Gamers and streamers are burgeoning in the country and the numbers are increasing exponentially. This new behavioral change is a trend watched closely by platforms and brands since the audience for these streamers are the most coveted – youth. Engagement rates are unique to just this medium.
There are stories of gamers and streamers from modest backgrounds who have made it big by being good at two things – esports and entertainment. So what is a “raid?” A raid is when a YouTuber/ Streamer with a significant following, asks his/ her viewers to go and watch another creator’s live stream. Case in point – GamerFleet. A young man from Haldwani, Uttarakhand who was streaming to double digit audiences when he was ‘raided’ by Samay Raina. After the raid, he continued to grow organically not just because of his personality and collaboration with Samay Raina and Tanmay Bhat. Cut to a few months later and GamerFleet has over a million subscribers. This is the beauty of a ‘raid’.
So Raid Nights was born. This is the brainchild of Tanmay Bhat in partnership with iQOO – a phone company that puts the gamer before the game. The idea was executed by OML Entertainment with technical partners – Sky esports. This property was only possible by the power of the platform that is YouTube. Tanmay Bhat, Samay Raina and GamerFleet have been online every Friday evening for the last one month with their new live-streaming property, iQOO Raid Nights. The three content creators (also known as raid bosses) presented a once in a lifetime opportunity to aspiring gaming streamers where they would raid the YouTube channels of upcoming streamers asking their subscribers to tune in and watch the live-stream of the channel they would raid, resulting in the aspiring creators seeing increase in live-streaming numbers like never before.
Here’s how iQOO Raid Nights happened:
Every Friday from 25 June to 23 July there were four rounds of qualifiers and a grand finale. Participants would stream live on their YouTube channel using the hashtag #iQOORaidNights and the raid bosses would randomly pick and choose which channel they wanted to raid. 2.4k YouTube channels garnered over 8.9k user-generated videos in this time, hoping they would get “raided.” The winners were chosen via a YouTube poll where the audience voted for their favourite performers. Two winners from each qualifier episode won a cash prize of Rs. 20,000 and an iQOO 7 Legend phone. There were super interesting performances and channels that the viewers came across. Some channels that captured people’s imagination were Gamer Mummy – A mother of two young adults who streams Minecraft everyday, kukZy Gaming – a gamer who also raps and beatboxes while playing the piano at the same time, Matata QHouse – who did hybrid dance performances with a mix of pre-recorded footage, visual effects and live webcam.
The winner of the first edition of iQOO Raid Nights was Mechanical Pandey – an entertainer who did a rap and dance performance. He also performed a short sketch of him doing random things and being beaten up by his mother which got huge laughs from the audience. The winner got a gaming setup worth Rs. 2,50,000 as the grand prize. The runner-ups were Shiny Kash – A gamer + rapper and The He Man Show – A streamer who lives in his shop and streams every night. He had created special art pieces for iQOO Raid Nights featuring the faces of the raid bosses.
Mechanical Pandey expressed, “iQOO Raid Nights helped me quite a lot in terms of expanding my reach and discovering my creative abilities. I’m glad to have been a part of this wonderful event and I also believe Tanmay-bhai and Samay-bhai would want to stream with me in the future which I’m really looking forward to. My YouTube numbers increased tremendously and I’m glad a lot of people have now discovered me and my craziness. I’d really like to thank all the people who voted for me, and primarily Tanmay-bhai, Samay-bhai and Fleet-bhai for tuning in to my channel in the middle of all the 1500 channels that were streaming in the week I had participated, and giving me an opportunity to entertain and bring smiles on about 1 lakh people’s faces across two streams. I’m super excited to get my hands on the new gaming setup that I’ve won.”
iQOO Raid Nights was hosted by Tanmay Bhat, Samay Raina and GamerFleet on their respective YouTube Channels and was coordinated and executed by OML Entertainment. The finale of iQOO Raid Nights can be watched here.
Tanmay Bhat said, “Raid Nights is something that I’ve always wanted to do at scale. It was great to see that brands like iQOO and YouTube supported this property. The creativity that some streamers bring to the table is something that the audience must discover. One of my favourite channels from this edition was Matata QHouse. Their creativity and performance in the qualifiers just blew my mind.”
Samay Raina commented, “Live Streaming suddenly grew during Covid quarenatines and many creators tried to showcase their characters and personas on stream although they couldn’t reach out to more people. I’m glad iQOO Raid Nights helped these creators gain a massive amount of reach and an opportunity to showcase their talent. It was a great feeling watching people showcase their unique, unrecognised talent everytime we would raid them. Much love to iQOO for supporting us with this property.”
GamerFleet shared, “One day I was just randomly streaming with about 500 views and suddenly it shot up to 5,000. That was when Tanmay Bhat raided me as a part of the initial stages of Raid Nights a few months ago. That particular raid helped me garner a lot more reach than usual and then a lot of people started following my content and started tuning in live while I stream. This is exactly what iQOO Raid Nights did with all the streamers who were a part of it. When you have a small channel and your watching increases, the YouTube algorithm sees that the channel is performing better and it recommends the channel more often. I really loved all the channels we raided, but Matata QHouse was my favourite one.”
OML Entertainment CEO Gunjan Arya mentioned, “We are always on the lookout for upcoming talent that we can support, and have been bullish on online gaming for some time now. We’re super thrilled to have partnered with iQOO and YouTube in a way that is not only rewarding for the brand and the platform but for the online gaming space as a whole. The power of Creators + Brand + Platform really came together for a proper OP moment. Tanmay’s guidance and the super Samay and GamerFleet to boot have been invaluable collaborators. We came across a lot of new streamers including the incredible Gamer Mummy through the campaign and we will continue to do a lot more of this.”