| 15 Jul 2024
Our YouTube channel has become an important vehicle to drive consumption of music videos: Bhushan Kumar

MUMBAI: Six years ago, long before YouTube staked claim to the massive Indian entertainment industry and transformed how we watch movies and listen to music, Bhushan Kumar, T-Series managing director and chairman, realised the potential of the internet and formulated a robust online plan of action to transform his company. “People were just about starting to get their entertainment fix online then. It struck us that we need to be catering to their needs online,” he recalls.

Today, T-Series’ YouTube channel continues to hold its No. 1 position among the top 250 YouTube channels. It has crossed the 30 million subscriber mark on YouTube, with more than 27 billion video views with its audience base spread across India and other countries. “This has happened because we never compromised on our content. Over time, our YouTube channel has become an important vehicle to drive consumption of music videos produced for both films and TV,” says Kumar.

One of the reasons why T-Series continues to be on the cutting edge of digital entertainment is because Kumar is constantly plugged in. Shedding light on the digital wave that is fast consuming India, Kumar says, “You know India has surged ahead of two other superpowers in terms of total data usage. In terms of Internet usage and in terms of smartphone users we are No.2. We have grown exponentially in that aspect. With the advent of 4G, Internet speed is way better than what it was before. Also, having data on your phone is a lot easier now. Internet penetration has increased manifold and is poised to grow further.”

He adds, “On YouTube, most of the views are coming from mobile phones and not from desktops. So everybody is consuming data and everyone has their own personal usage of data.”

It is not surprising then that Kumar and his team at T-Series came up with a unique concept called Mixtape Hindi for YouTube that has also, in no time, gained a massive fan following, crossing over 200 million views. “We are constantly looking at doing new, exciting things with our existing catalogue of songs. The team at T-Series brainstormed with various possibilities and came up with this idea of mixing two songs where the tempo, scale and rhythm matched. We did it with a more studied approach and realised that the concoction was deliciously heady. Next, we set up a studio in Mumbai to do this on a grand scale. Most of the singers are signed up with T-Series. A video which recreates the songs also gives the singers an opportunity to do much more than just playback. Mixtape in Hindi was hugely successful. It gave us wings to repeat the experiment with Mixtape in Punjabi, which is again doing very well. We are a culturally rich country and music is an integral part of our culture. Who knows, we might soon do more such experiments in a few regional languages?”

When asked if this has rekindled the music scene into India in a big way, Kumar responds, “Actually, music never left the picture? We have always focused on music. Music is our forte. Even now when we are producing many more feature films, music has always taken the front seat in our business planning.”

Talking about what 2018 holds for T-Series in the digital space, Kumar says, “We are doing a lot of singles with our artistes. The main opinion leaders are online. Once a song starts online, it naturally penetrates across all mediums. The numbers for our Mixtape Season 1 and 2 are growing every day. We ventured into the short film category with Bulbul, which was based on a short story by the late Kundan Shah. For a short film with minimal dialogue, the response has been fantastic. It’s extremely gratifying that our very first short film was nominated for the Filmfare Awards. The song Tere Bin O Saajana from Bulbul has been garnering tremendous views. We will look at doing more short films in the future. The web series space is also worth considering in the future.”

Well, looks like T-Series will be further spreading their wings in the digital space and there is definitely no stopping.