Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
  • /ˌkʊərtsɡəˈzɑːkt/
FormationJuly 10, 2013; 10 years ago (2013-07-10)
FounderPhilipp Dettmer
PurposeEdutainment Teaching Inspiring Raising-Awareness
HeadquartersMunich, Germany[1]
Official language
Managing Director
Peter Berger[2]
YouTube information
Years active2013–present
GenreScience Space Technology Biology History Philosophy Physic
Subscribers22.2 million[3]
Total views2.7 billion[3]
100,000 subscribers2014
1,000,000 subscribers2015
10,000,000 subscribers2019

Last updated: May 3rd 2024

Kurzgesagt (/ˌkʊərtsɡəˈzɑːkt/; German for "In a nutshell," "in short," or literally "said shortly"; German pronunciation: [ˈkʊʁt͡sɡəˌzaːkt]) is a German animation and design studio founded by Philipp Dettmer. The studio is best known for its YouTube channel, which focuses on minimalistic animated educational content using flat and 3D design style. It discusses scientific, technological, political, philosophical, and psychological subjects.[4][5]

Narrated by Steve Taylor, videos on the channel are normally four to sixteen minutes. Many videos are also available through other language-specific channels, such as in German through the channel Dinge Erklärt – Kurzgesagt, and in Spanish through En Pocas Palabras – Kurzgesagt. Some of their videos are also available in French, Hindi, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Korean.[6][7]

As of April 2024, with over 22 million subscribers and over 223 videos (including shorts), the studio's original English language channel was the world's 224th most subscribed channel.[8]

In June 2024, the studio announced they had partnered with Toukana Interactive, the creators of Dorfromantik, to create a video game called Star Birds that will be based around asteroid mining. It will release in 2025.[9]


Patrizia Mosca, Chief operating officer at Kurzgesagt, speaks at the Internet Days in Stockholm, 2018.

The Kurzgesagt YouTube channel was created on 10 July 2013 (with their first video coming out on 12 July 2013), shortly after the founder, Philipp Dettmer, graduated from Munich University of Applied Sciences.[10] The first video, which explained evolution, was published two days later with the voice of Steve Taylor, who still serves as commentator as of 2023.[11] In ten years the channel evolved from a passion project worked on during Dettmer's free time to a design studio with about seventy on the team. In 2015, Kurzgesagt was commissioned to create a video on the end of disease by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[12]

A video about the COVID-19 pandemic, called The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do and released in March 2020, was posted on all three of their channels. It shared how the human body responds to COVID-19 and how effective the measures are in evading SARS-CoV-2.[13] The English version has over 88 million views, making it the most viewed video on the channel.[14] A study published in Visual Resources said that the video "is an example of an aesthetically compelling explanation of the biological processes of a Covid infection," and it "includes fantastical depictions that convey the message in a more comprehensible straightforward manner."[15]

Kurzgesagt has been the recipient of several awards. In 2019, Kurzgesagt became the first German channel to surpass 10 million subscribers on YouTube.[16] In December 2020, fellow YouTuber Marques Brownlee honored Kurzgesagt, with his "Streamys Creator Honor" award in the 10th Streamy Awards.[17]

Immune: A journey into the mysterious system that keeps you alive[edit]

In November 2021, Kurzgesagt announced the release of their first book, Immune: A journey into the mysterious system that keeps you alive, written by Philipp Dettmer, the channel's founder.[18]

A publication by the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, a German think tank, recommended the book among others for books on the COVID-19 pandemic, describing it as "full of stories of invasion, strategy, defeat, and noble self-sacrifice," in introducing the complex world of the immune system.[19] Daniel M. Davis, the Head of Life Sciences and Professor of Immunology at Imperial College London, described it as "the feast we have been waiting for" due to the public interest in the mechanisms of the immune system, such as antibodies, T cells, and B cells, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which were "rarely discussed outside of research labs and scientific talks."[20] In the book, the author acknowledges the feedback and help of a Dr. James Gurney, Professor Thomas Brocker, the director of the Munich Institute for Immunology, and Professor Maristela Martins de Camargo of the University of São Paulo.[21]

Sources of funding[edit]

