The YouTube community of Bangladesh has grown and evolved significantly over the past couple of years. The channels are of a wide range of genres that include music, education, entertainment etc. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly who was the pioneer of YouTube in Bangladesh, but some of the most popular YouTube channels that come to mind are 10 Minute School, SalmoNTheBrownFish, OnnorokomPathshala, GaanFriendz, ATC, Bhai Brothers Limited etc. These YouTube channels provide various purposes for the viewers.
The education platforms in YouTube are a source of immense help to students. OnnorokomPathshala and 10 Minute School stand out in this. "10 Minute School is bringing about revolutionary changes in the education system of Bangladesh," remarked a lecturer of Physics from a public college in Dhaka. 10 Minute School, founded by Ayman Sadiq, is perhaps the most extensive online educational platform in Bangladesh. It has two YouTube channels, '10 Minute School' and '10 Minute School LIVE!' that have about 0.452 million and 0.421 million subscribers respectively. The core channel, i.e., 10 Minute School has over 3,000 videos on it. These videos focus on the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) syllabus, the board exams in it such as JSC, SSC, and HSC, the university entrance exams, skill development and even professional courses. The best part is that all of the contents are on YouTube and they are absolutely free, anyone and everyone can take advantage of them. A cardinal part of 10 Minute School's success has been due to its YouTube popularity. YouTube awards the Silver Play Button award to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers, and both of these channels have received them. While OnnorokomPathshala has not gained the popularity that 10 Minute School has, it still holds 0.161 million subscribers and the educational videos in it are unmatched in their attention to detail and providing explanations.
A lot of people only use YouTube to listen to music, in Bangladesh. While data provides that only 4.3 per cent of YouTube traffic across the world is from music videos, in Bangladesh one would be astonished at the number of that people believe that YouTube is meant to be only for music. Because of this, the music industry in Bangladesh has expanded to YouTube. Not only do individual musicians, bands or aspiring musical artists join YouTube as a way of sharing their music, but recording studios and music stations have also taken up a presence in it. Gaanchill Music, Dhruba Music Station and ChitroKolpo are some examples of music based companies with a prominent presence on YouTube. "Making music on YouTube creates a direct link for the musician and the listeners, which is an advantage over the old days where legends had to depend entirely upon a label and become enslaved by its rules and regulations and often got lost in the ever-changing crowds," says an aspiring artist with a record deal with Gaanchill Music who is also on YouTube. Some musicians have gained fame from YouTube and built a career out of this. Xefer Rahman, an artist who started by posting videos online, has now risen to prominence with over 57,000 subscribers and become quite well-known in the music industry.
But a downside to posting videos online is that there are too many negative people in this world who criticise and defame whomever they can find. A prime example of this is seventeen-year-old Mahtab Shakib, whose videos went viral almost overnight, and due to public dislike of certain aspects of his videos, he is facing a lot of hatred and negativity. But at the end of the day, he has reached over 0.160 million subscribers and can only go up from this online downfall.
The entertainment channels on YouTube right now are generating the highest traffic. "People these days only use Internet for entertainment, which has become the aim in life for many." There are sub-genres of entertainment to be found here, each channel providing unique contents to grasp the attention of people to achieve their own set of goals. The oldest entertainment channel to come to mind is SalmoN TheBrownFIsh. Salman Muqtadir has an astonishing number of 0.910 million subscribers, and a young adult who does not know his name is quite hard to find. He started his journey on YouTube but has now become a celebrity in Bangladesh, doing side or leading roles in many TV dramas and movies recently and also modeling for different brands. GaanFriendz, a channel for both music and entertainment, has 0.545 million subscribers now. They are a musical comedy duo providing much amusement to the viewers.
Other mentionable channels include BhaiBrothers Limited, with 100 videos and over 0.432 million subscribers, The Jhakanaka Project by Raba Khan, with 0.149 million subscribers, The Ajaira Limited with 0.634 million subscribers, etc. Being a YouTuber has become a prominent career for many, and YouTube has opened many doors for entertainers. But then again, entertainers are more likely to be victims of cyber-crime.
YouTube is a medium where anyone can create an identity for themselves with a touch of creativity and a hint of videography skills. But in a platform open to all, it becomes just that much tougher to stand out from the millions of other YouTubers. But, the pros of YouTube have so far outweighed the cons.
The writer is a first year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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