Sincere, Authentic, Remediated: The Affective Labour and Cross Cultural Remediations of Music Video Reaction Videos on YouTube

Goddard, M N. 2023. Sincere, Authentic, Remediated: The Affective Labour and Cross Cultural Remediations of Music Video Reaction Videos on YouTube. In: Holly Rogers; Joana Freitas and João Francisco Porfirio, eds. Remediating Sound: Repeatable Culture, YouTube and Music. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 73-92. [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

‘Like, comment and subscribe’- so begins almost every reaction video on YouTube which collectively constitute a strange ecology of affective labour and cultural translation that merits further attention. This economy and ecology of creator culture on social media platforms has only recently become the object of sustained academic research and for a range of reasons. The videos themselves involve intros followed by acts of listening and viewing of a range of music videos and other musical content. While there is also considerable diversity among reactors, in terms of ethnicity, gender, age, and relations to popular music styles, there has been a recent tendency towards young African American reactors, often but not necessarily coming more from backgrounds in hip hop and pop music but branching out well beyond this in their reactions. The affective labour of reactors therefore is not only in performing a ‘sincere’ reaction to the archival material but also translating it in various ways to a new and often very different time period and cultural context. This chapter will engage with several of these channels including ‘Sincerely KSO’, ‘Jayvee TV’, ‘The Jayy Show’, ‘India Reacts’, ‘Pink Metalhead’, ‘Kae and Livy’ and ‘Brad and Lex’ to track how these reactors perform acts of media and cultural translation enabled but also constrained by the algorithmically determined affordances of the YouTube platform. It will ultimately ask, especially given the context of Covid 19 social distancing, how the often-addictive experience of reaction videos constitutes a kind of substitute sociality, allowing for highly mediated performances of sincerity and authenticity, and constructing utopian relationships between subjects who might otherwise have little in common.

Item Type:

Book Section

Identification Number (DOI):


Reactions, YouTube, Music Videos, Affective Labour, Digital ecologies, Remediation, Sociality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Centre for Feminist Research


June 2022Accepted
5 October 2023Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2022 15:58

Last Modified:

03 May 2024 13:54


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