[Editor’s Note: Tubefilter Charts is a weekly rankings column from Tubefilter with data provided by GospelStats. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a top number ranking of YouTube channels based on statistics collected within a given time frame. Check out all of our Tubefilter Charts with new installments every week right here.]
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As short-form content has become widely proliferated on YouTube, kid-friendly channels have still been able to carve out their spaces at the top of our Tubefilter charts. This week, however, the most-viewed American channels in the world focus almost entirely on TikTok-style videos, and the explosion of bite-size YouTube content has thrust some familiar faces back into our U.S. top 50. Read on to see who we mean.
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For the second straight week, the U.S. top 50 is led by a pair of allied gamers named Justin and Adam.
These two creators are the stars of the LankyBox channel, which reached the top of our American ranking thanks to its 452 million weekly views. LankyBox content is all over the map, ranging from shorts to movie re-enactments, but the channel’s bread and butter is video games; Justin and Adam compete against each other in a number of virtual challenges, and their shared prize is millions and millions of views.
This week, LankyBox almost lost the #1 spot in the U.S. top 50 to another dynamic duo: Marta and Rustam. The prank-happy couple, who have journeyed, in their own words, “from TikTok to YouTube,” have now gathered a massive audience on the latter platform. Over seven days, that audience delivered 432.2 million weekly views to Marta and Rustam’s collection of short-form videos.
Another TikTok-style channel, SMOL, came out of nowhere to claim third place in our latest U.S. chart. SMOL, which netted 420.2 million weekly views, serves up just about anything, so long as it can fit on a vertical screen. Among the SMOL videos that have tens of millions of views, there are many pieces of content that feature balloons, so it’s safe to say the channel has been filled with hot air on its journey up to the U.S. top five.
The only channel in this week’s U.S. top five without much of a presence on YouTube Shorts is Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes. The purveyor of animations and jingles, which has become a hit on both YouTube and Netflix thanks to its ability to entertain young children, picked up 372.4 million weekly views during the second week of September. Though that was similar viewership to what Cocomelon received the week before, the California-based channel fell from second place in our U.S. top 50 down to fourth.
Sam TV rounded out this week’s U.S. top five. The short-form hub, which describes its content as “touching life stories,” offers inspirational paeans to good and kind-hearted people. Over seven days, it picked up 291.8 million weekly views.
Thanks to YouTube Shorts, we have a lot of new channels showing up in our U.S. top 50. If, as the adage goes, everything old is new again, then we’d expect the nascent platform to make present-day tastemakers out of the stars of the past. This week, that’s exactly what happened.
Once upon a time, before TikTok was TikTok, Ray William Johnson operated the most-subscribed channel on YouTube. The spiky-haired creator was the star of the =3 web series, which commented on unusual, interesting, and notable videos from around the web. In 2014, Johnson handed the keys to =3 over to a college student named Robby Motz, and at the time, I thought that would be the end of RayWJ’s career as a chart-topper.
But in 2020, Johnson ramped up his presence on YouTube once again, and he began posting on TikTok, too. On the micro-video platform, he offered the same sort of meta-commentary he had offered on YouTube, and now that TikTok content is viable on YouTube, the former home of =3 has emerged out of its ashes as one of the most-viewed channels in the world. And luckily for him, there’s still plenty of questionable content to crack wise about.
Over seven days, the Ray William Johnson channel picked up 79.9 million weekly views, which was 18% more traffic than what the channel had accrued the week before. Thanks to that bump, Johnson moved from 60th place among U.S.-based channels up to 48th. If he can make it back to #1, it will be the surest sign that the olden days of YouTube will never die.