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A smartphone user opening the YouTube application. Photo by: Pexels.com
A smartphone user opening the YouTube application. Photo by: Pexels.com

Chicago Hiphop Rules the Roost

YouTube Red is amping up their original content with ads running in movie theaters this winter.

Online users that watch YouTube videos can experience it ad-free with YouTube Red.

As an independent media producer for YouTube, I recently sent a pitch to the company on working more together in 2017. During the pitch, I mentioned that I would create a list of the top YouTube channels in Illinois to show our value in comparison to other media producers within the fifth largest state. Since YouTube does not currently have a ratings system for the channels per state, I’m going to start putting them together for each state.

SocialBlade has compiled the top 500 YouTube channels worldwide.

This first list will be compiled of Illinois-based YouTube channels. I will move to New York and California next. If I overlook your channel on any of the lists, feel free to contact us via the main website, or via our YouTube Channel. This list is completely independent from YouTube, so I am doing my best to find the top channels.

Below is a content guide to the largest YouTube channels based by views and subscribers. The two numbers were both used when computing the size of the channel. The point of this list is to show the talented producers that put work and time into their content. Top fanpages and channels will be noted, but will not be on the list for lacking original content.

After compiling the list, I found out the massive influence that the rap and hip-hop industry has on Chicago. Lyricists have been able to connect with residents on YouTube in a engaging manner.

Despite the independent success from Chance the Rapper, some of the top channels in Illinois have artists that are under Def Jam Records. It shines light on the money being pushed behind these channels. In comparison to Chance the Rapper & Umphrey’s McGee, being unsigned, independent musicians, I find that their content holds more creative weight.

Our channel came in at 23rd after 5 hours of searching on YouTube. There is a chance that more independent producers exist in Illinois, but lack awareness. It is also hard to pinpoint a channel’s current location. Some of the lyricists and international companies may be stationed outside of the state.

In conclusion, this list displays which channels featuring original content have developed in the state of Illinois. It will work as a ratings system for original content on YouTube.

What I learned was that musicians are similar to startups. When Mark Cuban talks about the level of failure a company goes through to acquire funding for their projects. He notes that some companies fail to build revenue on their own, and have to turn to funding to get their project produced. I compare this to a musician having to turn to a major record label to help release their work.

The raw data in connection to how channels grow with advertising has helped me appreciate the talents within Chance the Rapper.

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YouTube - Top 20 Channels in Illinois

  1. Chance the Rapper – 517,618 subscribers | 108,758,860 views
  2. Lollapalooza – 156,478 Subscribers | 19,803,564 Views
  3. G Herbo aka Lil Herb – 96,688 Subscribers | 33,257,314 Views
  4. Lil Durk – 71,329 Subscribers | 22,213,388 Views
  5. Common – 34,410 Subscribers | 12,512,541 Views
  6. Chicago World News – 30,651 subscribers | 6,171,750 views
  7. Chicago Tribune – 24,542 Subscribers | 38,869,755 Views
  8. Umphrey’s McGee – 19,448 Subscribers | 9,575,592 Views
  9. Chicago Bears – 12,645 Subscribers | 3,853,973 Views
  10. Redeye Chicago – 9,244 Subscribers | 13,659,459 Views
  11. University of Illinois Athletics – 9,479 Subscribers | 8,949,603 Views
  12. Goose Island – 8,653 Subscribers | 26,420,777 Views
  13. Chicago Sun-Times – 7,395 Subscribers | 9,347,846 Views
  14. React Presents – 5,665 Subscribers | 1,968,180 Views
  15. Chicago Fire Soccer Club | 5,162 Subscribers | 1,693,254 Views
  16. Northwestern – 7,071 Subscribers | 2,967,513 Views
  17. The Art Institute of Chicago – 6,523 Subscribers | 1,294,684 Views
  18. YoChicago – 5,856 Subscribers | 5,886,599 Views
  19. University of Illinois – 4,102 Subscribers | 1,561,150 Views
  20. EnjoyIllinois – 3,810 Subscribers | 6,118,131 Views

*Top fanpages with aggregated content and international based companies include:

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox
  • John Deere – International Company
  • State Farm
  • McDonald’s
  • Chicago, the band, has a popular VEVO page, but no YouTube channel.

New Era Cap: Chance the Rapper & the Chicago White Sox

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