Rap Battle Research Study

Case Study | Epic Rap Battles

How Epic Rap Battles Became One of the Most Memorable YouTube Channels
Introduction About Epic Rap Battles In just two and a half years since launch, Maker Studios’ Epic Rap Battles of History has become one of the most popular channels on YouTube, amassing over one billion views on just 38 videos—nearly all of which follow the same format. Created by Peter Shukoff (Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (EpicLLOYD), ERB’s unique blend of comedy and music has driven the channel’s overwhelming success. But it has also engaged its audience in ways no other channel has. So how did ERB do it? We highlight four strategies that carried it into the YouTube elite. Build a consistent content strategy The Epic Rap Battles format has remained the same from the very beginning. It opens with an announcement of the two rappers, continues with a musical back-and-forth (often with language that may be considered NSFW), and wraps with a voice-over asking, “Who won? Who’s next? You decide.” Finally, the video transitions to a 15–30-second end card pushing fans to more videos, iTunes, the merch store and the channels of any collaborating YouTuber talent. By following a familiar pattern, viewers know exactly what to expect any time they click on an ERB video. The power of the format was evident from the launch of /ERB. The first 15 rap battles were uploaded to /NicePeter, before the channel moved to /ERB for Season 2. Driven by the rap battle format, /ERB ramped up to 1M subscribers within six months and 5M subs in under a year and a half.

• YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube. com/user/ERB


• Grow watch time, viewership and subscribers • Create content that excites the audience and creates authentic engagement • Become a popular channel with a Gen C audience on YouTube


• Built a consistent content strategy • Boosted viewer participation by involving them in the creation process • Portrayed high-profile historical figures and...