Local content company gets YouTube award

The Clicknetwork team with YouTube's Gold Play Button award at Google's Singapore office on Tuesday.
The Clicknetwork team with YouTube's Gold Play Button award at Google's Singapore office on Tuesday.PHOTO: GOOGLE

Local content company Clicknetwork, which has been awarded YouTube's Gold Play Button, is the first local channel on the social media platform to reach one million subscribers.

The company received the honours on Tuesday at Google's Singapore office.

The Gold Play Button is part of YouTube's Creator Awards and is given out based on the following of each video channel.

Channels must have a following of 100,000, one million and 10 million subscribers to attain the silver, gold and diamond awards respectively.

Clicknetwork, which was founded in 2007 by Ms Gillian Tan, reached this milestone last month.

The company is known for its Web shows such as Tried And Tested, a series hosted by actress Oon Shu An that reviews beauty products; and Xiaxue's Guide To Life, hosted by blogger Wendy Cheng.

It produces eight Web shows, helmed by 10 hosts. It has produced and uploaded more than 1,000 videos on YouTube.

It is part of a pool of video creators here who have gained a strong following overseas. More than 92 per cent of the viewership of top local YouTube channels here is from abroad, according to YouTube. The number is based on the viewership of the top 100 local YouTube channels.

On receiving the award, Ms Tan, 37, says: "When I started the company, it was not even something that I was aspiring towards. It was never an end goal.

"I hope this shows that even a tiny country like Singapore can reach out to so many people all over the world."

She credits Clicknetwork's popularity to her hosts' authenticity. "Our host are a unique bunch - they all have very strong personalities. When people watch, they have to like the host - that's the most important thing."

Subscribers such as Ms Gladys Yeo, 21, say the channel is popular because of its content.

She subscribed to the channel six months ago to follow the Web series, Hack it, which is hosted by model Rebecca Tan and who demonstrates different life hacks in each episode.

"The tips are quite interesting and I watch every episode of the series. Rebecca's got a charismatic personality too, so it makes for an entertaining show," says Ms Yeo, who is an undergraduate.

Clicknetwork has also contributed to the growth in video-creator activity on YouTube in recent years. The number of hours of YouTube uploads here has more than doubled, compared with the previous year.

Clicknetwork is a good example of how Singaporean creators have gained traction here, says Mr Gautam Anand, 47, managing director for YouTube partnerships and operations in Asia-Pacific.

"There's a lot more creator activity here. Creators become more aspirational and more believe that they can scale their operations," he adds.

However, while this means more competition from other YouTube channels, Ms Tan notes that she does not foresee changing her company's content style.

"I think that when you start worrying too much about what others are doing, you start to lose focus on what you should be doing. Staying true to who we are has got us here and we'll keep going in this direction."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2017, with the headline 'Local content company gets YouTube award'. Print Edition | Subscribe