Consumers Are Obsessed With Feel-Good Short-Form Content Right Now

Cooking and crafting videos have surged in popularity throughout the pandemic

Screenshot from a 5-Minute Crafts video
Consumers are turning to short DIY-style videos to stay busy at home.
Headshot of Emmy Liederman

Since March, consumers have been exploring a range of new hobbies as a form of escapism. They may be reaching for more adult beverages to relax and unwind, but they are also embracing childlike simplicity by buying Play-Doh, doing arts and crafts and replacing critically-acclaimed movies with short, light-hearted videos. 

People are streaming cooking, comedy, DIY and crafting videos to fill up those extra hours in the day that are no longer spent commuting to work or going out with friends. 

Short-form content, which is less than 10 minutes long, has proven to be an effective mood booster and digital distraction: 69% of U.S. consumers spend 30 minutes to three hours watching these videos each day, according to a study by media company TheSoul Publishing.

“It’s interesting to see that it’s not just any short-form video that’s resonating with the American audience right now. It’s really positive content that has taken the spotlight, becoming the popular form of escapism and a welcome source of entertainment,” Victor Potrel, vp of platform partnerships at TheSoul Publishing, said.

People don’t view these videos as a guilty pleasure, but as a necessary part of their wellness routines. According to TheSoul, more than one in three Americans consider consuming this content to be a healthy part of their lifestyles.  

This trend is reflected in the recent success of TheSoul’s most popular platform, 5-Minute Crafts, a DIY-style YouTube channel that offers everything from wacky prank ideas, unique dessert recipes and “life hacks” that reveal hidden uses for everyday items. 

In the last six months, the platform’s Facebook page has seen a 20% increase in viewership and a 82% increase in followers, according to Potrel. 

“For content creators and brands looking to get in front of shoppers around the holiday season, there’s a lot that can be learned about what is more likely to resonate and break through,” he said. 

Gen Z is most guilty of binge-watching, sticking to comedy series and turning to short-form content to boost their moods, according to TheSoul. 

Even as a Covid-19 vaccine nears and people plan to retract to their busy schedules, they will still make time for this content—the research shows that 83% of consumers will continue to watch at least as much or increase their consumption of short-term videos in 2021.

Judging by the success of platforms like 5-Minute Crafts, creating positive content is a lucrative business decision for media companies in 2021. 

“Across all social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snap, and Pinterest, over the last year TheSoul Publishing has seen a continuous gravitation towards our positive video content resulting in increases across multiple key metrics—subscriber growth, viewer engagement, and minutes watched,” Potrel said. 

Emmy is an Adweek contributor who is completing her journalism degree at The College of New Jersey with minors in Spanish and broadcast journalism.