Social Media

Indian channels among YouTube’s top 10; brands move in

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on November 20, 2019

File Photo   -  Reuters

Popular channels from India strike a chord

Two billion people watch around five billion YouTube videos each day. Though there are regular followers of celebrities and cultural influencers across the globe tend to reign supreme on the Google-owned video on-demand channel, which has more than 500 hundred hours uploaded each minute, one would think the biggest grosser would be a celebrity or a prankster who corners most eyeballs.

The answer might surprise you.

Celebrities like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Ed Sheeran failed to make the cut. What has instead globally struck a chord are popular channels from India, with three companies and their YouTube channels figuring prominently among the top 10.

Home grown T-Series with 113 million subscribers takes the cake at numero uno position. SET India with 56.9 million subscribers is at the sixth spot, while Zee Music Company with 46 million subscribers is in the tenth position.

Crooner Justin Bieber at eighth spot with 47 million subscribers and WWE at seventh spot with 51 million did not stand a chance with the Indian heavyweights.

Considered the de facto launch pad for the next generation of celebrities, musicians to film stars have uploaded their videos on YouTube and raked in millions of subscribers. However, apart from makeup tutorials, food recipes and the latest viral music video, Indian broadcasters too appear to be harnessing the video sharing platform to grow their fan following.

T-Series tops channel list

Music label and movie studio firm T-Series has also officially put an end to the 1,920-day streak that PewDiePie held as the most followed YouTube channel. While the Indian T-Series posts content on their channel ranging from music videos, films and clips, PewDiePie is a channel run by Swedish comedian Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, and is best known for its gaming videos and blogs.

Incidentally, YouTube is intent on shaking things up and is set to place greater emphasis on the clips picked by Google’s all-powerful algorithm to feature on the home feed. In India, Google has introduced prepaid plans for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium, with plans starting at Rs 109 for one month.

Since movies and music contribute to more than 50 per cent of the OTT content consumption in India on both matrix of unique viewers and time spent, according to a FICCI-KPMG report released in September 2019, Google has understood what clicks in the country.

Sony Pictures’ gaming video for YouTube

Several brands are moving in to partake of the frenzy. Broadcaster Sony Pictures Entertainment, in partnership with Dentsu Webchutney, created the first-ever gaming video for YouTube.

Inspired from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s latest release 'Zombieland: Double Tap', the gaming video features zombies and guns. The video received more than 1,000 views in the first hour of its upload.

Shony Panjikaran, Director & Head - Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment India said though the subject of the movie and its treatment is a bit niche for the Indian market, the broadcaster realised a huge chunk of the target audience are gamers. "To engage them with a thematic game was our unique proposition," he said.

Pravin Sutar, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Webchutney said, "With so much content being watched (on YouTube) without having any interaction from the user’s end was an opportunity waiting to be explored. We introduced an interactive element to the video wherein one could kill zombies by double tapping the video. Such small gaming hacks on a video platform results in disruption of sorts, which in turn creates a lot of engagement for the user."

Recently, Eros Now, an OTT entertainment platform, also collaborated with YouTube Music to bring a movie and music catalogue to its users.

With more than 177 million registered users, Eros Now’s content library boasts of 12,000+ movies, TV shows, Eros Now Originals, and short-format content called Eros Now Quickie.

The tie-up ensures consumers can access YouTube Music’s catalogue including tracks in English, Hindi and nine other Indian languages. Rishika Lulla Singh, Chairman and CEO- Eros Digital said the YouTube collaboration would provide consumers a massive music library in conjunction with the OTT firm's premium film and other programming.

“Amongst several initiatives we deeply invested in growing the base of paid digital subscriptions in India and this strategic alliance with YouTube and Google is another example to ensure we are able to move the needle for the growth of this business in India," said Singh.

Published on November 20, 2019

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