When the word 'Youthube' sounds more familiar
Priyasha Das | Apr 12, 2021
"To kaise hai aap log?"...."Hamare yahan aisa hi hota hai"...are some of the taglines that have very well broken into our daily vocabulary. ‘YouTubers' is fast becoming an enviable tag, with content creators quitting full-time jobs and creating value for millions of internet users in India. Let's look at the reasons behind these changing demographics.
But first, a quick detour.
When was the last time you checked your YouTube (YT) daily usage on what they call the 'digital wellbeing' feature - Time Watched? Don't be alarmed if it's nearly 5 hrs because that's just what an Indian prone to this guilty pleasure spends on YT. With over 265M active users watching 5hrs 16min YT videos daily, India leads the world in this one.
How did we come to witness such an increase in video consumption on YT?
How much we Indians love free stuff! One of the main reasons for the boost is that the platform is free (at least that's what we think).
Secondly, as everything is related to the pandemic, why not relate this one as well? Being forced to stay indoors, apparently, we had more time at our disposal, and the already ravenous appetite for video consumption accelerated. India saw a 20.5% surge in the YT subscriber's base.
The third reason and the star player is the availability of new content. According to Marc Lefkowitz, Head of YouTube Content Creator and Artist Development, APAC, growth mainly comes from vernacular content. YT content in Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu are poised to grow by 40% this year, and 60% of the growth of YT users comes from non-metro areas. This could also explain why YouTubers who create content in languages other than English — Zakir Khan, Technical GuruJi, BB Ki vines have the most popular YT channels.
Talking of content, how can we forget the raw Indian talent of producing such distinctively informative vlogs and vines. Vlog categories such as Review & Unboxing Products, Comedy skits, Beauty / Fashion / Fitness, How to / Education, LifeStyle Vlog, Gamer, Movie / TV / Book Reviews, Travel, Pop Culture / Gossip are on the rise.
Interestingly, searches related to the term “how to” are growing 70% year over year, according to searchengineland.com. Folks seem to rely on video content to learn something. Talking of the genre of vlogs on demand, it's the Review and Unboxing of products.
But, the show-stealer here is Comedy skits. Humour is crucial for survival. These roast queens and kings like Mostlysane and Carryminati have gained much traction with their unapologetically hilarious videos. With their slapstick comedy and colloquial language, they leave us rolling in the aisles. It's hard not to connect with those versatile incarnations they embody and relate to the nuances of daily life they punch in.
The YT influencer
Why is the influence, you ask? Well, because people relate. As much as we love Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan, not many of us can relate to their earnings or exuberant lifestyle. YouTubers, on the other hand, are made up of that geeky kid in your Physics class, the cute boy next door, and your bestie from 2nd grade. They're ordinary kids doing cool things on the internet and gaining attention for their personality and skills. That is what's impressing the youth of today. More so than before, being your whole authentic selves is driving clicks and attention. After seeing that they can do it, it's hard not to get that spine-tingling, heart-pumping feeling that you could do it, too—and that kind of motivational boost is hard to beat.
[ Titu Mama is easy to relate to :) ]
70% of Millennial and Gen Z YouTube subscribers say they relate to Influencers more than they do to celebrities, and 4 in 10 subscribers say their favourite Influencer understands them better than their friends!
Influence in effect
By being a “friend” to their viewers, they have the power to influence consumers’ purchasing behaviour. This behaviour is evident when viewers change their product choices based on recommendations by YouTubers. Now, which girl wouldn't prefer a product lauded by Glamrs, right? Influencers often make brands feel more trustworthy because of the relationship they have built with their audience. A staggering 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated (UGC) content more than they trust traditional advertising.
On top of generating a high Return On Investment (ROI), influencer marketing also has the power to generate leads and drive conversions since the target audience trusts an honest testimonial by an influencer over a paid advertisement.
More than three quarters (77%) of marketers say they want to work with micro-influencers those who have 5,000 to 100,000 followers-as compared to only 30% wanting to work with mega influencers—those who have 500,000 to 5 million followers-and 22% wanting to work with celebrities -those who have 5 million followers or more.
A positive impact?
Binge-watching per se has been associated with laziness and feelings of regret. YT has long been given a bad rap for disengaging youth, isolating teens, and just generally negatively influencing kids.
But here's good news for those of you who just couldn't bear to disconnect for the sake of morality: Research by Google has found that "In times of uncertainty, digital video can be a source of positivity". 79% of U.S. video consumers surveyed by Google found that streaming platforms make them feel good, bring them elation and relief. It helped them cope with depression and social anxiety.
To evaluate facts, the most common “dream job” for teens these days isn’t to be a veterinarian or astronaut but to be a YT star. Content creators are artists, visual journalists and subject matter experts. They are people with a genuine desire to help others succeed. Platforms like YT have given a fighting stance to talented people to prosper, who otherwise would have never got the attention they deserved.