Has YouTube become the bastion for homegrown indie artists?

If you have been following Internet and social networking of late, you might have seen more Indian viral content on social networks. Have the Indians finally started to tap services such as YouTube? How does it benefit indie artists? We take a look at the trend:

Published Date
21 - Aug - 2014
| Last Updated
21 - Aug - 2014
Has YouTube become the bastion for homegrown indie artists?

YouTube has seen a massive growth over the years in terms of content volume and coverage. Unlike other social Internet services, YouTube does not seem to have hit a saturation, and continues to be the main platform for content sharing from artists across the world. Most importantly, the network also gives a window of opportunity to monetise – making it a preferred platform for indie artists and even brands.

There's already a growing 'necessity to create a buzz online'. 'Going viral' defines success for any video content. The trend has also picked up in India as YouTube is flooded with a number of channels, independent content creators and even brands. We attempt to analyse the trend and predict where all it's heading. 

Digital Media take off 

YouTube has emerged as a strong media compared to the traditional media. Today, we are seeing a lot of YouTube-exclusive content, which isn't available in the mainstream media. A lot of them are doing pretty well in terms of views and sharing. One of the main factors has been a direct connect with youth. 

Several reports suggest youth is spending more time on smartphones than TVs or even desktop. According to a recent Ericsson report, consumption of videos is growing significantly. The report says, mobile broadband users do 6 sessions of YouTube each day spending around 12 minutes in total. 

YouTube Channels and Multi-Channel Networks

In our previous analysis on viral content online, we had pointed how the channels such as AIB and The Viral Fever were reaping the benefits. And now, we have Multi Channel Networks (MCNs) that affiliate with multiple YouTube channels, often to offer assistance such as cross-promotion and partner management. 

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The MCNs have helped independent content creators to get initial push on the network. That initial push is pretty important considering, thousands of videos getting published every day on YouTube, there are chances your video gets lost in the crowd! 

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One Digital Entertainment is one of the MCNs operating in India. One Digital's video channel network includes top artists Yo Yo Honey Singh, Sunny Leone, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jazzy B and Anubhav Sinha. 

In an interaction with Digit, Mr. Shabir Momin-Managing Director – OneDigital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd reveals the MCN had garnered over 6.8 billion watch minutes just out of YouTube in last few months.

On how does the MCN help a content creator, Mr. Shabir Momin says: “We work with the artist more like a representation, we always look at the benefit off the artist both in commercial and visibility levels. We work on strategy, planning, positioning on all digital mediums, engagement and collaborations with our other artists. Content get created automatically when all these are put together and usually the content is great.

Monetise, challenges and future

Needless to elaborate on how YouTube is growing. What we believe is it's high time one should making an effort at monetising the platform. How can you do that? YouTube explains

“The best way to ensure you’ll be able to monetize your YouTube videos is to create all elements of the video yourself. Use your imagination to create something completely original. Examples of videos that have been successful on YouTube include daily vlogs and home videos, do-it-yourself videos and tutorials, original music videos and short films.

You’re also expected to follow YouTube Community Guidelines, and doing so may increase the visibility of your content on YouTube, leading to more views and higher watch time, more user engagement, and ultimately more revenue.”

As far as challenges go, the major one is over reliance on YouTube. Content creators need to ensure they have their individual profiling outside YouTube. Is it an immediate challenge? No. Mr. Shabir Momin says: “It’s an eco-system, we depend on them and they on us, we are together building it. It’s a relationship, both have to walk steps to join hands if one doesn’t then it will fall out. So it’s in the interest of both to work together.”

Another challenge is competition. Unlike Bollywood's 100-crore-business benchmark for a hit movie, we still don't know what could possibly the parameter for a popular content online. It has to be a comprehensive analysis which rates numbers, quality and users retention.

In the near future, we are likely to see this trend growing more and perhaps at much faster level. That being said, the idea is still in its nascent stage. Just like how the TV started in India almost two decades ago, the platform will continue to grow with more local and international content building on its own. While competition hit in TV pretty late, YouTube and other social networks are already seeing a stiff competition on a global level. 

Do you also prefer YouTube and similar audio/video sharing services? Let us know your views in the comments section below:

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