YouTube Video Categories – Full List Explained and Which You Should Use in 2023

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What Is The YouTube Category List?

The YouTube Category List is essentially all of the types of videos that you can publish on the platform. When you publish a video on YouTube, you can select a specific category to rank for. For more strategies on promoting your YouTube videos and increasing their visibility, check out YouTube promotion services here.

Think of it like YouTube is a giant book store, and you want to put your book in the correct category. You won't sell many copies of your comic book if you put it in the autobiography section.

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What Categories Are There?

There are 15 categories in total on YouTube:

1: Film and Animation

The film and animation category is one of the biggest sections of YouTube.

Film is the Youtube Video category containing anything movie related. Think of things like movie trailers, movie reviews, and movie scenes. The youtube channels with the most views almost always come from trailers for movies made by big film and animation industries like A24, Disney, and Sony.

There are lots of creators in the film category who commit to franchises and niches. They make other film related videos like "The Film Theorists" and "ScreenRant" who use the hype around popular movies and TV Shows to make awesome content.

The animation category is popular for many Youtube channels, though often at a smaller scale. 


This can be applied to studios as large as Pixar, all the way down to independent creators who make other animation related videos like "Jaiden Animations".

2: Autos and Vehicles

Autos and Vehicles is a very big niche on YouTube. This is everything from Car showings to basic tutorials on how to change a tire.


Channels like Mighty Car Mods make their content entirely around cars and adding really cool modifications to those cars.

3: Music

The music category was the bread and butter of YouTube in its early years, and it is still a huge cash cow. A music video on a YouTube channel like VEVO or Sony can easily rake in hundreds of millions of views. Lots of independent creators also use YouTube to promote their music, posting covers, remixes and other independent content.


Famous Musicians like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and even Ed Sheeran used a YouTube Channel to start their music careers.

4: Pets & Animals

This category covers anything to do with animals and pets. The pets category people who make content around their pets, like pet vlogs, pet-care advice, and more. The biggest independent creator in this space is Brave Wilderness, who films real life analysis of all sorts of animals and insects.


The animals category includes videos related to animals or wildlife. This means it covers things like wildlife documentaries, Animal guides, and any content revolving around non-domesticated wildlife.

5: Sports

The sports category covers all content about sports related activities. This could be sports commentary, talk shows, game highlights, and more.


I personally am subscribed to SportsCenter, NFL, and sports podcasts like The Pat McAfee Show so I can keep up to date on football news, highlights and commentary.

6: Travel and Events

Travel and Events is a youtube category around the concept of travel, attractions, and tourism. Travel Channels are usually travel vlogs that follows independent creators as they explore cool places all over the globe.

Event Channels are also composed of Vlogs that shows the creators seeing popular or novel events like Coachella, The Area 51 Raid, and more.

One of my favorite event channels on YouTube is "Channel 5 With Andrew Callaghan". Andrew Callaghan makes event videos where he goes to events, rallies, and conventions all across the country to interview some of the strangest people you've ever met.

He basically finds where all the crazies are congregated and lets them talk in a mic for 10 minutes.

There is also a more serious side to his content, where he does reporting at major public events. He's been at many major political events in the recent years, from the DC Trucker Rally last winter to the Minnesota Black Lives Matter Protests in the Summer of 2020.

Recently, he even made a trip to Ukraine where he interviewed civilians and volunteer militia trapped in the war zone.

Disclaimer: His content includes interviewing people at very controversial and taboo settings. I'm not endorsing or disparaging any lifestyle or ideology. I just wanted to promote a channel I find entertaining.

7: Gaming

You would be surprised how well a gaming channel can do on YouTube. Gaming channels can be gameplay walkthroughs, reviews, and even hour long streams of watching other people play some game. People want to know what their favorite creators think of the newest games.

A huge portion of the fresh and trending content on YouTube come from gaming channels, and some of them are even faceless YouTube channels.

