Bhuvan Bam and his partner-in-crime Rohit Raj share how they have turned the YouTuber’s content into a business
Bhuvan Bamhas 20 million subscribers on YouTube, 11.5 million followers on Instagram and over 3 billion collective views for his videos.
- Business Insider caught up with Bhuvan Bam and his right hand man
Rohit Raj, who looks after the business of content created by Bam.
- Raj runs Artist Aadmi – a boutique talent management agency and is also the business partner for Bam’s famous Youthiapa Fashion, a merchandise line.
Behind the scenes of it all, Business Insider caught up with Bhuvan Bam and his right hand man – Rohit Raj, who looks after the business of content created by Bam. Raj runs Artist Aadmi – a boutique talent management agency and is also the business partner for Bam’s famous Youthiapa Fashion, a merchandise line.
Beyond being a YouTuber
AdvertisementBam also hosts a digital series on YouTube called 'Titu Talks' in which actor Shah Rukh Khan was featured as the first guest. Bam’s selling point has been the multiple fictional characters he has built, which he calls his ‘little universe’. But he’s ready to expand this universe in different platforms and formats.
“People are ready to watch anything today. There are so many genres for a content creator to experiment. Content consumption and people’s preferences will keep changing too,” said Bam.
The duo, who started working together in 2016, have also turned producer and launched BBkiVines Production Ltd, through which they are working on Bam’s first long format project, Dhindora.
“Bhuvan was always very clear that we have spent so much time creating these characters and their universe and there is a recall for these characters. So, two years ago, we ideated that we should come up with a long format production house and that’s how BBkiVines Productions came into being,” said Raj.
The merchandise line Youthiapa is also built on Bam’s characters and their popular one-liners. “We only sell it through our own e-commerce platform, and we design, produce and market it ourselves,” said Raj.
While they didn’t share details of how the e-commerce brand has grown and the number of orders, they claim that they have ‘a couple of lakh’ customers solely by using Bam’s social media presence as marketing.
How do they choose brands?
Both of them laughingly admit that they used to work in their pyjamas, even before the work-from-home life started. While Bam is the brain behind the content he produces, Raj is the man who gets the business going.
And both of them admit that it’s important for a content creator or
AdvertisementBut just making money wasn’t what they had in mind. Raj works on aligning Bam’s content and the brands that come their way. “In the first one year of us working together, we went for a lot of commercial meetings but we didn’t convert all of them into business. We were clear about the brands we want to associate with or the way we wish to integrate these brands with Bhuvan’s videos. We wanted to keep it organic, we don’t go and hunt for work” he said.
Working with new laws and taxes
YouTube had recently said that for its creators in India and outside of the US, its parent Google said that it would begin deducting US taxes from payments to creators as early as June 2021 from creators outside of the US.
AdvertisementEarnings from viewers in the US through ad views, YouTube Premium, Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Channel Memberships will be taxable.
However, while they await more clarity Raj said that the taxation won’t be on the entire YouTube revenue. “For an Indian creator whatever money they are making out of the US, there will be a 24% deduction on that amount. So for people creating content in Hindi the damage will be lesser,” he said.
But that’s not it. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has released draft guidelines for the influencer community, which requires them to demarcate sponsored content clearly.
AdvertisementBut Bam isn’t worried about it, in fact he encourages the new guidelines. “As long as creators don't mislead the audience it’s fine. Many times people have posted things just to get people to click on it or visit a website. But so many influencers are now clearly mentioning that it’s a sponsored post,” said Bam.
And Raj, the man who will have to ensure brands still get their way in the partnerships, goes back to his point of ensuring that even a sponsored post is made in a creative manner.
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