The Future of Video Creation: 9 YouTube Trends to Watch in 2024

What will video creation look and feel like in 2024? Dive into YouTube trends surrounding AI, VR gaming, and the rise of authentic, unpolished videos.

With just a few weeks left in the year, we’re looking at 2024 with a sense of wonder and wide-eyed excitement. We’re wondering which YouTube trends will shape the heart of content creation. We’re excited for creators to develop new passions. And most of all, we’re eager to break down every YouTube trend so you can grow your channels in 2024!

Ready to explore the future of YouTube? Pay attention to these nine trends, as they might affect your views, watch time, subscribers, and revenue.

1. Stricter AI Rules

Artificial intelligence is having a breakout year, with tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Midjourney helping creatives make content faster. Because of that, we’re seeing the rise of automated YouTube channels. Creators are outsourcing their content creation using AI software (or hired humans) to design thumbnails, script videos, edit footage, and create voiceovers quickly. Some creators make a lot of money doing this — six-figures, even.

Unfortunately, many people use AI in damaging ways, like impersonating celebrities and spreading misinformation.

To combat this, YouTube is creating guidelines for AI use in 2024, which include:

  • Requiring creators to say when they’ve used AI in their content.
  • Penalizing non-disclosure by potentially removing content.
  • Allowing creators to request the removal of AI-generated content that impersonates them or infringes on their privacy.

2. The Rise of Authenticity

More and more, creators are ditching highly-produced videos in favor of authentic, unfiltered content. Take a look around YouTube: The thumbnails are getting simpler, and fancy edits are quietly disappearing. Even the storylines themselves have a relaxed, meandering pace, because now, it’s about creating intimacy with viewers.

Bodybuilder Sam Sulek is at the forefront of this trend, but he's not alone. Dry Creek Wrangler School, originally a horse channel, has pivoted to posting uncut videos that share life lessons. Creators are shifting toward sincere videos, and that's bound continue in 2024.

3. More Thumbnail Competition

While some creators have simplified their thumbnails to appear more genuine, that doesn’t mean the YouTube click wars are over. In fact, they’re just beginning.

This month and well into 2024, YouTube is rolling out a thumbnail testing tool that’s designed to help you get more watch time. Creators can upload multiple versions of a thumbnail, let YouTube show them to different viewers, and analyze the results of the experiment. Whichever thumbnail receives the highest share of watch time is the one to use going forward.

This empowers every creator, big and small, to present their best thumbnails. It doesn't matter if creators opt for a simple design; thumbnail testing, by definition, makes YouTube more competitive.

4. Gamified YouTube Videos

2023 was the year of video quizzes, puzzles, and made-up challenges that YouTubers thrust upon their viewers. Imagine swiping through the YouTube Shorts player and landing on a video that asks you all sorts of questions. What is the tallest mountain in the world? Which nose belongs to a specific celebrity?

It’s surprising, suspenseful, and dare we say...delightful?

Trivia-based videos are growing in popularity, as they entertain viewers and inform them simultaneously. Thousands of small creators have hit 1,000 subscribers with this content, from Genius Crown to QuizAnimals to Quiz Palace.

5. Stronger Emphasis on Community

Earlier this year, YouTube announced that creators could monetize their channels with just 500 subscribers and 3,000 hours of watch time. That’s a sharp decrease from the 1,000-sub, 4,000-hour requirement we’ve seen in the past.

Notably, you can’t monetize content through video ads if you only have with 500 subscribers. YouTube is restricting these creators to fan-funding revenue only, such as Super Chats and Stickers, Super Thanks, and Channel Memberships.

Meanwhile, super fans are the ones who donate money, not casual YouTube viewers. That will push creators to build communities if they want to make real money through fan funding.

It seems like YouTube wants small creators to have loyal fans before they become big creators. That raises the quality of videos and viewers (i.e.,watch time) on YouTube.

6. High Earning Potential from YouTube Livestreaming

Creators are making gobs of money by simply going live, so the power of hosting YouTube livestreams is trending in the right direction.

Here’s a small taste of what you can earn:

Even outside of YouTube, music artists like Tee Grizzley pull in $200,000 per month streaming on Twitch and then posting the completed streams on YouTube. As revenue grows, we expect this trend to continue in 2024.

7. Ad Blockers Derailing Views, Monetization

Can ad blockers tank your YouTube views and watch time? Even worse, will they jeopardize your dream of getting monetized?

A year ago, these questions would seem silly. But now that YouTube is blocking video playback for viewers who use ad blockers, the consequences are getting real. And we understand why: The global adblocking rate was 35.7% in 2022, with China, Indonesia, and Vietnam leading the charge. Think about it from YouTube's perspective: That's a lot of lost revenue, especially if those behaviors are prevalent on video-sharing sites.

No one knows how this will affect YouTube monetization. After all, YouTube has to allow playback on your videos before you can rack up views, watch time, and money. However, common sense tells us that some creators will unknowingly suffer, especially if their audience wants ad-free viewing.

8. Using YouTube Shorts to Blow Up

Did you know that most creators using vidIQ gained 100,000 subscribers by posting short, vertical videos? If you want proof, check our most recent list of YouTube channels that hit 100,000 subscribers in 30 days. For most channels, their standout video wasn't lengthy or horizontal; it was a YouTube Short.

This isn’t surprising to most creators, but we’re adding it to the list because Shorts continue to grow small channels. If you aren’t a short-form creator (yet), consider experimenting in 2024.

9. The Rise of VR Gaming (Virtual Reality)

Statista estimates that the global VR market will be more than $22 billion by 2025. So, it makes sense that this style of entertainment is flooding YouTube, especially in the gaming space.

For example, check out the screenshot below. According to vidIQ’s keyword explorer, viewers want to see VR content from games like Synapse and Hellsweeper. They’re also searching for VR gamers and commentators (Polish Paul) as well as VR technology (Soundcore VR P10 earbuds).

All of these keywords have high searches on YouTube and low competition from other creators. That means the VR space is relatively fresh and ready to be tamed by some lucky creators.

Now that you know which trends to watch out for, here's how to update your channel and get more views!