Patience is the key to survive in the content creation field: Ashish Chanchlani
Youth icon and popular YouTuber Ashish Chanchlani has crossed the 20 million subscribers mark. The engineering graduate found his calling as a content creator on YouTube with his videos that are called “clean comedies” that can be watched by everyone in the family. Chanchlani today is the third most popular Solo Creator in India.
After a break of three months, Chanchlani returned with a new video ‘Raksha Bandhan’ on YouTube, made during the lockdown period. The video has crossed 23 million views as of today and was trending #1. But this Youtuber’s dreams are not confined to the video platform alone, as Chanchlani looks for newer horizons to conquer. In conversation with Adgully, Ashish Chanchlani speaks about how the lockdown affected him as a content creator, his ambitions, his journey as a Youtuber and more.
Your ‘Raksha Bandhan’ video has garnered 23+ million views and counting. Do the numbers surprise you?
I have noticed that festival videos do really well, and the ones that relate to family have greater impact on the viewers, that is what I feel. So, I was definitely expecting good response for this video, but I did not expect this much. It’s really great and I was amazed.
After a three-month hiatus you posted a new video that received so many views. How did you create the anticipation?
I was not really well and I was a little disturbed and I feel everybody is going through something during the pandemic times, so I got a little affected and I took a small break. I had no idea how I would come back and how I would make a video. There was a time when I thought that maybe I would not do any video this year, but then one day I was like ‘No, I have to work’. Work gives me a lot of pleasure and happiness. Raksha Bandhan was around the corner and 10 days before the festival I decided to make a video on this. My fans were very happy when I announced that I would return with a new video.
You asked viewers to share their favourite scene in the comments section. Did you get a consensus?
I do this for every video that I make. This time, I got a very mixed response, and there were a lot of scenes that they loved. Some loved the climax; others loved the second scene of Snack Chor. But the majority liked the ‘Partial dad and son’ skit. I think a lot of people could relate to the video, where daughters are their father’s favourites and that is a very cute fact and that connected with the audience.
You joined YouTube in 2009, in early 2017 you celebrated 1 million subs and in 2020 you have crossed 20 million subs. How has been the journey in the last 3 years?
Now that you’ve mentioned it, it’s been crazy. Honestly, in 2009 I just made the channel, but I actually started posting videos in December 2014. I had no strategy for that and I don’t know how all this happened. I feel it’s the people who have done this, it’s them who have made me a star and a career and a life that I never really expected.
Did the lockdown affect your output as a content creator?
Yes, as a content creator output has been affected, but right now people want content that is anywhere, be it Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. So, somewhere that has also grown; if we are not doing something on YouTube, we are there to entertain them on Instagram and Facebook and they enjoy that. The output might have been affected, but the viewers have grown, that is what I feel. Right now there are a lot of eyeballs on a lot of YouTubers and content creators. I feel it is the perfect time for people to create content and entertain, but being within the safety guidelines, that is what I feel is important, because people are forgetting that there is a virus out there.
You associated with Groww app in the Raksha Bandhan video. Are there more brand collaborations ahead?
There might be a lot of brand collaborations that you might get to see ahead, but I have not really planned anything. It just happens if a brand comes in and I find it interesting to jam it with my script that is what I really enjoy doing. There are a few people who tell me that brand integrations are really fun if done in the right way and if you’re being honest to your subscribers.
What’s your content strategy and plans for your other social handles?
My major content strategy is ‘Be Relatable’. I make content about whatever is trending at the moment. Like 2020 has seen a massive attack on humans, so I made a video on that and I made videos about the lockdown. We have to be up-to-date for the millennials and their humour and that works really well.
You’d mentioned that you wanted to be an actor but became a YouTuber instead...
I’d always wanted to become an actor and work in Bollywood and that is the biggest dream I have. By my 12th, I was a Science student and I joined engineering, I almost gave up my dream because in reality it was not possible for me to go and give an audition, because nobody would even look at me (laughs). I remember that I gave audition at a lot of places and got completely ignored. I remember one audition, where I was asking them about something and they treated me really harshly. I never really took that to my heart, but I feel they could have been a little polite. One of the persons who took my audition was Siddharth Chaturvedi, he was really nice, in fact he was amazing. But I was a little disappointed by the behaviour of the other people. I gave up my acting dream then and started making my own videos. I feel that worked really well for a lot of people and the audience accepted me wholeheartedly, so it has been crazy.
What’s the story behind your ambition? After appearing in ‘Class of 2017’ are you exploring a return to web series?
I would love to do a web series and movies, that’s my plan. I would like to see new aspects and experiment with new things. I always say that is what I want to do, but if that doesn’t happen, I have my YouTube channel and would always have it, because people love me for that. So, this is obviously a stepping stone, but I don’t think this is my main career right now and I would like to experiment with new stuff.
You’re an influencer not just to your fans, but also to fellow YouTubers and content creators. What are your learnings as a creator?
As a creator, I have learned that you cannot become a star overnight, you can go viral if you have a crazy idea, but you have to maintain that success, that is really important. As the years are passing by, you need to learn how to update to what is happening around and how to stay connected with the people who love you and how to tell them that you are a human being as well and you change, your content can change over the time, pleasing them, letting them know that I’m with you and I am listening to you guys – that is really important as a content creator. I have been in this business, which I never really thought that it would be a business, since the last 5 years. Till date I make content that is relatable to the audience and connects with them. Patience is the key to survive in this field. I had these three unsuccessful years before I became a name and was sounding everywhere.