As a community predominantly led by university students and recent graduates, StudyTube aims to encapsulate and enhance the student experience. From exam tips to ‘study-with-me’ videos, in which revision sessions are documented live, the genre primarily focuses on improving motivation and work ethic through its easy-to-watch YouTube content.
The core aim according to Ehis Ilozobhie, lifestyle and study content creator, is “to bring out the best student in everyone”. “We are all helping each other”, he adds.
“Education binds young people together, […] so everyone can relate over it”, explains Ruby Granger, productivity fanatic and literature student.
Not only do StudyTubers produce curriculum-led content, but have also used their position as influencers of a young generation to create genuine wider change.
The StudyTube Project, a not-for-profit collaboration study channel, was established in March this year to coincide with the UK lockdown. For the last three months, eighteen of the internet’s most influential StudyTubers, alongside guest creators, have published daily educational videos with the ultimate goal to keep people learning ‘one day at a time’.
“I am so proud of The StudyTube Project”, enthuses Eve Bennett, twenty-year-old Oxford University student who has amassed over 220 thousand YouTube subscribers; “everyone in the community [came] together so quickly!”.
“I am so glad it has been there for people during lockdown!”, adds Ruby, who has recently produced videos on topics ranging from sharks to Victorian letter-writing.
“I’ve loved how collaborative and accessible it is”, says Jack Edwards, recent English literature graduate and the Project’s originator. “It’s a symbiotic relationship, in which viewers and creators learn from each other”, he explains, accrediting the success of the StudyTube genre to its “relatability” and “recognisability”.
It’s not just in academia where StudyTubers have made a profound impact. The recent resurgence of Black Lives Matter campaigns quickly incited three separate conversations between creators via Instagram Live.
“As a black male, […] I really felt very upset by everything that’s going on”, reveals Ehis. “I do think everyone should do their part as much as possible”, he adds. His live-stream with Jack now has over fourteen thousand YouTube views and raised more than £2200 for The Bail Project.
“We wanted to have those difficult conversations to normalise this educational process”, Jack explains.
However, feeding the motivation of millions of students worldwide has proved to be no easy feat. “[It] comes with an expectation of perfection”, Ehis says. He goes on to affirm that “we’re not always studying eight hour days. We fail too, we’re human too”.
According to Ruby the pressure can be “incredibly draining”, understandable as at one point she was live-streaming two study sessions a week alongside her twice-weekly videos. “Nonetheless, I don’t regret it for a second”, she adds, “I do love making content”.
Looking to the future of this YouTube niche, “there is so much room for growth”, suggests Ruby. She “would be surprised if new and younger creators didn’t come in to take [their] place”.
“Orthodox StudyTube will come to an end; it will rebrand and repackage itself but the message will stay the same: we are all helping each other”, Ehis explains.
“There will always be new people embarking on [this] journey”, says Eve; “I can’t wait to see which new StudyTubers emerge”.
“As long as there are students, there will always be StudyTube”, Jack adds, providing hope to those millions of young people that rely on motivational study content.
The future cohort of StudyTubers may be unclear, but it is obvious that study content is an invaluable and much-loved genre of YouTube with an undeniable impact on a young generation. In whichever way it develops, the future of StudyTube is certainly bright.
Words by Ellie Whitehall