According to viewers, it’s the story.
A global shift in the way we enjoy entertainment is underway, with digital consumption rising more than 30% in 2021.1

As people decide what, how, and when they want to watch, viewer choice is reshaping content and driving engagement.
With more choice when it comes to entertainment, people, not production companies, get to define what makes a piece of content good. We partnered with Talk Shoppe to find out how today’s audiences determine quality.
of viewers say good content is personal and relevant.2
of people say they are more open to advertising or branded content when a piece of content is relevant to the viewer.3
Viewers seek out content that is not only relevant to their interests, but also made by approachable, relatable creators.
“Our audiences have to be able to see themselves in the content. And if they don’t, they will leave.”
Chief Digital Officer, Vice Media
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Viewers appreciate content that introduces them to new things, including brands. This content runs the gamut from educational series to product reviews.
of people say YouTube helps them expand their perspectives or ways of thinking.4
“Viewers are turning to platforms like YouTube because they’ve gotten more accustomed to getting practical how-tos from people who feel like they could be their neighbor, who look and sound and feel just like them.”
Group Communications Strategy Director, Droga5
Good storytelling is all about the details. Viewers are 34% more likely to say that video content featuring “unique storytelling or production” is a bigger driver of sensorial stimulation than “cinematic quality.”5
of viewers say good content tells a good story,6 while 92% of them say good content is produced with thought and effort.7
“Authentic, aesthetically imperfect content that resonates, that gets to the heart of matters, is what’s winning right now and what will be winning in the future.”
Managing Director, EGAMI Group
People say good content makes them feel something. But for many, it’s also an opportunity to bond: 79% say they achieve deeper connections when they watch YouTube with others.8
of viewers say good content makes them feel something emotionally.9
“It doesn’t have to be dramatic. I just want to be taken from one emotion to another while watching the video.”
YouTube user
More than two billion people come to YouTube every month to watch content that satisfies one or all of these needs.11
Creators know this best: As they help to accelerate the shift to streaming, they also contribute to and shape new tastes and trends: 79% of viewers say good content “introduces them to new talent.”10
of viewers say they can find “a lot of good content” on YouTube, higher than streaming services (45%) and TV (27%).12
“Unforgettable characters, compelling plots, some form of social commentary, and populist entertainment, broad appeal. All four of those characteristics drive the best storytelling today, and all four of them are present on YouTube."
President and CEO, BBDO Worldwide
While trends come and go, the elements of entertainment stay the same. Whether content connects is not determined by budget, famous faces, or fancy cameras, but by the story it tells.
Editor: Marianna Nash
Designer: Kate McManus and Sohee Cho
Production Lead: Jenny Maughan


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