November 25, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

YouTube attracts 7,000 to fan fest

THE third YouTube Fan Fest in Manila was met -- as usual -- with great interest as 7,000 fans trooped to the World Trade Center on May 12 to see their favorite YouTubers in action.

The one-day event featured international YouTube stars like Lilly Singh, a.k.a. Superwoman; Lauren Rihimaki, a.k.a. LaurDIY; Megan Nicole and Jun Sung Ahn, a.k.a. JuNCurryAhn; alongside Filipino stars like Janina Vela, Lloyd Cafe Cadena, Alex Wassabi, and Mikey Bustos.

Last year’s event was attended by 4,500 people. This year drew 7,000 people, with YouTube officials saying tickets were sold out in six minutes.

The same event also saw two Filipino YouTubers earn the Gold Play Button -- a trophy given to content creators with one million subscribers.

Ranz Kyle and Niana, a brother-sister duo known for uploading dance videos; and Kaycee and Rachel in Wonderland, two sisters who are known for their kid-friendly videos, joined the ranks of other Gold Play Button Awardees like Fliptop Battles and Kids Toys.

On the average, according to a company press release, two Filipino channels cross the 100,000 subscriber mark every week. Content creators with 100,000 subscribers are awarded the Silver Play Button.

The number of creators passing various YouTube milestones shows the growth momentum of the Philippine market, said Dave Powell, director of YouTube Online Partner Development for Asia Pacific, during a press conference held on the same day as the festival.

He added the channel saw a 65% growth in watch time on mobile, and 150% year-on-year growth in the number of hours of video uploaded in the country.

“The momentum will show [the growth in the number of Filipino creators] will continue,” Mr. Powell told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the press conference.

And because of the popularity of the platform in the Philippines, Mr. Powell said they are going to continue bringing the YouTube Fan Fest to Manila and that they are going to be “more aggressive this year” in helping content creators put out quality videos.

“Filipinos are really talented, and I think a lot of the workshops we’re doing help with upping the quality of the content,” said Mr. Powell.

A day before the fest, YouTube conducted a camp/seminar attended by over 200 local YouTubers where international stars talked about best practices when creating videos.

“We’ve increased our investment for 2017 (workshops and seminars for YouTube creators),” Mr. Powell explained.

He added that after the “successful run” of the recently concluded YouTube Pop-up Space last month at the BGC Arts Center, they will be bringing it back in a few months.

Pop-up spaces “bring in programs, classes, sets, and equipment that YouTube creators can use for free.”

Similar pop-up spaces were set up in other cities around the world including Bangkok, Taipei, and Sydney. -- Zsarlene B. Chua