What do the most subscribed 240 YouTube channels do that makes them successful? Create great content! But also, they…

– Edit their videos down to 4 minutes 19 seconds.
– Upload 1.25 videos per week.
– Speak at a rate of 150 words / minute.
– Edit at a rate of 9 cuts / minute.
– Type 56.6 words in the video description.
– Post on their Facebook pages at the rate of 0.7 posts/day and tweet at the rate of 2.93 tweets/day.

85% of them operate on a shoestring budget. 58% of their videos didn’t have intros (bumpers) and 86% didn’t have credits. 68% of their videos end with interactive buttons which direct their audience to their other videos.
These are just some of the highlights from a new, 175 page, in-depth “2013 YouTube Study”. A group of undergraduate students in the Internet and Mobile Media Concentration at Columbia College in Chicago explored best practices in using the YouTube platform by studying the approaches taken by its most successful users. The study focused on analyzing YouTube channels that succeeded in growing largest recurring audiences (240 most subscribed). If you aspire to build a popular YouTube channel for your internet show or build a brand presence on this platform, you might find this document to be a useful guide.

The numbers above are just a tip of the iceberg.

Let’s take video length for example. The median length of videos of the top YouTube channels is in fact 4 minutes 19 seconds.

Things become more interesting, however, once you break them down by genre. The videos from the most successful comedy channels have a median length of 3 minutes 25 seconds while successful gaming channels have a median length of 9 minutes 36 seconds.