Who Explains the Most? An Analysis of Educational YouTubers
Jose Nicholas Francisco
What color is a mirror? Where did the name Tiffany come from? What does it take to become an expert at something?
Well, if you’ve been on what one might call the “Explainer” side of YouTube, the answers to these questions may already be laying dormant in the back of your mind.
Creators like VSauce, CGP Grey, and Veritasium make in-depth videos that not only give their audience the straightforward answers to these questions, but also reveal eye-opening, and sometimes jaw-dropping information that you didn’t know you didn’t know.
If you haven’t yet explored ExplainerTube, it’s a deep rabbit hole. Even if the content just rehashes what you already know, you’ll at the very least leave entertained. Creators in this space cover a lot of ground, from niche topics in logistics to emerging areas of physics research. We’ll be analyzing the output of the following channels:
And while this list isn’t exhaustive, you’ll find enough content amongst their channels to keep you busy for days, if not weeks.
For our purposes here, we’re only focusing on the ExplainerTube channels that have exactly one host. Other channels like TED-Ed, Wisecrack, Numberphile, and CrashCourse have multiple hosts and writers in front of the camera.
It's important for a creator to make their presentation as interesting as possible, especially when explaining a topic with lots of technical details and subtleties. Sometimes, making an engaging presentation requires some really cool animations. Other times, creators make use of props to illustrate their point.
To keep their audience engaged, ExplainTubers (and YouTubers in general) tend to speak pretty quickly. Or, at least, faster than you would in a typical conversation.
Occasionally, they speak so fast that the first sound played in the video are the beeps of a racetrack’s “Ready, Set, Go!” light.
Now, don’t get me wrong, speaking fast is not a sin. Rarely does a professional ExplainTuber speak so quickly that their words become muddled. The folks listed above are sufficiently professional to speak their scripts clearly and straightforwardly explain their message.
So here’s a fun question: Out of all these fast-talking educators, who speaks the quickest of them all? The rest of this article will explain how we found that out, but if you’re just looking for the TL;DR version, look no further than the chart below.
Curious to learn more? Let’s dive in.