Some of the most successful creators on the platform, like "PewDiePie" and "Mr. Beast", are Gaming Channels. Those two independent creators have a combined subscriber count of over 200 million people! (That's a little less than 2/3 of the United States Population!)

8: People and Blogs

This category refers to content about other people or their content. This includes individual success stories, drama channels, and informative topic videos about famous people.

Some YouTube channels focus at least partially on the drama of other YouTubers and celebrities and the drama surrounding it. An example of someone doing it well would be a channel like Philip Defranco, who essentially compresses hours worth of pop culture events, celebrity drama, and feel-good stories into a daily show.

9: Comedy

Comedy is a pretty big category on YouTube, as most YouTubers try to make their content funny since it keeps people engaged and makes the content more fun. There are plenty of channels on the platform like "Smosh" and "CollegeHumor" that build their channel around sketch comedy and improv.

Another great source of comedy on YouTube is stand up comedy, and tons of comedians upload clips and bits of their material on YouTube. Channels like "Netflix is a Joke",  "Comedy Central", and "The Laugh Factory" are a great way to find really funny stand-up bits and even full specials. 

Prank videos used to be a staple of YouTube Comedy, but has slowly fazed out from the comedy category over the years after multiple incidents where Prank YouTubers broke the law, harmed themselves, and even harmed others for content. It quickly devolved from harmless fun to actual harassment and public nuisance.

10: Entertainment

The entertainment category looks at covering everything related to pop-culture and celebrities. Think of companies like "TMZ" or "Extra!" whose whole business model is making content and news revolving around celebrities lives.

For example, a little over a month ago Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars, and a YouTube video of that altercation gained tens of millions of views overnight! Other videos related to the incident also gained millions and millions of views over the life of that event's hype.

When something major happens in the entertainment industry, views in this YouTube video category skyrocket.

11: News and Politics

The News and Politics category is essentially any content about breaking news, political debates, or developing stories. It is much easier, in my opinion, to see 5 minute YouTube video of the nightly news on YouTube rather than sitting in front of a TV for an hour.

There are the big players, of course, like CNN and Fox News. However, political commentary is also a huge niche that people are looking up on YouTube.

You can find political commentary channels for almost any political identity, wether you are right wing, left wing, or somewhere in between.

12: How-to and Style

How-To Guides are some of the biggest resources that YouTube offers. Wether you want to see a YouTube video to learn how to parallel park or how to build a cabin from scratch, there are tutorial channels out there for you.

Crafting is also a very big sub category within the niche, and people love to watch how to do crafts and simple projects. 5-Minute Crafts has a huge following on almost exclusively short-form content.

13: Education

The Educational YouTube video category is a high school teacher's best friend. Channels like "Khan Academy" or "The Organic Chemistry Tutor" had incredibly helpful math and science lessons and educational videos that were staples of my High School and College Study Sessions.

The YouTube Channel "The Organic Chemistry Tutor" makes youtube videos about every basic math and science class from algebra, all the way to Calculus III and even Chemistry! His content helped me prepare for so many tests and exams over the years, and I love that YouTube channel so much!

With every educational YouTube Channel, there is also an air of entertainment to some of them that makes all their YouTube videos both fun and engaging. For someone to keep watching your YouTube Video, you need to keep them invested.

 People like Hank and John Green use their Channel "VlogBrothers" to teach about everything related to Science and History. One brother is a Historian, while the other is a scientist, and they make their content around discussing some of the craziest facts and realities around both disciplines.

one YouTube video could be about how the Romans washed their clothes in Urine, and the next might be about how all bananas are clones of each other.

14: Science and Technology

Science and Technology is any content that refers to or revolves around Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM).

Lots of YouTubers use their knowledge and proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to create incredible content. Tech Channels like "Marques Brownlee", "Mark Rober" and "Michael Reeves" use their Engineering experience to make Youtube videos that will attract anyone with an interest in STEM.

