In Bangladesh, currently the number of YouTube channels with entertainment contents is over six thousand five hundred. Amongst these channels, Anupam Movie Song, Eagle [it runs several YouTube channels], CD Choice, G Series, Laser Vision, Suranjali, SoundTek, CMV, CMV Screen, My Sound, Deadline, Club11, Crown Plus, etcetera are amongst leading positions.
As of August 2020, the most popular YouTube channel in Bangladesh was Anupam Movie Songs, with approximately 1.44 billion uploaded video views. Comparatively, Channel i TV had approximately 775.75 million uploaded video views as of August 2020.
Industry insiders said, if a drama draws one million views the YouTube channel can earn an amount between US$ 650~750 while from Facebook of 3-minute’s clip, it can earn US$160~250.
According to statistics, the most viewed YouTube contents uploaded in Bangladeshi channels are: Oporadhi, a musical video with 337,461,943 views; Nesha, a musical video with 187,950,469 views; and Khairun Lo, a musical video of star singer Momtaz with 118,152,307 views.
Amongst the dramas uploaded on YouTube channels, ‘Boro Chheley’ by Mizanur Rahman Aryan has 12 million views. Amongst series released on YouTube, each of the episodes of ‘Bachelor Point’ directed by Kajal Arefin Omy drew more than 3 million views. Equally another serial named ‘Family Crisis’ also drew millions of viewers.
Every year, only G Series and CD Choice earn more than 4 million dollars every month. Meaning, these YouTube channels are contributing to Bangladesh’s foreign exchange earning in a significant way. It may be mentioned here that, all the television channels in Bangladesh also have their own YouTube channels, which also are earning huge amount of money every month. Private TV channel RTV and Shomoy TV are amongst the leading wage earners.
According the official of a YouTube channel, it is not necessary that current super-stars of drama can succeed in attracting viewers when those contents are released on YouTube channels. Although, Musharrof Karim dramas always enjoy good viewership, generally dramas of Mushfiq Farhan. Arfan Nisho, Jovan, and Towsif generally get place amongst hit contents. At the same time, none of the actresses actually have the capabilities of catching attention of the potential YouTube viewers. Still some of the dramas of Mehzabien Chowdhury occasionally have shown successes.
Talking to this correspondent, owner of a leading YouTube channel said, there is a wrong perception in the market that dramas made by prominent directors would become successful on YouTube channels, which is totally wrong. For this reason, a director like Mustafa Sarwar Farooqi, who is known to a segment of Bangla-speaking people in the world has not succeeded in becoming successful on YouTube contents. Similarly, OTT platforms with Bangla contents mostly embrace grand flop as those platforms suffer from the wrong perception of only giving priority to prominent and popular makers.
But unfortunately, despite being their significant role in earning huge amount of foreign currency for the country, these YouTube channels remain out of focus and are not receiving any incentives as foreign currency earners from the government.
Commenting on dramas mainly made for YouTube channels, drama-maker Sonjib Das said, “Despite the fact that YouTube channels have created tremendous prospect for drama makers and are making significant contributions to country’s foreign exchange earnings, government is yet to pay due attention to this sector”.
He said, “If the YouTube channels get patronization from the government, within the span of 5-10 years, YouTube channels can emerge as one of the major earners of foreign currency in Bangladesh”.
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