How Couples YouTube Channels Forge "Friendships" With Their Viewers: A Thematic Textual Analysis
Date of Award
Master of Arts in Communication Studies
First Reader/Committee Chair
A “couples YouTube channel” is a YouTube channel where a real-life romantic couple posts videos about their relationship. On YouTube there are hundreds of such channels, and some are so popular that those couples actually make a living creating and sharing their stories. How do they do this? More specifically: what marketing techniques, specifically storytelling practices, do these YouTube couples use to resonate with audiences?
This exploratory, qualitative study seeks to answer this question through a thematic textual analysis of three couples YouTube channels. Using narrative theory and parasocial interaction as theoretical frameworks, the study interpretively analyzes a total of thirty videos. Four themes are identified in these YouTubers’ storytelling practices – “video formulas,” “personal storytelling,” “show, don’t just tell,” and “acting couply.” More, the study identifies an overarching theme of “forging friendships” that ties the other four themes together. In light of these themes, this thesis argues that these couples position themselves as viewers’ “friends.” And this may explain why their channels resonate with audiences. This work can inform others who might be interested in creating this type of content to generate a profit and make a living.
Botello, Marisol, "How Couples YouTube Channels Forge "Friendships" With Their Viewers: A Thematic Textual Analysis" (2021). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 1337.
Advertising and Promotion Management Commons, Communication Technology and New Media Commons