Social Throwback 2021: YouTube unveils India’s most popular creators & videos of 2021

YouTube top 2021

YouTube unveils consumption patterns of Indian viewers, top creators in the country, and the popular genres and beats of content, to help navigate the shifting sands of 2021.

In 2021, gaming leveled up emerging as a diverse ground for storytelling and community building, with a notable presence across Top Creators, Top Breakout Creators, Top Women Breakout Creators and even, Top Shorts Creators on YouTube. In fact, a 5-hour long gaming livestream of the FreeFire World Series Final in 2021, became one of the most popular videos in India this year. 

Comedy got new laughs. While Round2Hell’s 40-minute long horror-comedy zombie apocalypse short film became the #1 trending video, comedy did just as well in short-form video. The break-out success of the Tamil sensation Enjoy Enjaami set off a drumbeat of content inspired by the Tamil Hit reaction videos, cover songs including some in Hindi and Malayalam, animated re-creations, re-creations within FreeFire, make-up tutorials, and even a PSA by the Kerala Police! Our Top Shorts creator A2 Motivation {Arvind Arora} showed us that you really only need a minute to win it. And, our Top Women Breakout Creators represented a diverse tapestry of genres and languages.

Here are three things you should know about what was created, watched, shared, and loved on YouTube in 2021: 

New genres, new formats, new stories, and new voices across regions and languages

YouTube also caters to one of the largest learner communities, top Shorts creators like A2 Motivation {Arvind Arora} and Mr. Gyani Facts shared facts and knowledge in byte-sized videos. Crazy XYZ and MR. INDIAN HACKER fused the goodness of science and technology with entertainment as Science and Experiments emerged as a new genre. 

Bhuvan Bam (BB Ki Vines) turned characters from his sketch comedy videos into a scripted web series, Dhindora, showing us creating memorable characters can unlock a multiverse of stories. The growing popularity of hyperlocal creators and the characters they’ve created, like Jkk Entertainment’s  Chotu Dada and CS Bisht Vines’ Paagal Beta further reiterated this trend. Telugu channels Filmymoji and Funmoji scripted the rise to the popularity of Animoji and avatar-based content.

Gaming content evolved from gameplay-style videos to comedy, pranks, challenges, and even festival-themed music videos. Interestingly, Gen Z gaming became democratized and the gaming audience also expanded outside of the metropolitan areas in India. 

With a dearth of film music this year, many independent songs released this year were accompanied by music videos with distinct storylines, featuring popular movie actors. We saw the continued rise of Bhojpuri music with artists Ankush Raja and Shilpi Raj at the helm of the sub-culture. 

Web series brought people together as creators churned out content for Gen-Z

2021 saw the return of The Viral Fever (TVF) with their web-show Aspirants. Shows like Aspirants which mirrored the trials and tribulations of Indian students preparing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) competitive examination.

Other scripted content that appealed to specific interests and relatable life stages of Gen Z audiences included Dice Media’s Operation MBBS and Clutch, Telugu shows like 30 weds 21 by Girl Formula, and Surya featuring Shanmukh Jaswanth in the lead. 

Gaming and comedy were other genres that helped Gen-Z connect over shared interests and passions. 

Creators excel with YouTube Shorts – imaginative, helpful content in less than 60 seconds captures hearts and minds of viewers across India 

Both new and existing creators reached viewers across a broad range of topics with short-form content that tapped into the humor and familiarity of everyday life. 

Some of the most popular Shorts creators in 2021 have given rise to new formats of short-form storytelling across themes including family and friendships, language skills, motivation, and men’s grooming content and social messages.

Also Read: The Dhindora around Dhindora: Marketing ‘India’s first fictional YouTube Original’