In 2015, the channel received a US$570,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,[12] who later became one of their key sponsors. Kurzgesagt have made videos calling for investment in novel technologies the foundation also supports, such as carbon capture and artificial meat, as well as arguing for an optimistic view on the future of climate change and economic inequality, a view shared by Bill Gates.[22][23]

Since September 2017, Kurzgesagt's German branch had been financially supported by the network Funk of ARD and ZDF. Kurzgesagt's German branch announced their departure from Funk in January 2023.[24][25][26][27]

In March 2022, Kurzgesagt received 2.97 million in a grant via Open Philanthropy,[28] which the channel said was being used for translating their videos into various languages, and for funding the creation of content for TikTok.[29] The channel has received a smaller grant from the John Templeton Foundation.[30]

In a January 2023 statement,[29] Kurzgesagt stated that 65% of their income from 2020 to 2022 came from viewers via the sale of merchandise from their shop, such as mugs, posters and toys, crowdfunding via Patreon, and Google AdSense revenue, with commercial or institutional sponsorships and grants accounting for only 24% of income. The statement said that the channel treats all data skeptically, that their sources for statements are always given, and that all research work is done in-house, with no editorial influence from sponsors or donors—a condition they say is included in every deal they have signed.[29] Kurzgesagt made this statement in response to a December 2022 video that accused them of having been "basically bought off by billionaires."[29]

Reliability of videos[edit]

While some commentators have praised Kurzgesagt's videos for their reliability and fact-checking,[31] some of their earlier work received criticism. In 2016, the Art Libraries Society of North America criticized the studio's occasional lack of credible sources and professional consultation, and use of emotive language.[32]

