Are YouTubers redefining what a traditional documentary is?

by Dublin Gazette
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When someone thinks of binge watching, or unique documentaries, their minds nearly automatically drift to Netflix.

However, video sharing platform YouTube is solidifying it’s status as a real contender in the content business.

Creators are finding innovative ways to deliver what their audiences want to see, using the platform to generate videos of such a high quality, they actually wouldn’t be out of place on Netflix itself.

One such creator is Shane Dawson, billed widely as being one of the most innovative YouTubers, in addition to being one of the first creators on the platform.

He’s been using the platform to deliver in-depth documentaries on controversial YouTubers like Jake Paul (ask the kids!), but most recently has further delved into the world of conspiracy theories in videos almost two hours long.

Theories explored include the world of ‘deep fakes’ and whether or not your phone is listening to you, triggering a massive response online.

Dawson’s videos usually rack up millions of views in a matter of hours – at time of press, both videos stood at a combined 50 million views in less than two weeks of being live.

Another creator in the beauty field of the site, Thomas Halbert, is also attempting to branch out with a television style series, ‘Battle of the Brands’.

The format is different to the typical reviews and previews of the beauty genre, whilst still maintaining a comedic and educational aspect.

Halbert’s editing style is akin to entertainment channel E!’s style, while maintaining that traditional ‘YouTube edge’. The series has generated a huge buzz in the beauty community, racking up over 300,000 views.

It’s rare that YouTube is considered a serious form of entertainment, with few critics paying much heed to the growing platform.

One thing is certain though – this pop culture phenomenon is delivering stellar content on a near weekly basis – and that’s not something to scoff at.

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