With millions of subscribers, how content creators Shruti Arjun Anand and Payal Dhare are acing the YouTube game
Popular YouTubers whose audiences run into millions, Shruti Arjun Anand and Payal Dhare tell HerStory why content creation needs to be consistent and continuous to remain relevant and gain new audiences.
Recently, YouTube unveiled a new report by independent consulting firm Oxford Economics that showed the video-sharing platform’s growing creator ecosystem generated considerable economic value, contributing Rs 6,800 crore to the Indian GDP and supporting 6,83,9001 full-time equivalent jobs in India in 2020.
Part of a YouTube revolution in India are several women who are giving content creation a new twist by delving into subjects and topics in educative, interactive, and entertaining ways. Starting a channel may be easy, but sustaining it with consistent content is challenging.
HerStory presents YouTubers who are in a class of their own.
Shruti Arjun Anand
Shruti Arjun Anand (9.81 million followers)
Anasya (13 million followers)
Eleven years ago, Shruti Arjun Anand started her eponymous YouTube channel as a hobby. Growing up in Jhansi, she pursued BTech in Computer Science while also being passionate about fashion and beauty.
“When I started my channel, a majority of content creators in this space were from abroad. I added a desi touch and moulded content in a way Indians could understand it better,” she tells HerStory.
Today, she runs another YouTube channel, Anasya, in the same segment.
“I didn’t know how to be a creator or what camera to use. At that point in time, selfie mode was also not in the picture and people were not used to it. My first video was a hairstyling video, which I shot in the bathroom as I was getting the best shot from there and I didn’t have a tripod, but people made fun out of it. Irrespective of the criticism, I kept on shooting and my hard work paid off,” she says.
Slowly, Shruti started speaking on sensitive topics like periods, harassment, pregnancy, etc., - generally reserved for close groups.
“This helped my audience resonate with my content as they found comfort in those videos and considered me as a friend. That’s how I built my audience and connected with them by filling the void for a particular type of content in their lives,” she adds.
Today, her day starts with brainstorming ideas with her team and post concept approvals, trying to gather true instances of people around the concept to make the content as relatable as possible.
“Then, we proceed towards scripting, casting, and other pre-production activities followed by the shoot and the video is finally sent for post-production. So, after all this we promote our video on different platforms and when the video is ready, we upload it on Tuesday at 5pm,” she shares.
With Anaysa, topics that girls can relate to works best. Videos like “things only girls relate”, “harassment” and “hacks” are among the most popular content on this channel.
Shruti’s audience comes from Tier I, II, and II cities, and focuses on “clean, family content”. Her husband takes care of the monetisation part, and the couple declined to share numbers.
Shruti plans to move onto OTT platforms and has launched a short series on Anaysa, “Jeetu ki Wedding”, but for the foreseeable future, YouTube is going to remain her main focus. On Shruti Arjun Anand, apart from creating content around beauty, she also plans to include other women friendly topics and help audiences with solutions to their day-to-day problems.
“A content creator needs to get into their audience’s shoes and create content that is relevant. I always keep this in mind while creating content. In the beginning we used to make remedy videos, daily hacks, fashion, and makeup, but with time, we started incorporating sketches and comic sequences into our videos,” Shruti says.
YouTube page: Payal Gaming (1.88 million followers)
Inspired by her own posts of PUBG mobile gameplay videos with voice-overs, Payal Dhare started streaming games with face-cam on YouTube after requests from her fans. Currently, the girl from Chhindwara, MP, is a content creator for S8ul Organisation.
“As a creator, my experience was a bit patchy at the start. But as I regularly uploaded videos to the channel, I realised it would grow based on the content I chose. Initially, I used to post videos of crate openings, including gameplays of PUBG and I got a very good response on those videos. I got motivated, started streaming, and continued further.
Payal started receiving traction in 2020 when she reached 100K subscribers and she crossed one million subscribers in 2021, an outstanding feat that she achieved in just a year.
“It was such a great feeling for me that I was the first girl gamer in India to reach the million milestone,” she says.
She explains the creative process.
“My creative process is very simple when it comes to new and innovative content. I prepare scripts that brands provide me and I try to implement my own ideas to shoot that video in an interesting way so that my audience enjoys it. I keep on looking at audience feedback based on which I decide something new with crazy ideas and keep on experimenting with my streams to make my videos more entertaining, including highlights and shorts.”
Her first vlog went viral with the highest number of views, including some of her funny shorts clips.
Payal is thankful for a loyal audience that “interacts regularly with her, asking questions all the time”. She replies to comments, talks to them over live chat, and DMs.
She also points out girl gamers face a lot of negativity and trolling and this affected her in the initial days. “Over time, I learned to deal with it positively, ignore it in most cases, and focus on my content rather than getting distracted,” she adds.
Payal’s crate opening videos, including some insane match clips with a decent amount of kills and some funny moment videos are popular because of her funny reactions and expressions.
Her plan is to become a full-time content creator and YouTuber as an influencer. “A content creator has to develop gradually and be consistent in new concepts for gaining audiences and also remain relevant,” she says.
Edited by Megha Reddy