Vinod Chandar traces the journey of ChuChu TV

 Vinoth Chandar

Vinoth Chandar

Entertaining toddlers is not exactly a child’s play. Nevertheless, Vinoth Chandar runs his extremely successful show by catering to kids. The founder of ChuChu TV, one of the most watched YouTube channels with more than 24 million subscribers, is on a fast track with all subsidiaries of the parent channel clicking with millions of viewers.

For the Chennai-based entrepreneur, it all started with an animation video that he made for his daughter, Harshitha a.k.a Chuchu, way back in 2013. The son of music director Chandrabose, Vinoth has music in his blood and so he used to sing to his daughter. “Later, I ended up doing a video for a nursery rhyme, Chubby cheeks , as my daughter was very chubby. The video came out well and my daughter loved it. So I uploaded it on YouTube to see if kids around the world liked it,” recalls Vinoth. And they did. The video went viral and so was born ChuChu TV. Since then, ChuChu TV has raced its way to the top with more than 350 videos, all of which are available on YouTube in different ChuChu TV channels — Rhymes and Kids Songs, Surprise Egg Toys, StoryTime and FunZone. They have a combined viewership of 20 billion.

 A screenshot from ChuChu TV’s Chubby Cheeks video

A screenshot from ChuChu TV’s Chubby Cheeks video

August 2017, the channel was awarded Diamond YouTube Play Button award, which is given to channels with over 10 million subscribers. “We were toying with the idea of creating content for children but we never imagined that it would become so big. We are currently watched in over 100 countries,” says 38-year-old Vinoth.

Rhymes of success

All the videos from ChuChu TV are colourfully and playfully animated, like a children’s story book, accompanied by jovial, foot-tapping tunes. Vinoth explains that in the beginning, they had to experiment a lot to find the right combination to attract children. “It is a blend of many features such as music, lyrics, characters and screenplay. It is like creating a feature film but on a smaller scale,” Vinoth adds.

The lines of many popular rhymes have been tweaked to bring in an educational and contemporary angle. The idea came from Vinoth’s partner and creative head of the company, B.M. Krishnan. It was a train of thought that yielded rich dividends for the duo. “He felt most of the popular nursery rhymes in English had no proper meaning and most had a dark backdrop. He wanted to change them and give a positive spin to all the nursery rhymes,” says Vinoth.

So, popular nursery rhymes such as Johnny, Johnny, Yes Papa and Ba Ba Black sheep and more have been tweaked to make it in tune with the contemporary world and reflect modern-day concerns and issues. In addition, the videos introduce children to shapes, colours, numbers and a little of information about the world in a playful way. The age-appropriate videos have been viewed more than 100 thousand times and the numbers are climbing steadily. Till 2017, the videos were all 2D animated. But with the launch of the ChuChu TV FunZone, the company delved into 3D animation as well.

 Screen-shot from ChuChu TV’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star video

Screen-shot from ChuChu TV’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star video

The biggest challenge, Vinoth says, they faced in the beginning of the venture was to decide whether this was a business opportunity or not. But once they did, there was no looking back as they had to put in the art resources and ramp up production. The YouTube-led video content platforms, he believes, is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs in India. “It gives freedom to express yourselves to audiences around the world,” he says.

ChuChu School is the next big thing Vinoth has to offer to the ChuChu audience. It is an educational platform that will help parents teach their preschool kids to read and write, and introduce them to concepts of numbers, language, science and art. “It is a joint venture with an American preschool education company. Apart from the website, we have also launched a YouTube channel for it. We will be concentrating on that project this year.” A 3D children’s series is also in the offing, which will also see the launch of ChuChu merchandise in India.

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Printable version | May 15, 2022 2:27:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/vinoth-chandar-traces-the-journey-of-chuchu-tv/article23773070.ece