On AARP's YouTube channel, we bring stories to life that challenge outdated perceptions of aging and empower people to choose how they live as they age. This includes human interest stories created with sound-on strategy that are longer in format. The videos engage audiences with fast-paced, high-quality editing and storytelling that entertains and inspires.
We focus on a few key areas where we have developed a dedicated following: veteran content (our Reporting for Duty series); celebrity content (videos from AARP The Magazine cover shoots and other celebrity interviews); and YouTube Shorts leaning into celebrities and nostalgia content, respectively. Additionally, we provide high-quality production value in every video to ensure viewers have the best possible experience with our brand. The channel is vibrant, clean, eye-catching and organized. It features a 'hero’ video as the opener, followed by our Shorts, and lastly, curated series and thematic playlists.
AARP's YouTube Channel published its first video in 2009. In the beginning, the channel focused on creating videos that highlighted topics of interest discussed on the aarp.org website and in AARP The Magazine.
As YouTube evolved and analytics became more readily available to creators, so did our content strategy. We found what was working and strategically did more of it. We shifted our focus to produce videos from the AARP The Magazine celebrity cover shoots. These videos have become a hallmark of the AARP YouTube channel.
Our monthly veterans series, Reporting for Duty, was born out of the success of our existing library of veterans content that consistently had high viewership and engagement. The series showcases stories that strongly resonate with AARP’s community of veterans, active duty and military families and with our YouTube audience.
In 2021, we launched content on Shorts, with the goal of reaching new, even younger audiences. With an initial focus on celebrity and nostalgia content, our pieces are "of the platform" and early viewership results are promising.
In 2022, we received over 20 million views to our YouTube channel. With our three pillars of content – celebrity stories, veteran stories, and Shorts – we grew our channel to 229,000 subscribers in 2022. In addition to our recently published videos, our library continues to garner hundreds of thousands of views per month. One unique example is a celebrity short featuring Matthew McConaughey that has hit over 9 million views in one year. Most recently, the Shorts have boosted engagement with our channel and expanded our audience to viewers 18+. Lastly, we believe AARP’s presence on YouTube has remained relevant, focused, and uncompromising, while always pushing forward with new forms of content.
By narrowing our focus and maintaining a commitment to high-quality content, we have grown viewership by 111% YOY, obtained new subscribers, and increased brand awareness and affinity.
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