Interesting .Yes, the trouble with mashups is choosing material that is available to be used, but there are tricks, like citing CC, or starting audio after a 10 second delay, etc.

  2. Davin Peterson
    March 7, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Hey, why did you post an unboxing video of an iPhone instead of an Android phone/tablet? There are many unboxing videos of Android devices.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 8, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Mainly to demonstrate that unboxers aren't all dull geeks like me!

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