It’s time to check in on the most-watched creators and brands on YouTube from last month! In December 2017, the top ten creators published enough video content to generate a solid 8.5 billion total views across their channels. That’s an overall increase of 1.5 billion views over November’s total count, which means that despite the busy holiday season (or maybe because of it), these creators still managed to attract the attention of more viewers than the previous month.

In addition to earning extra views, December 2017’s creators followed a pattern they established back in October, and that is either maintaining or improving their positions. In October and November, eight out of the top ten creators did so, but for December that number bumps up to nine out of the ten. Here’s a general overview of how the month’s most popular YouTube creators performed:

  • 3 creators maintained their 1st, 2nd, and 7th positions
  • 6 creators improved their rankings by at least one position each
  • The highest 30-day average view count (V30) hit a whopping 114 million
  • The highest average 30-day engagement rate (ER30) was an impressive 2.2x

Keep reading to learn which creators hit these goals and what helped drive their success, all thanks to insights from exclusive Tubular data:

Top YouTube Channels December 2017

Top 10 Most Watched YouTube Video Creators December 2017 (Data via Tubular) Rankings include only those creators and brands which publish primarily original content

The Top Two Trends from 2017

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of each publisher on December’s chart, let’s take a moment to review the year of 2017 in terms of video content. When we look back at the last twelve months of YouTube leaderboards, we see a couple of dominating trends which not only affected the outcome of the charts, but were also indicative of the types of content which always seemed to attract viewers on YouTube and perform well for the creators distributing such content.

For months now, we’ve pointed out in each leaderboard article how music and entertainment channels consistently rank in the top ten on YouTube, which is probably the most obvious and clear trend from 2017. Viewers clearly have a preference as to which online video platform they visit when they want to be amused, and that is YouTube. Facebook’s monthly leaderboards, while boasting short-form viral content, rarely see music or entertainment brands like those on the YouTube charts. Essentially, that means if your brand is in one of these industries, you should be making sure you develop and/or implement a YouTube marketing strategy for 2018.

The second largest trend on YouTube from 2017 also relates to a viewer-favorite genre: children’s content or family programming. Certain channels, such as Ryan ToysReview and El Reino Infantil, showed up on the monthly leaderboards on a regular basis. New channels would join the rankings every once in a while, too, but recently some of these have been deleted by YouTube after it was discovered they were distributing questionable content unsuitable for children’s eyes. Despite this purge, family programming remained a top genre on the leaderboards in 2017, a trend which will likely stay the same in 2018 as long as child-friendly channels actually create child-friendly content!

Audiences Closed Out 2017 by Watching Plenty of Entertainment and Music Content

As we just noted above, music and entertainment channels are always popular with viewers on YouTube, and December’s top ten creators were no exception. As was the case in November and probably many of the months before that, the majority of the creators on last month’s chart hailed from these genres — eight out of ten of them, to be exact. Out of these eight, seven creators either increased their standings or maintained their same positions from November.

For starters, we again run into T-Series, the Indian music label which has been #1 on Tubular’s YouTube leaderboard for over a year now. This channel is one of the only ones to consistently earn a billion views per month, but in December it seemed T-Series was inching closer to the 2 billion mark. The channel generated just over 1.6 billion views last month, a good 200 million more than it saw in November. It’s highly likely T-Series will reign supreme every month in 2018.

Despite T-Series’ continued success, the next highest-ranking channel is working hard to catch up to the Indian music label. Canal KondZilla, a Brazilian music and entertainment brand, placed second with just over 1 billion total views, roughly 165 million more than it generated in November. This milestone is the first time in 2017 that any other channel besides T-Series obtained 1 billion views; this is also the second consecutive month Canal KondZilla has been in the #2 position thanks to view increases. Additionally, the Brazilian-based channel boasted the highest ER30 in December at 2.2x, an impressive 1.2x higher than the baseline average! Based on all this recent ladder-climbing, Canal KondZilla seems perfectly positioned to release the right kind of content to attract more eyeballs throughout the rest of this year.

