19 Top YouTube Channel Ideas For 2023 (+ Examples)
Do you want to become a YouTuber but have no idea what type of channel to create? Let’s fix that.
In this post, we’re sharing some of the best YouTube channel ideas. These are the types of channels that are most likely to gain traction.
Alongside each channel idea, you’ll find examples and sharing tips to help you get started.
Ready? Let’s jump into it!
1. Gaming channel
Gaming has long been one of the most popular YouTube channel categories. It’s so big that YouTube Gaming hit a mind-blowing 100 billion hours of watch time in 2020.
Needless to say, gaming channels can grow incredibly quickly. But be warned: There’s a lot of competition in this space.
If you want to compete, you’ll have to think outside the box. Don’t just upload another generic playthrough of a game that dozens of other creators have already played.
Aim to offer your viewers something new and exciting, and upload fresh gaming content that hasn’t been done before.
It’s up to you what kind of gaming content you create. Some YouTubers focus on just one game (think Dream and Minecraft or Ninja and Fortnite) while others play a mix of different games.
The advantage of the latter is you can upload gaming videos about whatever is hot right now and capitalize on emerging trends.
To get more views, make sure you nail your YouTube video titles and thumbnails. It also helps to promote your gaming channel when you’re first getting started to build some momentum.
TheRealKenzo is a YouTube gamer known for his incredible Overwatch skills. He regularly uploads impressive compilations of his best moments and has earned over 800,000 subscribers.
If we look at his channel history, we can see he had a surge in viewers around October 2022, when his video views jumped from around 100-200k per video to 1-2m per video.
This spike in views coincided with the release of Overwatch 2. It became the new hot game and Kenzo successfully capitalized on that trend to increase his viewership.
2. Challenge videos
Challenge videos can easily go viral, which makes them a great choice if you’re trying to earn thousands of subs fast.
In challenge videos, you set yourself a crazy task and record yourself as you try to achieve it. People love an underdog story, so the more seemingly impossible the challenge is, the more likely people will be to click on your videos and engage with them.
Ryan Trahan absolutely nailed the challenge video format. He regularly uploads videos in which he sets out to achieve the impossible—like trading $0.01 into a house in one week or surviving for 50 hours on only Bitcoin.
Unsurprisingly, he’s one of the most successful creators on the platform with over 11 million subscribers.
Arguably his most successful series to date was his “I survived on $0.01 for 30 days series”, in which he chronicled his efforts to survive and travel across the country to deliver a penny to MrBeast with only a penny and the clothes on his back.
The series was such a roaring success that it raised almost 14 million meals for Feeding America and racked up tens of millions of video views. It also generated 30 videos worth of content for Ryan.
3. Compilation channel
Compilation channels are perfect for YouTube beginners because they’re so easy to get started with.
All you have to do is create compilations of your favorite content and add some value of your own. For example, you might add your own narration or captions.
The great thing about this is that you don’t have to record original content, so you can make and publish videos faster. And compilation videos also tend to attract a lot of views, which can help you to earn subs fast.
Once you’ve got your first few thousand subs, you might branch out and start creating original content. But by that point, you’ll already have a foundation to work from.
Just bear in mind that if you’re creating compilation videos, there are copyright laws to think about. We’re not lawyers here, so you’ll have to do your own research before you start uploading.
Ozzy Man Reviews is a great example of a compilation channel done right. He regularly uploads video compilations of funny clips from around the internet and has racked up over 5 million subscribers.
But Ozzy Man doesn’t just blatantly steal content like other compilation channels. He adds value of his own through his hilariously funny voiceovers. Try to do something similar when thinking up your own beginner YouTube video ideas.
4. Educational channel
If you’re an expert in a certain area, why not start your own educational YouTube channel?
Educational channels take many forms, but they typically upload content like how-to videos, tutorials, self-help advice, etc.
These types of YouTube videos tend to rank well in both YouTube and search engines like Google. So you can get a lot of traffic through organic search, which can help you to gain subs fast.
Once you’ve grown your subscriber base, you can monetize your audience by releasing additional paid educational content. For example, you could create an online course masterclass using one of these eLearning platforms and promote it through your videos.
Income School is a YouTube channel that uploads short tutorials and tips and tricks videos about SEO, marketing, and blogging. They use their YouTube channel as a vehicle to drive leads for their Project 24 online course series.
5. News channel
One of the best strategies for gaining subs fast is to create videos about trending topics. And that’s why YouTube news channels tend to grow so quickly—they’re constantly uploading videos about the latest hot topics, which tend to be real click magnets.
We’re not talking about ‘mainstream’ news channels here like NBC, CNN, or Fox News. We’re talking about niche YouTube news channels that focus on a specific area: like gaming news, tech news, or celebrity gossip.
Mogul Mail is the drama/news/gossip channel of popular live streamer Ludwig. On Mogul Mail, Ludwig regularly shares videos in which he discusses the latest news and drama from the world of influencers.
Like all successful YouTube news channels, Mogul Mail has a clearly defined niche. It focuses almost exclusively on trending stories related to influencers, live streaming, gaming, and internet culture—topics that the host, Ludwig, is most familiar with.
