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In order to undertake an ethnographical study, a field site map must be made to understand the niche in more detail (Burrell, 2009). How exactly do the components interact and relate to one another? Since deciding to focus my niche on movie commentary Youtube channels, I asked myself a series of questions that have allowed me to broaden my knowledge on the topic. These questions included aspects of the content posted, the online presence of the main creators, the relationships between creators and their audience, and the target market for this particular niche. The field site map below visually outlines these key features.
Each content creator within the movie commentary niche has an online presence outside Youtube; whether that be on Instagram, Tiktok or Twitter. Though, with these platforms, they tend to post more person content — Q&As, thoughts, what they did that day. It goes beyond watching a person on a screen react to movies in their bedroom, because fans are now seeing how these influencers are operating outside of the Youtube space, how they are responding to real-world issues and what their thoughts are on things other than movies. I believe this type of content is a way for Youtubers and their fans to connect on a deeper level (Bates, 2020).
The viewers of these channels are able to relate to and engage with the creator’s content because it’s centred around humour. It brings a level of entertainment that wouldn’t be found simply by watching the movie or show alone. This especially rings true when the creators, themselves, are fans of, and are passionate about the film they are reviewing. It also helps that the majority of these Youtubers are young adults, just like their target market. Thus, viewers are able to find commonality with these creators, and can see them as regular people, rather than a Youtuber with thousands of followers. This community is also perfect for those interested in cinema production, as many creators focus their content on this aspect of film; discussing camera work, lighting and editing choices. Overall, viewers are able to gain an insight they wouldn’t find solely in the film.
As mentioned in my introductory blog last week — My Media Niche: Movie Commentary Youtube Channels — there are three top Youtubers who seemingly dominate this niche: Trin Lovell (450k subscribers), Dylan Is In Trouble (770k subscribers), and Pretty Much It (775k subscribers). I believe these three are the most successful because they make their videos succinct, yet edit them in a way that makes the movie easy to follow, given the cuts made. They involve a lot of humour and unfiltered laughs, while making appropriate comments regarding costume choices, camera work, dialogue, and more.
The content creators rely heavily on Youtube comments for movie and TV show suggestions. In fact, quite often Youtubers will start the video by saying something along the lines of “this movie has been highly requested”. Furthermore, many creators have established inside jokes with their fans, which are regularly referred to in both the video and comment section.
This particular media niche has a target market consisting of teenagers and young adults who are seeking to belong to a community that combines humour with movie reviews. The nature of the comments heavily suggest there is a female dominance in the viewership. This niche is intended for those who are either interested in film, or those who don’t want to, or have time to, watch an entire movie in full. This is because the videos also allow viewers to watch the movie as a summary, sometimes saving hours of viewing time.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next week.
Airoldi, M. (2018). ‘Ethnography and the digital fields of social media’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 661 -673.
Bates, H. (2020). ‘The Importance Of A Strong Personal Brand In Influencer Marketing’, The Drum, 2 Jan, online blog, accessed 14 Aug 2020, <https://www.thedrum.com/profile/influencer/news/the-importance-of-having-a-strong-personal-brand-in-influencer-marketing>
Burrell, J. (2009). ‘The Field Site as a Network: A Strategy for Locating Ethnographic Research’, Field Methods, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 181–199.