Category: Creative Economy By : Gloria Haraito Read : 995 Date : Friday, February 13, 2015 - 18:45:58

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    In early 2012, Diwantara Anugrah Putra received an email from Smash, an American TV series that has Stephen Spielberg as one of its executive producers. It asked Tara, his nickname, if Smash could put an ad on his YouTube channel Tara Arts Movie. “I was very excited and nervous,” says Tara, now 25. Tara never dreamed a major U.S. TV program would contact him about his YouTube channel. About eight years ago, he was not proficient with a computer and Internet. He even had to ask his relatives to create an email address for him.

    Later on, Tara made his second channel, Tara Arts Game, with reviews on online games presented in English and Indonesian. In 2011, he then was contacted by YouTube asking him to become a YouTube partner. In this partnership, Tara makes videos, while YouTube put ads on his channel. In the first months, Tara says, earnings from YouTube ads was very small, just hundreds of thousands rupiah. “Slow but surely, earnings from YouTube started growing even more than my income as freelancer. So I decided to leave my job as a freelancer and focus on making videos for YouTube,” says Tara.

    Tara says to be a success as a YouTube entrepreneur, the one has to be disciplined on three things. Firstly, the entrepreneur has to make content fitting his passion and interest. Secondly, entrepreneurs can make quality videos with limited equipment and budget. “I initially made a video by using a pocket camera that should be used to take a photo, not a video. So you can imagine what quality of video I made from it,” Tara says and laughs. His first computer also used to freeze every time it was rendering a video. Thirdly, entrepreneurs have to be consistent in uploading videos. Tara Arts Movie for example, uploads its video once a week, while Tara Arts Game does it once a day. Only by consistently uploading will the channel build an audience and keep subscribers.

    Aside from helping entrepreneurs turn their videos into their main business, YouTube also supports entrepreneurs in other ways. Diajeng Lestari and Akli Djumadie have turned their channel HijUpCom into a marketing tool for their online shop HijUp, which sells Muslim headscarves and Muslim fashion. “When HijUp was a startup, we didn’t have money to pay for ads. That is why we heavily utilized social media like YouTube,” says Diajeng, managing director of HijUp.

    Currently, HijUpCom has around 120,000 subscribers and 15 million viewers, 30% of which come from beyond Indonesia. HijUpCom contains hijab tutorials, make up tutorials, miniseries, songs and a product catalog. “To us, YouTube is not the main source of revenue. But we agree that YouTube has the potential to be a new source of revenue,” she says, noting that HijUpCom could generate ad income of around Rp 50 million a year.

    Besides ads, HijUpCom also monetizes its channel by making co-branded commercials with sponsors. For this, HijUp could get up to Rp 30 million per sponsor. After seeing the potential of YouTube, HijUpCom last year produced three videos a month, and is planning to make it five a month this year.