Halloween ‘16: Clown Sightings, Harley Quinn Costumes, and Other Trends

October 26, 2016

Whether it’s decorations or costumes, YouTubers take Halloween very seriously. As big fans of the holiday, we’ve been closely watching the biggest Halloween trends of 2016.

Clown Sightings

Prior to this year, the fear of clowns was a relatively niche phobia that served more as a topic for humor than a widespread phenomenon. Yet this fall, we’ve observed a sudden increase in clown-related content on YouTube:

The impetus for this trend? Clown sightings. YouTubers have been uploading footage of solitary clowns frightening passersby in droves, and as news of these unnerving encounters has spread, so have views of clown-related videos.

Although bizarre clown sightings are reported as far back as 2014, their sharp increase only goes back to late August this year. The real peak, however, occurred on October 15th, after hundreds of news stories.

Harley Quinn, ‘The Purge,’ and Clown Costumes

As clowns have become prominent, so too have clown costumes: “clown” has become one of the most searched-for costumes on YouTube this October.

Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn

  • Costumes inspired by this year’s video games, such as “Overwatch” (released in May ‘16) and “Five Nights At Freddy’s” (the latest installment of which was released this October), are also in the top 10.

Other Halloween 2016 Trends

Halloween’s Biggest Hits

October 24, 2016

Holidays have unique soundtracks. Christmas has Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” while Valentine’s Day sees play bumps for Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” and Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply.”

But what about Halloween? To find out what’s played as we celebrate the most ghoulish day of the year, we dug into the data for tracks with the highest increase in plays on October 31 compared to a song’s average the rest of the year.

Songs That Receive the Greatest View Increases on Halloween

All songs on this list receive at least 10k average daily views throughout the year and received at least 2x the number of views on Halloween than they do on all other days in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

In first place: the timeless "Monster Mash," recorded by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt Kickers in 1962.

Geographic Trends in Gaming: Who Plays What, Where?

October 10, 2016

Gaming, often touted as being larger than Hollywood, is an international phenomenon, with a sprawling YouTube community. We’ve been publishing a monthly list of the games trending globally for some time, but recently got to wondering: are there distinct geographic quirks to gaming on YouTube? Is everyone, everywhere, watching Minecraft videos? Or do some countries have a preference for a unique title?

To find out, we selected the 251 countries with the highest gaming viewership by watchtime on YouTube in 2016. Then, we examined which games consistently made the top 25 most-popular games in each country. Here’s what we found:

  • To no one’s surprise, there are only two games that appear on the most-popular lists of all 25 countries: Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Of the two, Minecraft is the more popular, at #1 everywhere apart from Vietnam and Thailand. Even there, it only slips so far as #2.
  • There are also two games that are popular in nearly every country’s top 25: Pokemon Go, which makes the most-watched list everywhere apart from Russia, and Five Nights at Freddy’s, which is popular in every country we looked at apart from Taiwan and Japan.

We also examined games that were uniquely popular in each country — that is, which games appeared on the most-popular list of one country, but not others? Ten games, which you can see below, made the cut:

  • Due to the tremendous popularity of football in North America, Madden NFL ‘16 takes the #1 spot in the U.S. It’s also the only sports game on the list.
  • Three of the games had strong RPG elements (e.g., Puzzles & Dragons in Japan, Tower of Saviors in Taiwan, Dofus in France).

-- Posted by the YouTube Culture & Trends Team

1 Countries included: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, Great Britain, Indonesia, India, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States, Vietnam

YouTube & the Presidential Elections: Why Voters Come to Watch

September 28, 2016

Over 110 million hours of presidential candidate- and issue-related content has been watched on YouTube since primary candidates started announcing they were running for office in April 2015.1 Here’s a look at what U.S. voters are watching to stay informed on the presidential election, why they’re watching, and how it may influence Election Day.*

*Unless otherwise noted, all data is sourced from the Google-commissioned Ipsos Connect “YouTube Election Survey,” Wave 1, September 2016, U.S., n=3,706, U.S. registered voters 18–54.
1Google internal data, April 2015—February 2016, U.S., classification as elections "candidates" and "issues" was based on public data such as headlines and tags, and may not account for every such video available on YouTube.