Over 90 per cent of the content today being consumed in native Indian languages.
The video titled ‘Charlie bit my finger’ became a sensation, reportedly making enough money over its lifetime to fill up the college funds of the children featured in it.
As YouTube celebrates 10 years since its entry into the Indian market (since 2008), the potential for viral fame and the monetary gains that come with raking in the views has made the website an ideal platform for those looking to make it big. The reach of the platform allows for the creation of a variety of content. There is an audience for everything from the sublime to the absurd.
Another growing demographic who use the platform are children. The burgeoning number of channels with educational and recreational content targeted towards kids indicates more parents turning to the web to keep their wards occupied.
According to recent surveys, around 80 per cent of the country’s internet-using population watch YouTube regularly. This has been achieved with staggering growth over the last decade. According to a September 2018 KPMG report, the online video viewing audience in India is estimated to be around 225 million now, with projections to increase to 550 million by FY23. It also stated that over 90 per cent of the watch time has been recorded via mobile.
A change that has been noticed in recent years is that channels have become more local with 90 per cent of the content today being consumed in native Indian languages, breaking the early dominance of English and Hindi videos. YouTube is also encouraging content creators from all parts of the country by regularly hosting FanFests, as well as their initiative of ‘pop-up spaces’ in urban cities where YouTubers can receive production-related help and learn.
In Tamil Nadu, it’s a growing career option with its fast-growing economics and viral fame benefits leading many youngsters to start creating content right from their college days.
Chennai-based ChuChu TV leads the pack with more than 20 million subscribers: it has the most subscribed original content channel in the country. Developed by software engineer Vinoth Chandar, the channel posts rhymes and videos for children with animated videos that are a huge hit in the US as well.
Wellness and fitness, adult learning, tutorials of every kind, cooking, comedy and music are other popular genres that original content creators dabble in – but in film-obsessed TN (especially Chennai), movie-reviewing is by default, the most picked.
Not easy to monetise channels
But it’s not easy for everyone to monetise their channels, as Prashanth stated. In mid-2017, channels required 10,000 lifetime views to be eligible for monetisation. But this year, YouTube changed the requirements for new as well as existing channels: they should have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months to partner with the website and qualify to earn money via advertisements and number of views.
“As long as young entrepreneurs are prepared to put in a proper shift and promote positive content, it is definitely a viable career option. But many join thinking it is solely the number of views that count for monetisation and use tricks to increase it artificially. They get banned eventually. YouTube’s AI is of the highest standards and monitors accounts rigorously – apart from content quality, the concept of audience retention is a parameter they measure. For instance, I post a 60-minute interview with 1,000 views, but suppose viewers only watch its first 10 minutes. But if another creator has 500 views on his 15-minute video that is watched fully by the viewers: they earn more! All these are observed by the website,” he explained diligently.
Ultimately, it comes down to having good business sense as well, using brand integration intelligently in the videos in a way that doesn’t annoy audiences, gaining sponsors and viewer comments/feedback (that is monitored too) that leads to profitable monetisation, Prashanth added.
Put Chutney has delved into everything from social commentary and satirical skits to collaborations with actors and web-series. Their videos regularly cross a million views, with their most famous one ‘What if Batman was from Chennai?’ having hit 4.4 million views over the years, and still fondly remembered. One of the first city-based platforms to monetise YouTube successfully, founder Rajiv Rajaram said that they had been trying to see if it could be a viable career choice since 2011. “We were justified in our decision only four years ago. Original content creation is definitely something that works in the long run, and the trend now is going hyper-local with vernacular languages taking the centre stage,” he said. He has a point. Over the last two years, audiences in TN – be it school/college students or their parents and grandparents – have shifted their attention to local channels that take up everyday issues in a relevant milieu (relationships, politics, romance, friendship, societal humour and so on) and entertain with weekly sketches or monologues.
Madras Central, Eruma Saani, Black Sheep, Paridhabangal - these are some of the channels that boast a subscriber base of millions, and regularly go viral on social media. There are also TN and south Indian associations and ‘sangams’ that get these content creators together regularly to collaborate and come up with ways to increase revenue streams.
Making ‘chef’ Daddy a star
USP, patience are key to success
He added that keeping the team small during the initial stages is the only way to monetise the website properly. “If a 10-member team is behind the channel, there’s no way the money from YouTube is enough for all. It took me over two years to build a subscriber base and content credibility to make it this far,” he added.
- By opting for YouTube’s Content ID program, through YouTube’s Content ID claims, plagiarism of YouTube work can be detected by checking against the database of content across the platform
- Users are also advised to prominently place watermarks on their content in order to be able to avoid plagiarism or copying
- YouTubers earn Rs 60 on average per 1,000 views for banner advertisements and anywhere between Rs 350-Rs 600 per 1,000 views for rollout advertisements
- Linking the account to Google AdSense will allow creators to monetise videos by keeping 55 per cent of the ad revenue while the rest goes to YouTube
- Content creators with significant following may be able to role in sponsors for their content in exchange for promotions on their channel. Brand integration is another option
- Channels with huge following can create niche merchandise that could be advertised in videos for sale
- Many creators also solicit donations through crowd-funding from subscribers
- Chu Chu TV
- CVS 3D Rhymes
- Amit Bhadana
- BB ki vines
- Technical Guruji
- Ashish Chanchlani vines
- Sandeep Mahesh
- Nisha Madhulika
- TSM Adaan
- DR Vivek Bindra
- Kabita’s kitchen
- Filter Copy