Research Outline

Content Strategies for Teens


To evaluate what types of video content (like on YouTube) are engaging the 14-17 year old demographic including specifics on contect that addresses deep or moral issues like 'What is the meaning of life?', 'Is Christianity really different from other religions?', 'Is it possible to be born one gender outside, but feel like another inside?', and/or 'Why don't Christians care about the environment?'.

An ideal example of this would include case studies of types of video content young people are watching that are not mainstream yet but will grow to become so over the next 2-4 years.

Early Findings


  • "94% of American 18-24-year-olds use YouTube."
  • "85% of US teen boys and 70% of US teen girls(ages 13-17) use YouTube daily."
  • " 96% of online US teens use YouTube."
According to a recent survey of teens, the following statistics were noted surrounding their use of the YouTube platform:
  • "77% of teenagers subscribe to a YouTube channel."
  • "For those students that subscribe to a YouTube channel, 1 out of 3 teenagers subscribe to a channel in the 'Music' and 'Popular on YouTube' channel categories. The least popular YouTube channel categories for teen subscriptions are 'Sports' and 'Movies."
  • Overall, "63.5% of teenagers watch YouTube daily - with 34% watching multiple times per day."
  • "37.4% of teens have clicked on a YouTube advertisement while watching a video. "
  • "64% of teens have shared a YouTube video on Facebook, Twitter or other social media."
  • "75% of teens seek advice through YouTube channels / videos on topics important to their daily lives, e.g. relationships/dating, teen trends, advice on how to do new skills such as creating new hairstyles, etc."
  • "91.4% of teens feel that, overall, YouTube is a "positive" part of our society."
Another recent survey (conducted by Common Sense Media) found that "for teens, watching online videos ranks second in enjoyment only to listening to music—it beat out video games, television and social media. Nearly two-thirds of tweens and teens watch videos about how to make or do something they are interested in."
  • "YouTube is the primary source of video entertainment for teens and tweens alike, beating out Netflix, Hulu, Twitch and other video sites by a long shot." This statistic is confirmed by another survey-based study from PiperJaffray in 2019 which found "37% of teens watch YouTube most often, beating out Netflix."


  • In 2018, researchers from the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain conducted tests to determine what teens sought out in YouYube entertainment. The four most prevalent themes seen in their results were: sex, drugs, bullying, and pregnancy.
  • "The study found teens mainly sought guidance in these weighty matters. According to the study, 'videos with a preventive/educational component comprise the most heavily represented sub theme of any of the four main themes.' The study concluded that most teens weren’t searching for cheap thrills."
  • Conculsions in this study indicate that teens have a "greater interest in seeking out constructive content to learn, educate themselves or avoid potentially risky situations (rather) than in looking for violent or humorous content or content of other types."
  • "Google has released the information that 70% of YouTube users use the platform in order to sort out a problem related to their work, school, or hobbies."
  • The average viewing session for all YouTube users is 40 minutes.
  • "Searches of 'how to' videos on YouTube are growing 70%" year over year.


When searching YouTube for the term 'What is the meaning of life?', numerous results are returned. Some of these (which have thumbnails which appear to be targeted to younger viewers) are linked below. Some are videos uploaded by ministries and others appear to be produced from individual users.


The time constraints of early findings has only allowed for a high-level examination of the type of content which does (and/or will) appeal to teens. Based on the early findings, it is suggested that in order to fully address the goals, research continue via several research paths which will ultimately allow a more full-picture understanding of the marketplace and its needs.

As an important note, it is not suggested that case studies of types of video content young people are watching that are not mainstream yet but will grow to become so over the next 2-4 years be explored as it would be impossible to develop a case study of something that has not occurred. Instead, it is suggested that trends be reviewed as an alternative.