What is a YouTube collab?

youtube collab

What is a YouTube collab?

To an outsider, YouTube is just a video platform they mess around with to watch a few videos each day and go on about their business. To more enthusiastic fans, and to the people who make YouTube what it is, YouTube is more akin to an open market of content creators making videos tailored to all kinds of people. The question is, how do YouTubers grow? Contemplating this question leads you to another one, which is a huge part of growth: what is a YouTube collab? Well, at Grin, we know all about YouTube collabs, so keep reading.

 Are you a YouTuber? Check out Grin & meet YouTubers to exchange Shoutouts, Collabs & MORE!

“Content creator” is a word you hear a lot when talking about YouTubers. In the modern age, people don’t just write stories, update blogs or direct videos- they create content, which we consume faster than ever, more than ever. YouTube is one of the most highly competitive fronts for content creation in the world, and yet you’ll see that all the biggest channels in any given genre or niche work together.

Through personal outreach or through apps like Grin, content creators on YouTube connect with one another in order to do collaborations.

But what is a YouTube collab, anyways?


Prominent Examples of YouTube Collaborations

Some of the best examples of collaborations on YouTube can be seen in the (often connected) Gaming and Comedy communities.

Prominent Lets Players (PewDiePie, Markiplier, Game Grumps, etc) are all known to collaborate with one another, but the biggest collaboration-based gaming channel on YouTube is actually DidYouKnowGaming. DYKG focuses on trivia about various video games and consoles, and nearly every video on the channel grabs a gaming YouTuber, big or small, to narrate the video and link back to their own channel. DYKG has a wide appeal for the gaming community, and it offers a great value proposition for gaming YouTubers hoping to get out there.

Hot Pepper Gaming does something similar, albeit instead being game reviews with gaming YouTube stars being forced to eat hot peppers. It’s pretty amusing.

While there is no example like this for other communities, big comedy YouTubers like Smosh and Nigahiga regularly cameo in each other’s videos. By now, you shouldn’t be left asking what is a YouTube collab. Now, it’s time to talk about how and why it works.

 Are you a YouTuber? Check out Grin & meet YouTubers to exchange Shoutouts, Collabs & MORE!

How The YouTube Collab Works And Why It’s Effective

By far the most difficult milestone for a YouTuber to pass is their first 500 subscribers. 100 may seem like a nice, round number, but with just a few good videos that number can be reached. 500 requires regular quality content, with a few pieces getting noticed. Earning a subscriber on YouTube isn’t just about making a good video- it’s about having multiple good videos for them to watch when they visit your channel after seeing their first from you. 100 is easy. But starting out and making it to 500 requires a healthy combination of luck and skill.

The issue is, there’s an untold amount of YouTubers creating quality content that none of us know about. Think of all your favorite channels- beyond any doubt, there are hundreds of other people creating content suited to your tastes that you’ve simply never heard of, and might never hear of. The world is a big place- so is the Internet, and so is YouTube.

This is how YouTubers grow from a small niche into a large fanbase. By doing a YouTube collab, two relatively isolated audiences are introduced to the other’s content, and in most cases this usually goes quite well. Of course, this is speaking about smaller YouTubers operating for a niche of users. Sometimes, huge YouTubers will happen upon small fry in the wild and link to or mention them- causing a huge, one-way flow of traffic to that channel as an endorsement.

Big or small, doing YouTube collabs is good for business.

Smaller YouTube channels can band together to become stronger than the sums of their parts. Big YouTube channels can do collaborations to foster even more ridiculous growth. And sometimes, big channels work with small channels to help them grow. This is the importance of collaborating on YouTube.

Take a look back at the two channels I mentioned earlier- DYKG and HPG. These two channels epitomize the value that can be gained by having communities work together to create content- both of these channels act as hubs for massive audiences to discover new content creators they might like, all while being fed relatively straightforward content that has appeal. This hub is where genre turns to niche, and people find what they’re really looking for.

 Are you a YouTuber? Check out Grin & meet YouTubers to exchange Shoutouts, Collabs & MORE!

Issues With The YouTube Collab

Unfortunately, the YouTube collab isn’t the be-all, end-all solution to everyone’s problems that one might think it is. In a perfect world, all you’d need to do is grab a random person and make a video with them. Due to the worldwide nature of the Internet, however, that process isn’t quite so straightforward. Let’s talk about issues that collaborators on YouTube have to deal with.

  1. Time zones. You could be someone living in Florida. You just found a cool new YouTube channel that seems to do content similar to your own, and you’ve reached out to them for the idea of working together. What you may not realize is that this person lives across the ocean, on a whole other continent. They won’t receive your message until you’re asleep. How are you two supposed to schedule together when one party is massively ahead or behind?
  2. Audiences. If you two are operating in the same niche or genre, you should be fine. However, not all collaborations may be right. For instance, why would a gaming channel collaborate with a fashion channel? While they may have a small segment of fans interested in both, their audiences are primarily composed of people who couldn’t care less about the content the other channel is doing.
  3. Distribution of labor. Who is making the footage and editing it? Who’s uploading it, and where? Will the content be split across both channels, or mirrored on both? Will both creators be part of a huge editing process, or will one take most of the work while the other just hosts the content? These are all valid questions you need to be asking and working out well before you begin the process of making doing a YouTube collab.

 Starting Your Own Collab on YouTube

With any luck, this article explained what a YouTube collab is adequately for you. There’s a lot to work with and through here, but the end goal is more than worth the means required to get there. Before you even think about reaching out for a collaboration, you need to be creating high-quality content of your own so that the people you approach can know what to expect from you. The same applies the other way around- if you’re scoping for YouTubers to collaborate with, you need to do your homework on them.

 Are you a YouTuber? Check out Grin & meet YouTubers to exchange Shoutouts, Collabs & MORE!

A great way to reach out to fellow YouTubers is through our mobile app, Grin. Using Grin, you’ll be on a massively-connected network filled with content creators just like you, looking to collaborate on YouTube. Searching on your own for a viable partner isn’t always easy. To learn more about collaboration, YouTube and content creation, check out our blog, too.