Lockdown vs Indian YouTubers: BB Ki Vines, CarryMinati and others share experiences

BB Ki Vines (Bhuvan Bam) and CarryMinati (Ajey Nagar) talk about a YouTube creator's limitations during lockdown.  

While creativity is taking a toll for Bhuvan Bam, CarryMinati (Ajey Nagar) is facing issues with skits and sketches during lockdown.
While creativity is taking a toll for Bhuvan Bam, CarryMinati (Ajey Nagar) is facing issues with skits and sketches during lockdown. (Robin Sinha/Hindustan Times)

Internet consumption has grown exponentially as millions of people around the world are staying indoors and relying on digital tools for communication, collaboration, and even recreational purposes. All major internet platforms have observed growth in recent weeks. YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing platform, is no exception.

YouTube's graph

According to Satya Raghavan, Director, YouTube Partnerships, India, YouTube has witnessed an increase in ‘average global daily uploads’ of videos with "at home" mentioned in the title by staggering 590% since March 15th as compared to their average uploads for the entire year.

“Globally, engagement is up across the board because people around the world are looking to connect with each other and to find useful information, from Learning to Well Being and Entertainment content,” he told HT Tech.

Also read: YouTube witnesses 80% growth, launches new tools for advertisers

The fitness and well-being segments have also seen a rise in viewership graph as per YouTube’s Raghavan. Between March 15-31 2020, average views of exercise videos with “home” or “no gym” in India increased by over 170% compared to the prior daily average for the year.

The consumption growth has also thrown a new challenge for the content creators as they are also locked with limited resources and have to churn out more content than ever.

BB Ki Vines - Bhuvan Bam
BB Ki Vines - Bhuvan Bam (BB Ki Vines/Facebook)

Bhuvan Bam - BB Ki Vines

India’s one of the top YouTubers, Bhuvan Bam, admitted that the creativity has “taken a toll” because he cannot step out. His channel, BB Ki Vines, however, is growing daily. Bam’s YouTube channel already has 17.3 million subscribers.

“I generally shoot at my old house which is about 5 kms away from my house. But now I'm not going there since the lockdown has been implemented,” Bam told HT Tech. “I shoot at home with a cell phone and edit myself so it’s easy to pull it off.”

Bam has been using a Google Pixel smartphone since the past three years along with a laptop to make BB Ki Vines episodes.

Ajey Nagar - CarryMinati

On the other hand, creativity is not much of an issue for Ajey Nagar aka CarryMinati, a YouTuber that has 14.2 million subscribers and is way more popular these days for his recent YouTube vs TikTok debacle. The problem he faces while making a video is different though.

“It [lockdown] hasn't really impacted my work as I make my regular videos from home but yes there is a restriction towards making skits & sketches,” says Nagar to HT Tech. “I focus on "what I can do” rather than "what I can't,” he adds.

CarryMinati - Ajey Nagar
CarryMinati - Ajey Nagar (Carryminati/Facebook)

While Bam uses a Pixel smartphone, Nagar shoots videos with a 4k webcam. “It has always been that way & I keep it this way so that the vibe of the video doesn't change.”

Team Naach

While the growth numbers are all good, life is slightly tougher for Team Naach, a YouTube channel with 3.28 million subscribers. “The challenge we are currently facing is not having our usual equipment / dance space. Another challenge is getting both of us together for a video as we do not live together, however we have been trying to release content despite facing these,” they said. “We shoot our videos on our personal phones (Google Pixel and iPhone 11). Both video qualities have been amazing.”

Also read: YouTube brings redesigned video page to Android, iOS

Sejal Kumar

Fashion and lifestyle video maker Sejal Kumar, who has over 1.24 million subscribers, thinks that a smartphone and a tripod can help you pull off a video while staying at home.

“...with so many good quality camera phones available these days it's actually really easy to film videos at home all alone if nobody there is nobody to help you. All you need is a tripod and some creative transitions and some interesting ideas on what you can do in a video without moving shots,” she says to HT Tech.

All about creativity

Viewers and fans may be more engaging than before and the numbers are on the rise, but the battle each creator is facing right now is what seems to be pushing the boundaries of ‘creativity’, which is nothing less than commendable right now. And like CarryMinati puts it right, “That's the best part of creativity, every situation is an opportunity to create something new.”

With lockdown lifting partially in certain parts of India, we will hopefully see creators getting back with better and more entertaining videos. Fingers crossed.