6. Travel vlog
Travel vlogs are YouTube channels that upload videos documenting trips and experiences around the world. If you can create engaging travel content, you can grow super quickly.
One of the reasons travel vlogs are great is that they’re less competitive than many other areas. And people love watching videos that show them exotic places that they might not have the chance to visit themselves.
Bald and Bankrupt is one of the most successful travel vloggers. He explores many countries but mainly focuses on Eastern Europe—a region that many other vloggers neglect.
His distinct style of raw footage with minimal editing and exciting clickbaity titles have helped propel the growth of his channel, and he’s earned over 3.6 million subscribers to date.
7. Talk and variety shows
Talk and variety shows are YouTube channels that center very much around you, the host.
The focus is on your personality—that’s what viewers tune in for—so it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you’re engaging. Pretty much anything goes.
Good Mythical Morning (GMM) is the best example of a YouTube talk/variety show. The channel uploads daily videos in which the hosts, Rhett & Link, entertain viewers by trying foods, playing games, conducting experiments, interviewing guests, and much more.
GMM is one of the most successful channels on YouTube. It’s been going for over a decade and has over 18 million subscribers.
The main reason for GMM’s success is its hosts’ personalities and the fact that they’ve heavily focused on building a community. Many GMM viewers—branded ‘Mythical Beasts’—are loyal fans that tune in every morning for their daily dose of Rhett & Link.
8. Livestream channel
Live streams are one of the fastest-growing types of content and now account for almost a quarter of all online viewing time.
But because live streaming is still a relatively new industry compared to video-on-demand, there’s much less competition in the space, which can help you to grow very quickly.
You can capitalize on the lack of competition by starting your own livestreaming channel with YouTube Live.
To make a successful livestream channel, focus on audience interaction—livestreams are all about making viewers feel like they’re part of a community. You might even want to consider building a community space for your viewers using a platform like Podia.
Only in Japan Go proves how quickly you can grow on YouTube Live. The host of the channel, John Daub, regularly shares live videos in which he explores various parts of Japan.
This gives viewers a unique, first-hand experience of a part of the world they may not otherwise be able to visit. The channel has over 290,000 subscribers to date.
9. Social experiments
Social experiments are another type of content that tend to get lots of views, engagements, and subscribers.
These types of channels upload videos in which they test people’s reactions to certain situations or events. They often have a lot of ‘shock’ value and make for great, clickbaity titles.
Cut has mastered the social experiment format. They upload videos that push the boundaries and put people in interesting and often-uncomfortable situations, then document the results.
One of their most successful series is their dating show, The Button, in which contestants speed-date one another and can reject them by pushing a button.
It’s intense and more than a little awkward, which has made it a viral hit and prompted dozens of other successful YouTubers to ‘react’ to it, including Pewdiepie.
10. Expensive stunt channel
This is a new genre of YouTube channel that was pioneered by the king of YouTube himself, MrBeast.
As the name suggests, these kinds of channels publish content involving super-expensive stunts. Usually, this involves giving away ridiculous sums of money to people or running contests with six-figure prize funds.
It might sound odd, but it works. Because these kinds of videos are click magnets. They tend to rack up millions of views and can earn you a ton of subscribers incredibly quickly. The only problem is they’re very costly to make.
MrBeast is the obvious example to look at here. His giveaway and expensive stunt videos have earned him over 112 million subscribers and made him arguably the most successful YouTuber of all time.
This content strategy has been so successful for MrBeast that it prompted a wave of copycat channels that do the same kind of thing.
Even YouTubers that were already successful in their own right, like Disguised Toast, Ludwig, and Miniminter, have started trying to get a piece of the action by uploading their own ‘donating’ videos, in which they give money away to others.
11. Reaction channel
Reaction channels are a lot like compilation channels in that you’ll be heavily featuring content from other creators in your videos.
The difference is that instead of just curating a bunch of content and piecing it together, you’ll be recording yourself, or others, reacting to it.
For whatever reason, viewers seem to like reaction channels, so they can grow really quickly if you get them right. And reaction videos are also pretty easy to create, which makes this one of the best ideas for beginners
MrBeast Reacts is another channel owned by MrBeast, in addition to his main channel. He uses it to exclusively publish react videos, and most uploads get over 10 million views. The channel has over 20 million subs to date.
12. Horror channel
Horror channels are another popular sub-genre that can get subscribers really quickly. It’s up to you what kind of videos you upload—as long as they’re scary.
Some of the most popular horror YouTube channels are simple narrations of scary stories from across the internet, accompanied by some atmospheric music and visuals to add to the thrills.
Mr. Nightmare is a horror channel featuring video narrations of scary true stories. The creator sources a lot of his content from scary story subreddits and fan submissions.
But it’s his smooth, deep, monotonous voiceover that helped to differentiate him from his competitors and earned him over 6 million subs.
13. Beauty & fashion channel
Beauty and fashion channels are exactly what it says on the tin—channels that upload beauty- and fashion-related content like skincare routines, makeup reviews, fashion hauls, etc.
