"Sky is the limit when it comes to Malayalam content on YouTube," said Satya Raghavan, Director, Content Partnerships, YouTube India.
Mr. Raghavan, in the city to maximise the business potential of the free online video-sharing platform, has some real numbers to buttress his statement.
From not having a single Malayalam YouTube channel enjoying a million subscriptions, Malayalam content has made a quantum leap in the last few years and now boasts 17 channels with that landmark one million subscribers. This is in addition to another 50 Malayalam channels having anything between 500K and one million subscribers and another 400 channels with 100K subscriptions, creators of all of which are waiting to turn millionaires, as creators who touch the million mark is referred to in the YouTube parlance, in the next couple of years.
"The year 2018 was the breakthrough year for Malayalam language content on YouTube. It is now growing at a rate of 100% year on year in watch time. Malayalam content consumption has become supercharged and its creators are emerging as super stars. There is no better time for Malayalam content creators," said Mr. Raghavan during an interaction with the media here on Friday while hosting 'Malayalam Day' to celebrate the phenomenal growth of Malayalam creators on YouTube.
While entertainment and music segments head the charts, other segments like technology, education, health and food are on promising growth trajectories. New segments are emerging with Mr. Raghavan citing farming content as a breakout segment.
Comedy channel Karikku, with a subscription base of 2.60 million, leads the bandwagon of emerging Malayalam creators followed by the technology channel M4 Tech with 1.80 million subscribers and food channels Village Food Channel and Veena's Curry World with 1.1 million subscribers each.
Mr. Raghavan said YouTube enjoys 265 million monthly users in India, out of which 60% are from smaller cities and villages while video consumption in Indian languages accounts for 95%. From a mere 16 channels with a million plus subscription in 2014, the number grew to 1,200 in 2018.
Three major Malayalam content creators - Nikhil Prasad, founder of the YouTube channel Karikku, Geo Joseph of M4 Tech and Annie Yujin of farming-related channel Krishy Lokam – shared their experiences on the occasion.