Somewhere along the internet’s path into content oblivion, Spiderman and Elsa videos on YouTube became a guaranteed and genuinely weird traffic winner.
The premise is simple enough: Adults dress as characters from the Spiderman and Frozen franchise and act out wordless, often slightly violent skits to chirpy music.
As TubeFilter noted in early February, these short films, ostensibly for children, have been racking up the views. Search “Spiderman and Elsa” on YouTube and you get more than 6 million results.
The videos are part of a surge of kid-friendly content on Youtube — a trend the site itself has embraced via the Youtube Kids app (the main app is meant for people 13 and over). Videos of Kinder eggs being opened, toy reviews and yes, even Spiderman and Elsa skits aren’t just niche, mind-melting internet fodder: they are a full-blown business.
Indeed, some of the most successful Spiderman and Elsa clips boast more than 250 million views, and channels like “Webs & Tiaras – Toy Monster Compilations,” which specialise in superhero and princess clips, have more than 5 million subscribers.
The trend shows no sign of slowing. Channels including Beeble TV and Superheroes IRL churn out almost one video a week, meaning titles like “Double Pregnant FROZEN ELSA vs DOCTOR! w/ Spiderman vs Joker Maleficent Hulk Baby – Superhero Fun” are filling up the feed.
So why have these clips found a loyal, hungry market? Thanks to a fairly simple equation: “The videos feature something that children know well,” Joanne Orlando, an expert in children and technology, explained over email. “The sense of familiarity is very comforting to a child.”
Frozen is, after all, a cultural experience as much as a one-off film: Making $1.276 billion (A$1.663 billion) at the box office, according to Forbes, it’s one of…