"new and innovative formats of short-form storytelling"
Gaming has topped the YouTube charts in India in 2021 as the genre features the most popular videos and creators.
This has been followed by comedy, prank, and challenge videos with YouTube Shorts largely responsible for their traction.
Satya Raghavan, director of YouTube Partnerships in India said that gaming had levelled up in terms of diversity.
He added: “Gaming content evolved from gameplay style videos to comedy, pranks, challenges and even festival-themed music videos.
“Interestingly, Gen Z gaming became democratised and the gaming audience also expanded outside of the metropolitan areas in India.”
However, the number one trending video was Round2Hell’s 40-minute long horror-comedy zombie apocalypse short film.
Comedy shorts were just as popular and some which made it to the top ten were from YouTubers CarryMinati and BB Ki Vines.
Another was a scene from the sitcom Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, which originally aired on SAB TV.
Other well-liked creators were A2 Motivation and Mr Gyani Facts, who shares facts and knowledge in bite-sized videos.
Meanwhile, Crazy XYZ and Mr Indian Hacker fused science and technology with entertainment, continuing an emerging YouTube trend.
“Some of the most popular Shorts creators in 2021 went beyond the well-understood techniques of editing videos to music and transitions, and have given rise to new and innovative formats of short-form storytelling across themes including family and friendships, language skills, motivation and men’s grooming content and social messages.”
Due to the decrease of films being produced in 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was also an increased focus on music.
Many independent releases were accompanied by music videos with strong storylines, often featuring popular movie stars.
One of the most popular sub-genres on YouTube was Bhojpuri music.
Music created by artists Ankush Raja and Shilpi Raj was particularly well-liked.
There was also the success of the song ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ which inspired a whole load of new content.
This included cover songs in Hindi and Malayalam, animations and even a public service announcement by Kerala Police.
Web series and scripted content also did well with TVF’s Aspirants (2021) making a comeback.
Content appealing to the specific interests and relatable life stages of Gen Z audiences was especially notable.
Raghavan concluded: “The main idea behind coming up with a list of popular creators is to inspire new creators.
“YouTube has given a proper platform to both small as well as big communities.”