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Creator & Artist Stories

Har Pal Geo: Pakistani entertainment channel goes global with YouTube

  • By The YouTube Team
  • May.24.2022
Har Pal Geo: Pakistani entertainment channel goes global with YouTube
The channel recently celebrated 29 million subscribers.

The Jang/Geo Group is one of Pakistan’s largest and oldest media conglomerates, and has interests across broadcast, digital, print and films, running popular properties such as Geo News and Daily Jang Newspaper. Har Pal Geo — the YouTube channel for Geo Entertainment, their entertainment channel on broadcast — is one of the most watched YouTube channels in Pakistan. The channel uploads full-length episodes of all their TV shows daily, and has seen massive success while doing so.

Khuda Aur Mohabbat, one of the channel’s most popular shows to date, accrued nearly 2 billion views on YouTube since its launch.

Khuda Aur Mohabbat, one of the channel’s most popular shows to date, saw mass viewership both in and outside of Pakistan. It ranked first on both Pakistan’s top trending videos of 2021, as well as the top music video of 2021 with its original soundtrack. The show was also widely watched outside Pakistan, accruing nearly 2 billion views on YouTube since its launch.

We chatted with Har Pal Geo’s team to hear about how they are using their YouTube channel and shows to reach a global audience.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

When and how did you get started on YouTube?

Har Pal Geo is part of the Geo TV network that owns and operates multiple TV channels focused on news, entertainment, and sports. The network is owned by Jang Media Group which is Pakistan’s largest news media publishing conglomerate.

Har Pal Geo launched its TV service in August of 2002. We started Har Pal Geo’s YouTube channel in January of 2008 as a means to establish our digital footprint and increase our overall reach among the growing internet users base of Pakistan.

Har Pal Geo’s Telefilm RUPOSH gained more than 100 million views globally in just a few months since its release in early 2022, making it the most popular non-music video from the channel.

We noticed that you are giving viewers access to a lot of your shows with your YouTube channel. Why did you decide to upload all your TV shows on YouTube?

Initially, we wanted to increase our digital presence, but then it started bringing in substantial revenue. We therefore decided to explore the platform with full strength. So, for quite some time, we have been uploading almost all of the original content we produced onto YouTube, and our users liked it very much.

Our subscription base has increased multifold and we have started getting a lot of response from the global audiences as well. So we think we have made the right choice.

Caption: The original soundtrack of Khuda Aur Mohabbat Season 3 was not only the top music video of Pakistan in 2021, but was also watched by many outside Pakistan.

We heard your TV show Khuda Aur Mohabbat has been extremely popular not just in Pakistan, but also outside Pakistan. Can you share more about the show’s global success? Was there anything you did to reach the global audience? (e.g. subtitles, thumbnails, etc.) And any interesting trends you witnessed?

Yes, indeed it has been very popular outside Pakistan. Almost 50 percent of its total viewership came from global audiences, with a major chunk originating from India. The main reason probably is the strong presence of the Urdu language outside Pakistan. Khuda Aur Muhabat was able to strike a chord within the hearts of the entire Urdu-speaking community regardless of their regional, ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds.

To facilitate the global audience, we used English subtitles, along with the option of its auto translation into other languages. And that really helped our global users, as we’ve seen that around 17% of the total views generated by Khuda Aur Mohabbat had used subtitles in English or in other languages.

What advice would you give to other media companies hoping to expand their presence on YouTube?

Focus on creating good quality content that users would like to watch, and only then subtitles help you reach a large global audience.”

The only advice we can provide is to focus on creating good quality content that users would like to watch, and only then subtitles help you reach a large global audience.