Karla Agis is YouTube’s Culture & Trends Manager for Latin America. She was born, grew up, and is currently based in Mexico. Before she joined YouTube, Agis spent almost 10 years of her career focusing on the analysis and creations of viral content for different brands such as Conde Nast and Buzzfeed.
In the interview, the trends manager shared stories about the success of a Ukranian fitness trainer and a grandmother cooking star. She also discussed the things that people can learn from expatriate content creators.
An Interview With A Trends Manager On YouTube
As mentioned, Agis covers all of Latin America, yet she grew up and is currently based in Mexico. This is the reason why she has her thoughts about how the video-sharing platform where she works now fits into the media landscape of Mexico and other Latin American countries.
According to her, when people talk about the media landscape in Mexico, as well as the Spanish-speaking region in LATAM, it means talking about 18 countries and a single language. For this reason, there is a significant similarity in culture, explaining particular patterns.
For instance, YouTube is one of the favorite platforms to watch videos. However, creators who use this video-sharing platform also share a lot of audiences living across the region. Just in Mexico, Agis said that there are more than 600 YouTube channels that have more than a million subscribers. Yet, there is still a lot of cross-consumption of content creators such as Los Polinesios, Luisito Comunica, and Kimberly Loaiza across other countries in Latin America.
Moreover, Agis emphasized that while there are many categories that content creators share, there are also many clusters of unique content creators. In Argentina, for instance, there is a community at the forefront of trap. Notably, trap is a famous style of music that is most of the time called a subgenre of hip hop. In addition, trap was originally developed in the southern United States. However, it is led by artists like Nicki Nicole and Paulo Londra today. Trap has also evolved as it becomes popular.
Music, Content Creators, and Their Role in Discussing the Pandemic
Agis said that music has a history of being a medium of hope. She added that it enables people to talk about things that are difficult for them to talk about, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, it is only in Latin America where people will see various artists singing about the virus in different ways. According to Agis, this alliance of creativity and hope came from Latin America’s strong sense of community, as well as its warmth across the Latin American world.
A lot of artists were able to give voice to what the public is feeling, says Agis. This gave birth to songs about loneliness, frustration, and uncertainty. For instance, some artists such as Jc La Nevula, sang songs that spoke about the difficult aspects of the pandemic. On the other hand, others like Los Tres Tristes Tigres brought comedy to it. Their song La Cuarantena, which is a parody of La Macarena talked about being parents with kids during the quarantine.
The Increase in the Number of People Watching Cooking and Fitness Videos During Quarantine
Agis also noted that they have seen an increasing trend of watching cooking and fitness videos from people during the quarantine. For fitness videos, there was a total of 200 percent increase in views during the first days of the quarantine alone. Certainly, many of these people buy YouTube views, which blend in with organic YouTube views.
For instance, Buff Academy is a Ukrainian Fitness trainer who moved to Colombia a few years ago and learned Spanish. A part of his success came from being one of the first content creators who adapted his routine to realities at home. He shows his viewers how to use common household items during workouts.
On the other hand, cooking videos have also seen a significant increase in views. Dona Angela, for example, is one of the most interesting stories from last year. She lives in the rural part of Mexico, started a YouTube channel, and was able to get a million subscribers in less than a month. Dona Angela was able to charm her viewers with her relatable personality. In addition, she cooks traditional recipes, which her subscribers find really interesting, thus fueling her channel’s quick growth. This is something that immediately resonates with Latin Americans and Mexicans. In addition, her efforts to preserve traditional cuisine was recognized by Forbes this year. She was even named as one of the most influential women in Mexico.
Some of the Most Popular Voices in the Indigenous Communities of Latin America and Mexico
Cholita Julia is a content creator from the city of Puno in the Southern part of Peru. She created her YouTube channel just this year and was able to get more than 100,000 YouTube views from subscribers. She reached this milestone by sharing her most traditional recipes while she talks about her community and its cultural heritage.
Another popular voice in the indigenous communities is Soy Nativo. He interviews his fellow indigenous people and asks them about their traditions. In addition, he firmly believes that there is a magical aspect in the ancient cultures, as well as close encounters of the third kind.
Furthermore, one of the biggest and most popular indigenous content creators is Nancy Risol. She is a resident of Ecuador. In addition, Risol does something completely different from discussing her culture. She is actually a comedy content creator.
Just last year, Risol and her YouTube channel went extremely viral. From 100 subscribers, the subscribers on her YouTube channel went up to a million in just two months. As of now, she has more than two million subscribers. Contrary to what other creators do, Risol does not talk about history or her culture, or even her traditions. Rather, she shows her viewers the everyday life in her community. This makes her YouTube channel extremely relatable for other people who live in Latin America and Mexico.