In 2019, Kurzgesagt released a video saying that while they now had all their arguments fact-checked by experts, they had not always done so in the past. They added they were deleting two of their videos uploaded from 2015 that did not meet their current standards, namely "The European Refugee Crisis and Syria" and "Addiction".[33] A collaboration between Kurzgesagt and journalist Johann Hari, "Addiction" came to be one of the most popular on their channel at the time, despite also being one of their most criticized.[34] The video was accused of misleadingly summarizing the conclusions of the contentious Rat Park experiments.[34] Kurzgesagt acknowledged they had presented one argument as fact, and had not considered other theories on the matter.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jackson, Ryan (April 28, 2021). "The 'ultimate guide to black holes' will spaghettify your brain". CNET. Archived from the original on April 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "Imprint". Kurzgesagt. Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  3. ^ a b "About Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell". YouTube.
  4. ^ Dubovi, Ilana; Tabak, Iris (October 1, 2020). "An empirical analysis of knowledge co-construction in YouTube comments". Computers & Education. 156. Elsevier: 7. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103939. ISSN 0360-1315. S2CID 219914081.
  5. ^ Lucas, Terry; Abd Rahim, Ruslan (March 15, 2017). "The Similarities and Nuances of Explicit Design Characteristics of Well-Received Online Instructional Animations". Animation. 12 (1). SAGE Publishing: 80–99. doi:10.1177/1746847717690671. ISSN 1746-8477. S2CID 64818185. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  6. ^ "Dinge Erklärt – Kurzgesagt". YouTube. Archived from the original on March 18, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  7. ^ "Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell". YouTube. Archived from the original on July 31, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  8. ^ "Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell". Social Blade. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  9. ^ "Star Birds - Official Reveal Trailer - PC Gaming Show 2024". IGN. June 9, 2024. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  10. ^ Brien, Jörn (November 6, 2019). "Youtube: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell knackt als erster deutscher Kanal die 10-Millionen-Marke" [Youtube: In a nutshell – In a Nutshell is the first German channel to break the 10 million mark]. t3n Magazin (in German). Archived from the original on November 3, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "English Voice - Voice Pool English Voice-Over". Voice Pool. Archived from the original on October 21, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Kurzgesagt". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. November 2015. Archived from the original on January 29, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  13. ^ Hart, Matthew (May 19, 2020). "A Look at How the Virus that Causes COVID-19 Infects People". Nerdist. Archived from the original on April 12, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  14. ^ "Video explainer on the coronavirus has more than 17.5 million views". Cochrane Today. March 26, 2020. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  15. ^ Ehrlich, Nea (July 2, 2020). "Viral Imagery: The Animated Face of Covid-19". Visual Resources. 36 (3). Routledge: 247–261. doi:10.1080/01973762.2021.1960777. ISSN 0197-3762. S2CID 241823806. Archived from the original on July 4, 2023. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  16. ^ Weil, Andrew (December 5, 2019). "YouTube's 2019 Rewind focuses on the basics after 2018 video fiasco". Wusa9. Archived from the original on February 28, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  17. ^ Hale, James (December 12, 2020). "Here Are Your 2020 Streamy Award Winners". Tubefilter. Archived from the original on December 13, 2020. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  18. ^ Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell (August 10, 2021). "How The Immune System ACTUALLY Works – IMMUNE". YouTube. Archived from the original on January 27, 2023. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  19. ^ Tremmel, Jörg (2021). "Recommendations of new books on the pandemic". Intergenerational Justice Review. 7 (1). doi:10.24357/igjr.7.1.912. ISSN 2190-6335. Archived from the original on November 27, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  20. ^ Davis, Daniel M. (November 5, 2021). "Immunology meets the masses Immune: A Journey into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive Philipp Dettmer Random House, 2021. 368 pp". Science. 374 (6568): 697. doi:10.1126/science.abm0134. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 34735237. S2CID 243761609. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  21. ^ Dettmer, Philipp (November 2, 2021). Immune : a journey into the mysterious system that keeps you alive. Random House Publishing. ISBN 978-0593241332.
  22. ^ Rathi, Akshat (February 2, 2022). "Bill Gates Invests in Carbon Capture Startup After Tech Breakthrough". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on August 2, 2022. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  23. ^ Morgan, Rick (March 23, 2018). "Bill Gates and Richard Branson are betting lab-grown meat might be the food of the future". CNBC. Archived from the original on January 29, 2023. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  24. ^ "funk-Format 'Kurzgesagt' fragt: 'Brauchen wir Atomkraft, um den Klimawandel zu stoppen?'" [funk-format 'In a nutshell' asks: 'Do we need nuclear power to stop climate change?']. Braunschweiger Zeitung (in German). November 18, 2020. Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  25. ^ Fehrensen, Täubner; Täubner, Mischa (2019). "Acht Minuten Welterklärung - brand eins online" [Eight minutes of explanation of the world]. brand eins (in German). Archived from the original on March 1, 2021. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  26. ^ Lux, Torben (June 17, 2020). "So hat Kurzgesagt-Gründer Philipp Dettmer mit Erklärvideos eine Milliarde Views gemacht" [Kurzgesagt founder Philipp Dettmer has made a billion views with explanatory videos]. ORM (in German). Archived from the original on December 9, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  27. ^ Dinge Erklärt - Kurzgesagt (January 19, 2023). "Warum wir funk verlassen haben!" [Why we left funk!]. YouTube (in German). Archived from the original on July 4, 2023. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  28. ^ "Grants". Open Philanthropy. Archived from the original on January 29, 2023. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  29. ^ a b c d "Kurzgesagt Statement to the Conflict of Interest Allegations". reddit. Archived from the original on January 29, 2023. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  30. ^ "An Analysis of the Distribution of Degrees of Intelligence across Animal Groups". Templeton World Charity. Archived from the original on January 29, 2023. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  31. ^ Humprhies, Suzanne (January 9, 2021). "What We're Watching: Kurzgesagt Explores Big Questions with Bite-Size Videos". Review Geek. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021.
  32. ^ Gumb, Lindsey (April 2016). "Multimedia Technology Review — Kurzgesagt". Art Libraries Society of North America. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021.
  33. ^ a b "Can You Trust Kurzgesagt Videos?", Kurzgesagt channel on YouTube, archived from the original on January 8, 2022, retrieved June 26, 2021
  34. ^ a b Stenn, Lili (March 14, 2019). "YouTuber Coffee Break Accuses Kurzgesagt of Being Untrustworthy, Founder Responds". Rogue Rocket. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021.

External links[edit]