onedigitalYouTube production house One Digital Entertainment, creative agency Colosceum and the Viacom18’s new division Spotlight are launching a digital only show in association with Jack&Jones, called Hitched. It will follow the Roadies and Splitsvilla star Ranvijay as he prepares for his destination wedding.

The group has uploaded the first episode of the show on YouTube and ZengaTV on a channel named after Ranvijay. Note that One Digital is a company backed by Zenga TV. Though the show is 16 parts long, it is not clear what the duration of each episode will be or if there will be a fixed length for each episode.

Update: One Digital has informed us that they haven’t set any restrictions on the length of a webisode. It also informed us that a new episode will be uploaded every Monday and Thursday. The company added that it is also looking forward to working with Rannvijay to build up his YouTube channel even after the end of the show.

Monetization: The show doesn’t seem to be using any ads yet, but may be they will have Jack&Jones product placements later on in the show. One Digital has said that several celebrities will also be making an appearance through the show, but hasn’t shared any names yet. It’s not clear if they will be paid appearances or if they will be on the show to promote brands and movies these guests are associated with (like in Big Boss).

Why brands use product placements on YouTube

Revenue generation has been a primary challenge for most YouTube partners. Apart from a lack of guarantee on the revenue generated, partners also face the problem of high costs and low revenue, especially large producers. Alternative sources of revenue through brand association are hence being seen as a more stable sources of income.

While speaking to Medianama, for a report we are doing on the Business of YouTube Channels in India, a content creator said that it could take a million hits to create ad revenue of Rs 1 lakh and in most cases this covers only the production expenses.

“One lac will go towards the company that built this video, including a DOB, a production guy, and people who acted in it. Definitely my cost in creating that video which has gone so viral and gotten 1 million views might be more than one lac. That is the reason why it is not a sustainable business for a content production house to specifically create videos only for YouTube,” the content owner told MediaNama.

There is also the issue of people ignoring conventional YouTube ads. Therefore, content creators go to brands to associate with the show, which is what seems to be happening in this case.

While doing the report we also found out that YouTube does not generally allow pre-roll ads on content which already has product placements or branding, due to conflict of interest between brands that pay for branding and brands that may wish to advertise on a video. Typically, brands associating with shows would also want to prevent competitors from advertising there. That said, some large channels have been generating revenue from both branded content and ads on the same videos.

What is Viacom18 doing in this deal?

One Digital Entertainment is a YouTube multichannel network and has a network including more than 70 artists and 300 YouTube channels including celebrities like Yo Yo Honey Singh, Sunny Leone, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jazzy B, AnubhavSinha, Vir Das and Papon among others. It also distributes content across other digital platforms like iTunes, Zenga TV, Dailymotion, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

Colosceum meanwhile, has made shows such as Splitsvilla, Roadies, MasterChef India, Jai Shree Krishna, Bani… Ishq da kalma and Wheel Smart Shrimati. It also needs to be noted that all the funding for the show (including the destination wedding) seems to be coming from the Jack&Jones. That being the case, it is not clear what Viacom 18 brings to the table with Spotlight. It is also not clear why Viacom18 has created a brand called Spotlight just for this show when it could have very well used MTV branding.

Update: One Digital informed us that this concept was the brain child of Rajiv and Rannvijay. Rannvijay has been closely associated with Viacom 18 and MTV in particular, so it made sense for One Digital to partner with Viacom 18’s digital artist management division Spotlight (who also manages Rannvijay’s social media assets).