The Video Generation and the Rise of Online Tutorials

Video is the new medium of choice, and the numbers don’t lie. In 2020 alone, video streaming platforms YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram multiplied their audiences into the billions. YouTube long format currently logs over two billion monthly users, YouTube shorts gets 3.5 billion views a day, Instagram Stories record 500 million views a day, and TikTok’s user base has expanded by 800% in less than two years.

The reasons behind video content’s growth can be attributed to various factors like rapid digitalization, the increase in smartphone use, and the 2020’s lockdowns that saw Internet use per person rise to seven hours daily. Another major factor is none other than audiences wanting to learn and DIY again.

Video tutorials are easier to understand, more convenient to find, and most importantly, you can view them from virtually anywhere at any time. In fact, a Google statistic from 2017 said that users are thrice more likely to watch a YouTube tutorial than reading a product manual.

As more people stayed home last year, tutorials were also a way for people to find new interests and learn new skills. This saw a spike in DIY home renovations, plant parents, and home chefs. Remember all the shirts you tie-dyed, sourdough loaves you baked, and bangs you cut? Globally, a whopping 82% used YouTube to watch tutorials in 2020.

But among the sea of tutorials online, just what stood out?

Most Popular Video Trends

online cooking

1. Music Teachers

It seems everybody wants to get in touch with their inner musician. From mid-March to mid-April, video content related to “learning guitar” garnered 160 million views. On various platforms, you can find different instructors for different skills like singers, producers, etc. If you’re lucky, you can find an instructor in your local area.

For example, guitar training can be enrolled in for both in-person and online classes. Finding a local music instructor at least affords you the ability to connect with them personally. This way, you can both tailor a schedule and syllabus for you. Some instructors even hand out training guides that you can study at your leisure. When looking for a music teacher online, check their free tutorials first. It’s important to vibe with somebody who will teach you an art form that will require significant time to master.

2. Fitness Guru

By 2026, Global Market Insights forecasts a 30% growth in the online fitness market. With major fitness players investing more in video streaming and on-demand services, it’s safe to say this space has potential.

In March 2020, 16% of adult Americans also said they had transitioned to online exercise videos following stay-at-home orders. On Instagram, many accounts began to post short format workouts, with many even inviting trainers to stream live. Online challenges also helped keep people engaged as hashtags like “#7DayAbs” and “#30DaysOfYoga” started getting popular.

On YouTube, fitness gurus from various types of backgrounds gained millions of new followers. Among them, Pilates, HIIT, and dance-inspired workouts fared well with the millennial and Gen-Z viewers. When looking for an online workout to try, don’t forget to first consult your physician to make sure you’re following a program appropriate for you.

3. Cooking Classes

Initially, many first started searching cooking tutorials out of necessity. Following the nationwide quarantine, eating out and ordering in were not as accessible as they were before. This inspired people to cook—which later ended up as a therapeutic and creative outlet. In an article by Vox, cooking is said to also be a form of home entertainment, like live theater.

Hence, it didn’t take long for our feeds to be full of cookies, pasta, and kombuchas. Home cooks and professional chefs alike turned to video sharing to reach more people. Just recently, there was a clamor over a feta and tomato pasta dish—yup, that one-dish wonder everyone was talking about.

This movement has also made unlikely celebrities out of foodies. Just one look at the list of recent best-selling cookbooks, and you’ll see many are from online cooks and chefs. For those looking for a little more intimate experience, some culinary schools offer Zoom cooking classes where your progress can be reviewed in real time. Take New York, for instance, where some cooking classes will even send you the ingredient you’ll be needing.

Although the world is beginning to reopen, video tutorials aren’t going anywhere. The ease and accessibility they’ve introduced have made millions of people more empowered—and we doubt anyone will want to give that up. It’ll only continue to change as the world copes with a health crisis. There’s more to look forward to.

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