It has over 15 billion views. Over 19 million subscribers. Yet, very few adults who aren’t parents might have heard of ChuChu TV Nursery Rhymes, a YouTube channel with an office in Chennai that writes nursery rhymes and makes animated videos set to them. It’s that simple.
ChuChu TV is the biggest YouTube channel in the education category, according to the recently released Vidooly Report. It is also India’s fourth largest channel in terms of subscribers, with annual earnings estimated by Social Blade to be between $898.3K and $14.4 million. Based on PewDiePie, the most popular YouTube channel in the world with 65 million subscribers (estimated earnings: between $513.7K - $8.2 million; reported income: around $12 million), a safe guess for ChuChu TV would be somewhere at the halfway point (a lot of revenue is lost because of ad blockers or by people skipping the ads).
In a 2016 article by Ashish Mishra in Mint that profiled the creators of the channel, Chu Chu TV is reported to add “7,000+ subscribers daily.” In 2018, according to Social Blade, the number has increased to 8,000-10,00 additional subscribers everyday. The channel is behind only T-series, Set India and, Zee Music Company. all of which have videos numbering in the high thousands. Chu Chu TV, by contrast, has only 254 videos as of 2018.
The video above, uploaded in 2013, is their first video and has over 64 million views. The video below, uploaded on Tuesday, is their most recent offering and already has nearly 1.9 million views.
Mind you, it’s not just the short videos that are the most popular. The video below is over an hour long and is a compilation of different nursery rhymes. View count? Over 142 million.
- “Yes Papa”
- “Played in the mud?
- “No, Papa”
ChuChu TV has far outstripped Peppa Pig, a United Kingdom-based YouTube channel that is also a subsidiary of a long running animated kids television show.
However, all is not well with that show. Reports emerged that mischievous YouTubers had been uploading videos of the popular pig as a gangster – videos that showed up in the recommended list of videos, forcing unsuspecting kids to click on them and be traumatised.
Even United States-based Dave and Anna nursery rhymes have nothing on Chu Chu TV with only about 2 billion total views.
But here’s what might be the most popular YouTube channel for kids, LittleBabyBum. Over 16 million subscribers and 17 billion views.
There’s not much separating Chu Chu TV from competitors. They are all mostly the same. Catchy, alliterative lyrics about everyday objects and extremely colourful animation – things a toddler will be easily distracted by.
The original idea for this type of chid hypnosis comes from Teletubbies. The colourful animation and the nonsensical lyrics of which are also enjoyed by another demographic.
Sometimes, these shows also have an unintended following amongst an unexpected target audience, viz., young and middle-aged men. Here are My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and the trailer for a documentary called A Brony Tale about the adult fans of the show.
(Correction and clarification: This article was updated on August 28, 2018 to reflect the latest figures.)