If you’ve got a passion for fashion, or you’re a master of makeup, it’s a great niche to focus on. These types of channels cater mainly to a female audience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have success as a male creator.
In fact, the male beauty and fashion space is much less saturated. And less competition means there’s more opportunity for growth.
Promotional and sponsored videos are incredibly common in this channel genre, and creating a promo video is incredibly easy. Pick your favorite product, create a review or tutorial video and pop an affiliate link in the description.
Pretty Pastel Please is one of the most successful beauty vloggers on YouTube. She uploads a good mix of content including product hauls, haircare routines, and even travel content. So far, her channel has grown to over 720,000 subscribers.
14. Unboxing channel
Unboxing is a modern phenomenon and a relatively new genre of content. Unboxing YouTubers film themselves (often focusing on just their hands) as they remove a newly purchased product from its packaging, examine it, and sometimes review its features.
It might sound boring, but the format has proved to be a hit on YouTube. There are millions of people that love watching unboxing videos, so you can earn subs fast by uploading this type of content.
TheRelaxingEnd is an unboxing channel that focuses on the gaming niche.
In it, the creator unboxes consoles, video games, and other tech products. The clean white background and white gloves put the focus firmly on the product being unwrapped, which has helped make the channel a success.
It has over 8.8 million subscribers and the most popular video has over 27 million views.
15. ASMR channel
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) refers to the tingling sensation that some people experience on their scalp, neck, and spine in response to certain types of audio and visual stimuli.
The sensory phenomenon has spawned a whole genre of YouTube channels that focus on creating videos that are designed to elicit this response—and they’re super popular.
ASMR creators utilize breathy sounds and whisper into the mic in order to evoke that tingling sensation that viewers crave. You’ll need an excellent microphone if you want to go down this route.
Gibi ASMR is a great example of how to create a successful ASMR channel. Gibi knows the ASMR world inside and out and knows exactly what kind of content her community wants. Her channel has over 4.4 million subscribers and counting.
16. Comedy channel
Laughter is a powerful tool when it comes to growing an audience. Comedy channels are one of the most popular YouTube genres and get millions of subscribers. So if you have a talent for making people laugh, this could be the perfect niche for you.
There are lots of different sub-types of comedy channels. You could upload comedy sketches, funny compilations, standup routines… you name it. As long as it’s amusing, anything goes.
College Humor is the YouTube channel of one of the most popular comedy sites on the web. They share original, funny videos including comedy sketches, web series, and animations. And they have over 14 million subscribers.
17. Music channel
Got a talent for making music? Why not start your own music channel? You could upload cover songs and original tracks, and use YouTube as a vehicle to launch your career as a musician.
Or if you don’t want to make music yourself, you could start your own YouTube label, compilation channel, or radio station and share tracks from other artists instead. Again, just make sure you’re up to speed and compliant with all the relevant copyright laws.
Regardless, YouTube can be an excellent revenue stream for musicians.
Chillhop Music is one of the most successful YouTube music channels. Millions of viewers tune in to listen to Chillhop mixes of relaxing, chilled-out beats while they study and game. The channel has over 3.2 million subscribers.
18. Shorts channel
YouTube Shorts are YouTube’s answer to TikTok. Shorts channels exclusively upload engaging short-form videos, much like you might find on Instagram Reels or TikTok.
Because YouTube Shorts is one of the platform’s newest features, they’re being pushed heavily by the algorithm. And that means Shorts creators are growing incredibly quickly and gaining subscribers super fast.
5-Minute Crafts FAMILY is an uber-successful YouTube channel that publishes a mixture of Shorts and long-form videos. Their funny DIY foot soap short has a mind-blowing 559 million views to date. That’s right—over half a billion views in a single video. Incredible, right?
19. Soothing content
Soothing content is one of the biggest YouTube trends of 2022. It was highlighted in YouTube’s latest culture & trends report.
According to the report, over 83% of Gen Z viewers use YouTube just to relax. This trend has spawned a wave of ‘comfort creators’—channels that exclusively put out relaxing content designed to offer a sense of familiarity and nostalgia to viewers.
Soothing content is part of a wider trend of ‘vibe’ content that helps people feel transported to a different place and help change their emotional frequency.
Choki is the perfect example of a soothing YouTube channel. The creator uploads simple, peaceful videos in a warm, cozy setting and has gained over 1.3 million subscribers. There’s no dialogue in Choki’s videos, just captions—it’s all about the aesthetic and relaxing atmosphere.
That concludes our roundup of the best YouTube channel ideas and most popular YouTube video ideas. Hopefully, this has given you some food for thought.
No matter what kind of channel you create, remember that the key to YouTube success is creating great content, consistently.
It takes time to earn subscribers so don’t expect your channel to take off overnight. Just keep working on creating content your viewers will enjoy and spend time promoting it, and hopefully, you’ll get there eventually.
If you’d like to learn more, check out these posts:
- How To Promote Your YouTube Channel
- The Latest YouTube Statistics
- 7 Proven Ways To Monetize Your YouTube Videos
- How To Create A Social Media Strategy