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YouTube unveils India’s most popular creators and videos of 2021

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With more Indians discovering the power of video as a gateway to the world, YouTube was a constant companion to millions navigating the shifting sands of 2021. Our viewers turned to YouTube to learn new skills, hone newfound passions, discover content to watch with friends and family, and foster a shared sense of community. On the other hand, our creators committed to Create With Care and continued to impress and inspire us all with their ingenuity.

In 2021, gaming levelled up emerging as a rich and 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. 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.

2021 showed us that even in challenging times, the inventiveness and creativity of our ecosystem can bring help and hope to the lives of millions of Indians. It’s time to celebrate the content and creators that made YouTube an indelible part of our popular culture, and in fact our lives.

  • Top Creators

    Top Creators

  • Top Shorts Creators

    Top Shorts Creators

  • Top Breakout Creators

    Top Breakout Creators

  • Top Women Breakout Creators

    Top Women Breakout Creators

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

Top Trending Videos

Top Trending Videos

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

While YouTube today, 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) spun gold, turning characters from his sketch comedy videos into a scripted web series, Dhindora, showing us the power of creating memorable characters to 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 popularity of Animoji and avatar-based content.

Top Music Videos

Top Music Videos

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 as it continues to thrum and thrive across geographies.

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

Gen-Z turned to YouTube to find a sense of belonging and to connect through relatable content. It is no wonder, then, that 2021 saw the return of The Viral Fever (TVF) with their web-show Aspirants. Interestingly, shows like Aspirants which mirrored the trials and tribulations of Indian students preparing for the gruelling Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) competitive examination, are deeply endemic to YouTube’s existing learning community which sees millions of students turning to learning creators as part of their own preparations.

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 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.

For a deeper look at the year on YouTube and to see the top creators, videos and trends in many other countries, head to the trends website.