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With the popularity of stand-up comics and content creators on YouTube skyrocketing since the outbreak of covid-19, such social media influencers are finding new ways to monetize their craft, and brands are queuing up to use their capabilities of grabbing eye balls to woo consumers with ad campaigns featuring them.

While the likes of Sumukhi Suresh, Bhuvan Bam and Zakir Khan cashed in on the opportunities to launch their shows on over-the-top video streaming platforms, Amit Tandon, Vir Das or Abhishek Upmanyu are hosting their own stand-up shows on the world stage.

Capitalizing on the fan base, comic timing and the ability to touch upon controversial topics with ease, brands are offering them 2-3 lakh per social media post. The proliferation of OTTs has also made it easier for them to produce and distribute the content.

“The advent of digital has made it easier for comedians to widen reach and popularity, inspiring more people to pursue comedy as a career. This has led to a huge spike in the number of comics globally. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have given accessible and affordable stage to create and produce content at lower costs and good returns," said Kunal Khandelwal, the group head for outreach at digital agency SoCheers.

“From hopping on to reel trends to writing books, hosting podcasts to creating original content, the comic stars are doing it all to showcase talent," Khandelwal added.

“Many present-day comedians started their careers with regular jobs across different sectors, but the growth of platforms, both offline and online, has changed the game for most. They are not big celebrities yet but still have realistic appeal that people connect with," Mitesh Kothari, the co-founder and chief creative officer of White Rivers Media, a digital agency said.

It’s human to want to laugh on jokes which one can relate to, stand-up comedian Appurv Gupta said. “That is one of the reasons why people are opting for comedy shows over, or as much as going for movies. They even consider watching stand-up special shows over web series on OTT platforms." Gupta said the penetration of social media and affordable internet helped the industry.

Samiksha Mehta, business development manager, Pollen, an influencer marketing firm, said comedians understand their audiences and address topics that may be controversial or even taboo, but have the skill to address it and make it sound funny and casual in the process. Apart from starring in shows, they are writing content for shows as well as films, she added. Most brands are interested in working with the creators as they have a strong influence on the audience, besides sharing a trust value which makes them loyal, Vaishnavi Bagwe, talent manager, NOFILTR GROUP, said.

“Brands also get a hold of a perfect target audience. They can reach out to a specific age group and demography through these creators." Content across fashion, travel, lifestyle, auto and sports can be created by specific comic stars, Bagwe said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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