Starting April, YouTube will roll out original, desi entertainment shows one after another.
Dose of Web Dramas
If you haven’t caught the whiff of desi web series yet, look up Pitchers, Baked, Mission Everest, Man’s World, Bang Baaja Baaraat, and Love Bytes.
They continue to garner views, shares, and fans. Meanwhile, others can tune in to the latest entrants on the World Wide Web:
Permanent Roommates (Season 2) by TVF: It is the second most watched long form web series in the world on YouTube, after Video Game High School. It’s about Mikesh and Tanya, who decide to ‘live-in’ before getting married.
Strugglers by dittoTV: The 10-part series is about the misadventures of four young boys who want to make it big in Bollywood. While one gets lucky, the rest set out to make an adult film.
YouTube is fast becoming the new television in India, well at least for the urban youth. Data released by YouTube validates the shift as well. Online consumption of comedy and entertainment, and indie music has grown by 100 per cent, and 92 per cent respectively. The watchtime of beauty and fashion videos has recorded a 138 per cent hike.
Starting April, you will have a lot more, diverse and Made-In-India content to look forward to. Google’s video platform has collaborated with content partners Only Much Louder (OML), The Viral Fever (TVF), Culture Machine and Qyuki to launch new original properties. They will be a mix of comedy sketches, a music show (Jammin’), a beauty and style-centric programme (Beauty Hunt), and a web series on teenagers (Insiders). There will be talent hunts as well.
Reserve some laughs
OML’s Laughter Games will be the first to go live, in mid-April. It will see six comedians, release six to eight part shows on their YouTube channels. Watch out for EIC Outrage from East India Company, What Sucks More by SnG Comedy, and Scenes from Indian Life by Anuvab Pal. Bengaluru’s Them Boxer Shorts, and Kenny Sebastian will release Better Life Foundation, and Starboyz. What’s interesting is that you can also tune-in to these shows like you do it on TV. They will be aired every Monday-Friday on a particular time. The schedule is being finalised, tells us COO of OML, Ajay Nair.
OML will follow this up with the second edition of Comedy Hunt in June. The search is for India’s next big comedy superstar. Two-member Random Chikibum won the hunt last year, and will launch their own show, Random Daftar, on Laughter Games.
Chance to create
Around the same time, TVF will launch the hunt for a web series creator. This partnership comes as no surprise, as TVF is the pioneer of web series trend in India. Their Permanent Roommates, and Pitchers broke the Internet in 2014, and 2015. The second season of Permanent Roommates went live recently, and Pitchers 2 is up next.
Founder of TVF Arunabh Kumar, who netizens also remember as Yogi from Pitchers, tells us about the competition. “Anybody who likes to tell stories is welcome to send their entries. There is no restriction on genre. We will train the shortlisted candidates in Mumbai, provide resources on how to make a web series, and let people vote for the best ones. A certain percentage of vote will come from judges, and the TVF team, but it’s largely popular vote.”
Internet, Kumar feels, is the true test of content. It might be the most accessible medium, but leaving a mark there is difficult. He says, “Internet is the most brutally honest medium. People will watch your content only if it is good. There are a lot of celebrity videos online, but only a few like Shah Rukh Khan’s interview on Barely Speaking with Arnub goes viral. Content is actually king.”