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YouTube fanfest returns to India for 3rd edition

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MUMBAI: Youtube Fanfest is back in India for a third time and how! On its third edition now, the mega celebration boasts of a 30 artists line up of digital artists and content creators, who will take centre stage on 18 March 2016 in Mumbai. The show will be co-produced by Only Much Louder and Branded, and has Pepsi, Pantene, Amazon.in and Clean and Clear as sponsors, with Pepsi coming onbaord for the second time. Star acts include SuperWoman aka Lilly Singh, Kanan Gill, Connor Franta, SANAM, TVF and AIB

Sharing his excitement over the fest, YouTube India head of entertainment and content Satya Raghavan said, “India has undergone a content creator revolution. Over the last few years, Indian YouTube creators have gained millions of new subscribers and have taken over the imagination of the youth in India. In our view, 2015 was a breakout year for the young industry and the ecosystem has really evolved in India, with mobile driving massive growth for online video consumption. Now, we’re seeing online creators break open the gates for a whole new kind of entertainment for Indians online, with advertisers looking to tap into this space in a meaningful way.”

While the idea is to reach out to maximum number of people and inspire them to not only celebrate the existing content creators, but join the community as well. YouTube is banking on organic promotion of the show through artists and their subscribers. “It is largely organic. Several thousands of content creators put out videos on their channels, and they have their millions of subscribers, who themselves have their own social media platforms to put the word across. We don’t think we need any more marketing,” said Raghavan.

About the booming digital content industry and the mushrooming of OTT players across the board Ragahavan said, “I think it’s great that more people are doing things around video. It will only expand the pie. Especially with bandwidth opening up in the country hopefully thanks to the several 4G services. It is an exciting time for content creators and video content consumers to be in India.”

Making the most of the platform, Culture Machine, OML, Qyuki, and The Viral Fever (TVF) also announced four new original properties on YouTube. Firstly #LaughterGames, where nine comedy creators will launch their own comedy web series, featuring YouTube comedians such as East India Comedy, Put Chutney and Kenny Sebastian. Qyuki will launch Jamminin’, a show featuring Bollywood composers and YouTube music creators. In the coming months, Culture Machine will be launching Beauty Hunt, a beauty/style-centric program, while OML will launch season 2 of its successful Comedy Hunt, the search for India’s next comedy act, while veteran web show creators TVF will be launching a search for the next generation of web series creators. A Tamil Comedy Hunt with Vision Time, a Telugu Comedy Hunt with ETV, and Katha, a Tamil/Telugu web series property are some of the launches that can be expected from south India later in the year.

To reflect on YouTube’s growth in India Raghavan shared some data: “While overall watchtime in India has grown by 80 per cent YoY (with 55 per cent of that watchtime on mobile) and the hours of video uploaded from India has increased at 90 per cent YoY, content uploaded by India’s independent creators has risen especially quickly. For instance, watchtime of independent musicians grew over 92 per cent YoY; comedy and entertainment grew 100 per cent YoY; beauty and fashion videos have grown over 138 per cent YoY. Another notable area of watchtime growth came from the south, with Tamil and Telugu content seeing a 75 per cent spike in YoY growth.

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