The drone industry is growing. People age 13 and above are buying drones in increasing numbers each and every year. Each person finds a somewhat unique way to use their drone – ranging from multimedia production to site and infrastructure inspections. However, arguably one of the most popular applications is creating content on YouTube. It is a free and relatively easy outlet to post videos from flights set to music that fits the mood and with the growing interest in drones, it also makes for an extremely effective tool to increase exposure for one’s self.
YouTube is king of the Millennial generation and leaks into both Gen-X and Gen-Z as the top video hosting platform. It is also a leader in both the entertainment and social media categories allowing for users to create their own profiles as well as enjoy a range of video content from user-generated to even full-fledged cable programming. Looking at such a juicy proposition, any drone pilot would be salivating at the opportunity to become a face of the community on YouTube.
How does one accomplish this though? The best advice I ever received was to look to those who are actively doing what you wish to do and gain inspiration from them. I take this advice to heart in all aspects of life, but particularly I began focusing on applying the life lesson to YouTube. Before I even started planning my channel (which is still very modest), I started taking in as much drone-related content as I possibly could in order to get the creative juices flowing and put a process in place. Three months later and I’m happy to report that I have a system almost completely down and am regularly producing content exclusively for YouTube with my drones.
While we will all have different journeys while posting our drone content to YouTube, here are my top-five drone channels on YouTube that you should be following if you aren’t already:
The Drone Syndrome channel is still relatively small compared to the other channels on this list, but I believe he brings something very valuable to the table: he doesn’t focus his content on DJI products. In fact, you’re hard-pressed to find ANY DJI products on his channel. Why is this?
I have the good fortune of being friends with Mike and during our conversations he has revealed to me that while he wants to and is not against DJI products, he enjoys covering other brands and seeing what else there is out there besides the drones put out there by the “king” of drone manufacturing.
Drone Syndrome conducts in-depth reviews of Drocon, Eachine, Hubsan, and JJRC drones in particular as well as other small pieces of tech that might be useful to a multimedia producer. If you’re looking for a channel that is honest, fun, and growing using the best practices of YouTube content creation, Drone Syndrome is a great follow for inspiration.
Another guy who spreads the love to brands beyond the top few players like DJI, Autel, and Skydio, Dustin’s channel packs a punch loaded with content. That consistent churning of new videos has paid off for him in a big way too as his channel boasts 200,000 subscribers as of the writing of this article.
Everything from aerial and aquatic drones to action cams and RC cars, Dustin has saturated his channel and, for that matter, YouTube with content that any tech geek would be chomping at the bit to see. The two really strong points of Dustin’s channel are his ability to be very conversational when it comes to technical aspects of the products he covers as well as his ability to push the products he reviews to their absolute limit with almost no fear. His videos truly give you a reliable idea of whether or not the product is going to fit your needs.
Dustin went from a reluctant subscribe on my part to one of my favorite drone content channels on YouTube. He may take a while to grow on you, but once he has, you’ll be thankful you let him into your guard.
3. Billy Kyle
Billy Kyle’s YouTube channel is one of the best on the platform as it relates to drone content. A native to the Philadelphia area, Billy’s channel is a cornerstone for drone content that focuses mainly around the bigger players in the industry including Autel, DJI, and Skydio. Billy posts fairly regularly and all of his videos offer great demonstrations of a variety of drones.
One of the strongest points of Billy’s content is his insight. Billy is well-connected within the drone community and will sometimes provide inside scoops about upcoming technology as well as release dates for highly anticipated drones and drone equipment. Take note that he doesn’t overshare, but when he drops a breadcrumb for his viewers, he’s usually right on the nose with what he’s implying.
Billy is a by-the-book type of personality, offering a cut-and-dry breakdown of all of the tech he reviews while just lightly garnishing it with his opinions backed by years of seasoning as a drone pilot. He is a great follow for any drone enthusiast based in Pennsylvania and he’s a great representative for our state within the national and international community.
Not to mention he has the best eyebrows in the business.
The only FPV pilot on this list, Josh Bardwell is a trailblazer on YouTube for the drone community and his channel shows it. Specializing in strictly FPV and racing drones, Bardwell’s channel is one that both invokes deeper thought with some of his vlog-style video and streams as well as informational for the more diverse side of the drone industry in the FPV sect. He covers all of the basics and some of the more advanced points of being an FPV pilot and does a fantastic job demonstrating the effectiveness of FPV equipment.
No matter where you’re at as an FPV pilot, beginner or veteran, Bardwell does a fantastic job of breaking down components for quads and how they could fit into your build. It’s a great base for those pilots starting from square one on their rig and a great expansion of knowledge for pilots that have fine-tuned skills and equipment on their quad.
Bardwell does a great job of taking very technical content and delivering it in a fun and interesting way. Even the greenest remote pilot will be able to grasp the concepts and ideas Bardwell is discussing due to his ability to explain how things work. He’s a newer subscription for me, but one that I plan on sticking with as I begin dabbling in the FPV side of the drone industry.
1. Ken Heron
The top channel for any drone enthusiast to follow on YouTube has to be Ken Heron. Based out of Tennessee, Ken is the total package as it relates to entertainment and informational value within the drone industry. Ken has a background in morning radio, which is made extremely apparent in his humor and delivery. He began as a photography pilot, using mostly DJI products to run his business, but has since expanded his repertoire to FPV drones.
Ken also uses that background in radio mentioned earlier to create programming within his channel that gives his content a very “broadcasty” feel. When you watch Ken’s content, you feel like you’re tuning into a program you’d see on television or streaming. Perhaps the best quality of Ken is his willingness to collaborate with other creators and drone enthusiasts to generate content and share his platform to increase exposure. Ken has lifted so many people up within the community by working together with them to create content that is engaging and shows off the fellow-collaborator’s strengths. He is a catalyst for improvement for the people around him and that is what sets him apart from other drone YouTubers.
If you’re not already following Ken, I highly recommend taking the time to look him up. I had the pleasure of meeting Ken at the Remote ID protest in Washington D.C. and he is genuinely who he portrays himself to be on his channel.
Obviously, this list is subjective. If you already follow drone folks on YouTube, then you know what you like and what you don’t like. However, whether you have a taste for the type of YouTube drone content you like or you’re just getting started in building your own channel and finding other channels to follow and from which to gain inspiration, this list, I promise, is a great start.