YouTube is a massive platform with millions of videos. With so much to choose from, it’s easy for quality content to get lost in the crowd. Because of that, I’ve decided to do the digging for you and compile a list of underrated YouTube channels.
In this case, the operational definition of “underrated” is channels with fewer than 100,000 subscribers, a criterion I chose because gaining 100K is considered the first milestone in a content creator’s journey, as YouTube sends them a silver play button once they reach this goal.
I divided the channels by category, based on a list from the YouTube Creator Academy. There are obviously many more categories that I didn’t include, but hopefully this article can serve as a starting point.
Here are 10 underrated YouTube channels from 10 different categories.
1. Auto and Vehicles: StangMode
I admittedly don’t watch many videos that fall under the “auto and vehicles” category, but StangMode appeared on my Instagram feed one day, which is how I found his YouTube channel.
As his name suggests, StangMode mainly makes videos about mustangs. I’ve only seen a couple, but they were incredibly informative. Some of his other videos, such as “Reactions to my Color-changing 2018 Mustang GT,” are enjoyable even for people that don’t know anything about cars. Whether you’re a car buff or just looking for entertainment, StangMode has content for both audiences.
2. Beauty and Fashion: Sarah’s Styles
Sarah’s Styles primarily focuses on fashion, skincare and makeup. Examples of videos include makeup tutorials, product reviews and DIYs. Sarah is a college student with a mature, calming personality that appeals to a wide audience.
She has a little over 2,000 subscribers, which means that her channel has yet to be dominated by brand deals and sponsorships, a reality that makes her videos feel more authentic and personal. She also finds a way to create beauty and fashion content without ever seeming materialistic or shallow. For viewers that are tired of beauty influencer drama and unwearable looks, Sarah’s Styles is a breath of fresh air.
3. Comedy: Fusion Comedy
Fusion Comedy has subtle “SNL” vibes and is great for anyone who likes political comedy or satire. There’s a TED Talk parody, a Sean Spicer sock puppet, a White House shopping network and many other fun videos.
Some of the content definitely requires a little bit of background knowledge on current events, but most college students would be familiar with the topics.
Fusion Comedy’s intelligent humor likely appeals to a lot of older people, but it probably loses out on views from younger audiences. It’s also worth noting that the channel hasn’t been updated in almost two years. That being said, I still think it’s worth checking out!
4. Education: NancyPi
I’m cheating my own criteria by including NancyPi on this list, because she has just over 100,000 subscribers, but I felt an obligation to share her channel, as it was the only thing that got me through AP calculus.
Nancy creates advanced math tutorials in algebra, trigonometry and calculus. Her explanations are incredibly clear and thorough, and she discusses a wide range of topics. Her videos are also more enjoyable to watch because she includes herself in them rather than just showing the numbers.
As a result, it feels like you’re learning from a friend. As a fun bonus, she has a soothing voice that many viewers seem to enjoy for ASMR purposes.
5. Entertainment: Nick OFF Duty
Nick OFF Duty is quite a niche channel, and I’m curious to see how it will grow. As of now, its content is based on the life of a police officer. Videos include a tour of his on-duty vehicle, discussing different types of police cars, stories and other police-related content.
Nick is a fun and personable guy, and his channel helps shed some light on the mystery of law enforcement. This is especially important given all the recent events of police brutality and misconduct.
6. Film and Animation: MainstayPro
MainstayPro is an amateur production company. They make original short films and scenes based off books. Some of their most popular videos are “Hunger Games” adaptations, such as the origin story of Finnick and Annie.
Their channel also consists of many trailers for full-length movies that are not available on YouTube. I watched one of their movies, “Storm Rider,” on Netflix, and it was okay but nothing special. I think where they really shine is in their unique short films that both entertain the audience and force them to think.
7. Food: The Kitchy Kitchen
The Kitchy Kitchen features a young woman named Claire who once had her own cooking show on ABC. Despite her claim to fame, Claire’s channel is still vastly underrated. What I like most about her recipes is that they’re incredibly simple.
Her videos are short and sweet, and her bubbly personality makes it all the better. I think her channel is best for when you need some quick food inspiration, without all the extra talking. That being said, viewers that are just beginning to learn how to cook might feel like some extra instructions would be helpful.
8. Music: Awfultune
Awfultune, aka Mikey Hoffman, actually went to high school with me, so I might be bit biased in my hugely positive opinion of him. Although we never knew each other, I’m familiar enough with his life to admire the way his personality and experiences shine through his music.
YouTube isn’t his most popular platform, but a lot of his songs can be accessed through there. He has a remarkably raw sound, with only a ukulele for the instrumentals, and frequently uses melancholy vocal layering. His lyrics are honest and relatable, and every song just has such great emotional depth.
9. People and Blogs: Piera Forde
Piera Forde is an Australian book reviewer. She used to film scenes from “Maximum Ride” for her videos, which is how I discovered her, but she now focuses on discussing books, with occasional lifestyle videos thrown in.
She’s sassy, funny, honest and clearly passionate about reading, as demonstrated by the huge number of books she goes through every month. Her analyses and opinions are thorough, yet concise, and she gives great recommendations. If more channels like hers existed, perhaps college students would be more inclined to read for pleasure rather than academics.
10. Travel and Events: Ethereal
There aren’t many channels on YouTube that are specifically dedicated to travel, but Ethereal is one that deserves more love. All of his videos thus far have been from various parts of India, but each location might as well be a different world.
The cinematography is absolutely stunning, with footage from a mountainside sunset to paddling across clear blue waters. He’s also just a very interesting person who clearly cares about others and is passionate about what he does. His videos are sure to incite a sense of wanderlust within viewers.