But what about these ridiculous tiny diaper people attracts viewers and how can that be applied to a successful web series?
The most obvious answer is that babies are cute, so people watch them. But there has to be something more to it... Right? Thus, in pursuit of the almighty funny baby truth, we watched the top 10 funny baby videos on youtube.
We then gathered the information on the following four aspects of the videos/their channels: views, length, subscriber base and theme. Yes, theme. This post is going to be just like that paper on 18th Century Women's Literature you wrote in college. Except it's going to be less sexist, and we're not going to buy it online.
So, without any further preamble whatsoever, here are the illustrious and the magnificent, the babytastic and the diaper clad, the terrific goo goo ga ga celebrities of the online internet online tv wacky video viral cuteness world, the... Oh... There are actual people reading this?
Here are the ten videos we gathered, along with their stats:
1) Funny Babies 2 - 15.9 Million Views - 1min17sec - 813 Subs - Theme: Humiliating Babies
2) Top 10 Funny Baby Videos! - 2.9 Million Views - 3:14 - 272 Subs - Theme: Babies Laughing
3) 2 Funny Babies Laughing - 18.6 Million Views - 1min29sec - 992 subs - Theme: Babies Laughing
4) Funny Babies - 1 Million Views - 3min22sec - 664 subs - Theme: Exploiting Innocent Babies
5) Funny Baby Accidents - 3.5 Million Views - 1min25sec - 261 subs - Theme: Humiliating Babies
6) Funny Baby Clip - 8.9 Million Views - 2min6sec - 405 subs - Theme: Exploiting Tired Baby
7) Funny Baby - 4.6 Million Views - 1min41sec - 1,180 subs - Theme: Laughing Babies
8) Funny Baby Makes a Speech - 7.1 Million Views - 1min29sec - 924 subs - Theme: Babies Are People Too
9) Laughing Baby Ripping Paper - 42 Million views - 1min41sec - 4,597 subs - Theme: Babies Are Uplifting
10) The Funniest Baby Sloth Video Ever!!! - 3.5 Million Views - 3min01sec - 222 Subs - Theme: Odd Fascination
Okay. That was a huge pain in the ass, and I never want to see another baby video again. Here's what we noticed in all of these videos...
Youtube View Counts: Obviously they are huge. That's why we included them here. Yeah. It's crazy. Let's move on, and see how we can apply the wisdom of the baby video to web series...
Youtube Video Length: They're all very, very short. Like lawn gnome short. In fact, the longest video is 3:22 seconds. Now, I don't think that means web series creators need to be exclusively releasing uber short material, but I do think it's an indication that audiences like videos on the shorter side. Under 6 minutes is probably good at first. But that's common knowledge. The real underlying message here, is that although the common wisdom of 'keep your videos shortish' prevails, the real wisdom is this: Also include super short videos on your channel!
Try to produce short teasers, trailers and promo videos as supplemental content. If you want to succeed on youtube, it seems shorter videos are good at drawing people in. Hook them with the short extras. Then if just a few people stay for the main attraction, you've earned some real fans.
That reinforces what we've said on here before: Don't worry about 'going viral.' One viral video, in and of itself, will not lead you to the pot of gold at the end of the youtube rainbow (the gold is actually piles and piles of iPads. The rainbow is a real live rainbow).
That said, we all kind of secretly hope our video will catch virtual fire. If there's anything these toddler videos teach is that you need to be prepared for virality to happen to you. That means always have a 'subscribe now' button on your videos. And always be building your channel! Have more videos for people to watch, loop your videos together, and you'll have way better luck converting casual viewers to subs.
Theme: For the most part, these videos, deep down, are about grown ups mocking babies. I understand that may be a pessimistic point of view, but I stand by it. A common thread in all of these videos is that the grown ups are the ones holding the camera. And we, the audience, see the baby from their perspective. Face it. We're laughing at these kids, not with them. They are chubby, stinky little monsters that are only there for us to mock with our laughter.
And this thread holds true across lots of different youtube 'genres'. People like to watch other people get humiliated. There are ball kicking videos. Face smacking videos. Auto accident videos. Clumsy fat people videos. The list goes on... These videos are king on youtube.
So jump on board the embarassing train! This means BLOOPERS. Film everything that happens on set. Stage accidents. Make your lead actors look stupid. Or better yet, throw them under the bus. Literally. Or set them up to fall in love and wait for the babies to pop out.
Then you're set.