I'm an Engineering major, and these guys are living my fantasy; using STEM and computer technology to create really cool, if not comically elaborate, stuff.

15: Nonprofits and Activism

One of the best uses of YouTube is that it gives charitable organizations and important social movements a platform to share their content.

Wether they are showcasing everything the organization has done, or they are asking for donation, both are possible in this YouTube category. They make content where the video's main aim is to make people aware of what they are trying to achieve and how you can help.

How to Set Your Channel's Default Category

The easiest way to add a category to your content is to set your channel's default channel category and optimize the upload video process.

Here is how you do that:

1: Access YouTube Channel Studio

This will be in the top right corner of your YouTube screen. Simply click on your profile picture and select "YouTube Studio"

2: Select "Settings"

On the left side-bar, you will scroll down and select "settings". In the settings menu, you can edit the default category of your channel. 

3: Select "Upload Defaults" and Go to "Advanced Settings"

From there, your content is set to a default category, meaning that any videos you post will be labeled under that category unless you change it manually. This makes the upload video process much easier if you have a definitive niche and post most of your videos within a specific category.

You can also use this section to edit the default Title and Description of every video, which is an easy way to share your existence on other platforms. Any time you create videos, they will be labeled under that default category unless you change it manually.

How To Change An Individual Channel's Category

Sometimes, you might need to edit your videos category on an individual basis and optimize the edit video process.

Follow these steps:

1: Select Content and Click on The Video You Want To Edit

In the left side panel, you will select the "Content" option. That will show you all of your videos and livestreams you've uploaded. Simply click on the thumbnail of the video whose category you want to update.

2: Click "Show More"

Scroll down to the bottom of the Video Details page and select "SHOW MORE".

3: Scroll Down and Edit Category

You will need to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. From there, you will be able to toggle your video's specific category.

Remember, the category dropdown will be all the way at the bottom of the video details page. Also, these changes aren't automatic, so make sure you save your changes for them to be applied.

Do Categories Matter?

You're definitely in a better position for using YouTube video categories to label your content

It is definitely something you should always do, but YouTube's Algorithm is so powerful and complex, it will drive people to your content regardless of what category you placed the video under. Categories are essential for driving traffic, but they're only a piece of the pie.

The key to getting the algorithm to work for your channel is to be consistent in the type of content you generate. The more videos you make of a certain category, YouTube will send more people within that niche to check out your content.

How to Pick The Right Category

"What is the best youtube category?"

Categories aren't some sort of special recipe to farming views, but YouTube's Algorithm is looking for performance and consistency. You can't list under YouTube video categories that are unrelated to your actual content since the category is just part of YouTube's Complex algorithm.

It is pretty tough to decide which category you fall under, especially when your content can be so nuanced. However, there are 4 categories that get the most views on YouTube:

  1. How-Tos

  2. Comedy Videos

  3. Music

  4. Entertainment/Pop-Culture

Every category on YouTube has plenty of potential, but if your best YouTube Category falls under those 4 options, then you are in luck, because they have the largest audiences!

For example, Nate's Channel "Evergreen Affiliate Marketing" is full of videos that can fall under the How-To category.

And that is all there is to it. 

What is your experience with YouTube Categories? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. You forgot the category “Lifestyles (sociology) apparently hidden and reserved for the few YouTube decides to let flourish. Flying the nest, Isabrl Paige, The Cottage Fairy, Casey Niestat and more have that… it isn't an option for most. YouTube scams people.

  2. I am wanting to start a video channel to cover the subject of consciousness/spirituality.. I don't see any categories that seem appropriate for this subject. Do you have any suggestions?

  3. Great post. I always wondered what the video categories on Youtube meant, but now I have a better understanding. However i will say that for the kind of videos that i create, i've always put them in the “How To” section because i make “how to” kind of videos. I'm glad my intuition got that part right.

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