• Michael Hoffmann Hansen
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen
The aim of this paper is to investigate how genres manifest on YouTube and to what use they are put. This leads to the questions of how the algorithms of YouTube can genrerate a genre – and not least: what do these special YouTube-genres consist of?

By means of media metaphors (Meyrowitz, 1997) and genre theory (ia. Miller 1984) it is argued, that in order to describe, relate and communicate genres,when choosing which videos to present to the users, YouTube's algorithms take into account more facets than just content and form (as is the norm in traditional bibliographic genres). It is also described how the algorithm always favours the already popular videos, especially the ones connected to YouTube's Partner Program (YPP) – the ones carrying advertisements, generating provenue.

YouTube's own video categories are found imprecise and ambiguous, and 5 other genre/categorisation definitions are examined. Especially the AMP-classification (Pejtersen, 1989) is found able to provide the focus on both content, form and context that is required.

Case studies of 3 different YouTube videos are used to test and exemplify the findings, as well as a ground for discussion of the pros and cons of YouTube's current genre/indexing system.

It is concluded that algorithms generate YouTube-genres by combining the (algorithmically percieved) preferences of a single user with that of the rest of (similar) users, based on user behaviour and algorithmic identities. Thus generating a 'genre-of-user'. This is juxtaposed to a 'genre-of-video' genrerated by the algorithm's information, derived from the combination of tags,user interactions and bibliografic metadata attached to the videoes. Due to this double video-user focus the 'YouTube-genre' does not exist until a user interact with the interface.

Genres are used by YouTube, when the interface presents search results and 'related videos' and are described as the interface's presentation of the algorithmic calculation of the most probable next videos that an exact user would like to see. This is done to provide the user with a better chance of a serendipitous experience, in order to keep the user on the site – thus viewing more videos and in turn more advertisements.
Udgivelsesdato1 maj 2018
Antal sider74


  • youtube, genrer, fanfiction, memes, Meyrowitz, Miller, AMP, Pejtersen, semiotik, platform, mediemetaforer, rickroll