Next up, we have Ryan ToysReview, which jumped one position from November to hit #3 with more than 945 million total views. And our prediction from last month was correct: this family programming channel’s recent growth in views can likely be attributed to the fact that YouTube shut down other children’s channels because of the aforementioned content issues, meaning families are turning to other outlets like Ryan ToysReview for entertainment. We’re curious to see if the channel continues to increase its views over the next few months.

December’s #4 spot went to Ed Sheeran, the UK singer-songwriter who showed up in the top five positions in early 2017 with the release of his newest album Divide and its related music videos. In November, Sheeran reappeared on the leaderboard at #8 with 636 million views thanks to his music video “Perfect”; for last month’s leaderboard, the musician gained about 258 million more views to hit around 894 million, jump four whole spots, claim #4 for December, and boast the highest V30 at 114 million. So which videos handed Sheeran this victory? That would be just two versions of “Perfect,” with the most-watched one (ironically, an audio-only version of the song sung along with Beyonce) pulled in 138 million views and a solid 124 million V30:

Finally, in spot #5 we have netd müzik. The Turkish music label and YouTube channel bumped up one position over the previous month thanks to just over 754 million total views. This count is an 82 million increase over November, where netd also increased its views around 41 million over October. At this rate, the Turkey-based YouTube channel is sure to stay in the top five for many months to come!

DIY Makes Its Debut on December’s Leaderboard

As should be expected based on the trends we saw in 2017, the last five creators on December’s YouTube leaderboard mostly hail from the music and entertainment industries, with the exception of 5-Minute Crafts. This channel, which creates DIY and how-to content, is actually very popular on Facebook and routinely ends up on that leaderboard each month. However, it appears the brand is pushing to improve its YouTube strategy, as well. For December’s chart, 5-Minute Crafts jumped a whopping nine whole positions to place #10 with 578 million total views! In general, how-to content performs well on YouTube (partially due to its tie-in with Google search, and people search for how-to instructions all the time), so we’re expecting 5-Minute Crafts to continue to climb up the charts in 2018.

To close out this article, here’s some key data from the remaining four creators on December’s YouTube leaderboard:

  • SET India claimed this month’s sixth position with 748 million total views. This stat is an increase over November, where the channel for the Indian division of Sony Entertainment Television saw more than 678 million views (an overall improvement of 70 million in December).
  • The World Wrestling Federation (WWE) continues to maintain its solid presence on Tubular’s YouTube leaderboards. Back in October, the WWE claimed #8, and then moved to #7 in November, a spot it held in December, as well, thanks to just over 716 million total views. And yes, this channel also increased its views over November like many of the other creators here — specifically, it increased views by 66 million. Additionally, the WWE claimed the second-highest ER30 this month at 1.7x, proving yet again how engaged the wrestling brand’s audience is with its content.
  • Newcomer zeetv came in eighth with 599 million total views in December. The Hindi media and entertainment network, which showed up on the leaderboards for the first time at #10 in November, bumped up two positions last month thanks to an increase of roughly 43 million views.
  • Finally, we see a film-based channel land at #10 in December. Movieclips, the Fandango-owned property which distributes licensed movie clips and fan-favorite scenes, saw around 596 million total views. The interesting thing about these views, however, was that they seem to have been generated on content uploaded in previous months, as Movieclips didn’t upload a single video in December! Still, that’s a nice little win for the brand and a testament to the enduring appeal of movie clips.

Most Watched YouTube Publishers December 2017

  1. T-Series (1.6B Views)
  2. Canal KondZilla (1.1B Views)
  3. Ryan ToysReview (945M Views)
  4. Ed Sheeran (894M Views)
  5. netd müzik (754M Views)
  6. SET India (748M Views)
  7. WWE (716M Views)
  8. zeetv (599M Views)
  9. Movieclips (596M Views)
  10. 5-Minute Crafts (556M Views)

Tubular Video Ratings

You’ll notice some exclusive data in this month’s chart as we include Tubular Video Ratings, a unique group of online video metrics that set the standard for measurement of views and engagements across videos and publishers. They include a simplified first 30-day engagement rating (ER30) and first 30-day views (V30), and more information can be found here.

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