A Preliminary Study of Charismatic Speech on YouTube: Correlating Prosodic Variation with Counts of Subscribers, Views and Likes

Stephanie Berger, Oliver Niebuhr, Margaret Zellers


This paper is a first investigation into the influence of the pitch range and the intensity variation on the number of subscribers, views and likes of YouTube Creators. A total of ten minutes of speech material from five English and five North-American YouTubers was analyzed. The results for pitch range and intensity variation suggest that an increase in both parameters results in higher subscriber counts. For views, there was no influence of pitch range, but an increase in intensity variation results in a lower number of views. Pitch range and intensity variation had no influence on the like count. Furthermore, both origin and gender had an influence on the results. Ultimately, this study will provide further information for the phonetic research of charisma (i.e., the perceived charm, competence, power, and persuasiveness of a speaker), as it is suspected that the acoustic features that have so far been connected to charisma also play an important role in the success of a YouTuber and their channel.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1664

Cite as: Berger, S., Niebuhr, O., Zellers, M. (2019) A Preliminary Study of Charismatic Speech on YouTube: Correlating Prosodic Variation with Counts of Subscribers, Views and Likes. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 1761-1765, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1664.


@inproceedings{Berger2019,
  author={Stephanie Berger and Oliver Niebuhr and Margaret Zellers},
  title={{A Preliminary Study of Charismatic Speech on YouTube: Correlating Prosodic Variation with Counts of Subscribers, Views and Likes}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={1761--1765},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1664},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1664}
}