Published: 24th February 2018
Meet the entertainers who will be performing live at the YouTube FanFest in Hyderabad
With Hyderabad's YouTube FanFest around the corner, we chatted with four content creators, who are going to go live on D-Day
All tickets for #YTFF Showcase: Hyderabad ran out of the door — declared a tweet from the official handle of YouTube FanFest (YTFF), which has over 1.5 lakh followers. This itself is a testament to the fact that the YTFF is a platform, much like its stars, that is going viral. This fest offers us the chance to watch the same YouTubers whom we adore and fawn over online, live! And while cities like Mumbai have always drawn huge crowds, the demand for Telugu content is now on par too. The line-up of the event, happening on March 3 at Shilpakala Vedika, includes VIVA, Kiraak Hyderabadiz, Kantri Guyz and several more. We catch up with four YouTubers who are going to be a part of the fest and ask them about the importance of such regional fanfests, the rise in Telugu content and the thrill of performing live versus recording the performance.
PS: If you couldn’t grab tickets, don’t worry. The tweet also made this announcement — Look out for more tickets to be released through sponsors and YouTubers from the lineup!
Listen up: A few names from the lineup of YTFF Hyderabad
In a short exchange with the Entertainment Head of YouTube India Satya Raghavan, we ask him about career opportunities as a content creator on YouTube. He also expresses why he felt the need to expand YouTube FanFests to other cities as well. Excerpts:
Going beyond Mumbai, what will the FanFests in Hyderabad and Chennai do for the regional content creators?
Indian creators are on a meteoric rise. Last year, we only had 12 creators with 1 million subscribers. This year that number has grown to 100. That’s seven creators crossing 1 million subscribers every single month. What’s even more incredible is the diverse nature of the platform that welcomes creators from all parts of the country. We are seeing more creators coming from smaller cities and finding a nationwide and global audience on YouTube. Now in its fifth year, YouTube FanFest has truly become a showcase for talent that everyone aspires to be a part of and brings together the best of India and the world on the same platform.
This is the first time YouTube FanFest is coming to Hyderabad and is going to multiple cities across India and that’s because we want to celebrate the diversity and passion of YouTube communities in the country and bring fans and creators closer together.
Your views on YouTube content creation as a career option for youngsters and its scope for the future.
YouTube offers creators a platform to create what they love, reach billions of people and build a tight-knit community around their channel. It is a great place to create content and build a business that has its foundations online but also allows creators to grow offline. We have seen talented creators across verticals like comedy, music do really well, and we have also seen creators passionate about food, beauty, technology also do equally well. Genres like the Web Series have seen talented writers, actors and directors shine and get discovered.
We give creators the best way to turn their passion into a lucrative business. In the last one year, YouTube channels making six figures or more in revenue are up 40 percent globally. In India, we do multiple events, workshops and offer free online courses, for creators to mentor them on how to make the most of their channels.
My Village Show
Sriram Srikanth is from the Lambadi village near Karimnagar and his life in this place is what he documents through his videos on his YouTube channel, My Village Show. When the channel declared on Facebook that it will be a part of the YTFF’s line-up, the post was shared 30 times and had over 2,000 likes.
And if you, his fans, are super excited to meet this YouTube star, who, through his videos, gives you a tour of his village and introduces you to its eccentric characters, Srikanth is looking forward to meeting you guys too! And as it is the first time for Srikanth, who hasn't performed live before, "it must be new for the fans too," he says, reasoning out loud when we ask him about the excitement he must be feeling. While his videos show villagers reacting to fidget spinners, smartphones with 4G and more, he initially had no clue how to navigate through the world of YouTube. "But thanks to Jio, the number of internet users has increased, among which is a Telugu audience who is looking for videos that will appeal to them," says Srikanth, that usually does the camera work.
Pose right: Some of the cast and crew of My Village Show
You probably know Divya Sripada from Girl Formula, a YouTube channel that is for girls, run by girls and powered by another YouTube channel, Chai Bisket. She’s the one who plays the timid and subdued character like in Every Introverted Ammayi Ever and the like, not because that’s who she is, but because she wants to represent those women who are not outspoken about their opinions. Why speak up for someone else? Simply because "they need a voice too," says the 25-year-old.
Sripada is one of the people who will be featured at the fanfest and she is looking forward to the demographics of the crowd that will turn up and of course, their reaction. "For a few lakh viewers, we get a few hundred comments, which means that there are people watching our content, but not saying anything. So, these fests are like live feedback systems. I feel the way people strive to find the love of their life, they must strive to find the work of their life too," believes Sripada, who graduated from Roots Business School. And as Girl Formula celebrated the milestone of crossing 150K subscribers, we are confident that she has found the work of her life.
One of many: Divya Sripada is one of the members of the Chai Bisket team
Any YouTube content creator’s ultimate dream is to walk the red carpet, waving to screaming fans at the YouTube FanFest. This is also the dream of Jahnavi Dasetty aka Mahathalli, who wanted to be an actor first, but then she decided to stick to her guns and rule our hearts with her YouTube channel instead, which portrays a middle-class Telugu girl and her typical middle-class problems. "I didn’t want to become one of those characters like the protagonist's friend or sister where they just stand mute beside the main character with hardly any dialogues," says the 25-year-old, whose recent video, Honest Resolutions raked in over 380K views in just one month.
Dasetty admits that there is not a lot of money to be made off YouTube, but "there are so many YouTubers and content creators now and there is a growing audience who wants to watch our content." She follows Girl Formula, Weird Janta and Raakshasi, and though she is still in the comedy zone, she wants to venture into other genres of content creation too.
On her mark: Jahnavi Dasetty aka Mahathalli on her way to stardom
Sunaina Badam might play a frustrated woman on her comedy web series Frustrated Woman, but the frustrating negativity in certain comments on her videos fails to rattle the 31-year-old. At moments like these, she prefers to recall her priorities instead of taking offence. "I am a YouTuber and a creator, and I can't satisfy everybody," she says to herself and moves on to do another one of her videos, where she rants about issues concerning us all. But surprisingly, the sweetest comment she received was that her Frustrated Woman videos, aired on the YouTube channel, Khelpedia, brings down the frustration level of her viewers.
This mother of one feels that these fanfests are an ideal platform for meeting and knowledge sharing for a content creator on YouTube. "I appreciate these kinds of expansions of YouTube that are much nearer to us," says Badam, whose latest video on youth on Valentine's Day garnered around 50,000 plus views. She urges upcoming YouTubers to create content from the heart (instead of pandering to what sells) and then sit back "and see the magic happen," which is why her videos strike a chord with many.
On point: Sunaina Badam in her 'Frustrated Woman' mode
For more updates, follow facebook.com/YouTubeFanFest/