You — and most of the world — is currently exercising self-isolation, social distancing or experiencing some form of a lockdown. This out-of-the-blue scenario means that the usual forms of entertainment are off-limits. Given that some workplaces are operating on a reduced workload, there is more time for boredom inducing leisure, which has gotten increasingly more people turning to online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Plus, Hulu – and even the good ol’ YouTube.
Dramatic rise in interest
Interestingly, during a period when most are in some type of quarantine, Pakistani entertainment has witnessed a dramatic surge in online interest. Google Trends, the website that analyzes the popularity of major search queries across various regions and languages, indicates that Pakistani television content has witnessed nearly a two-fold increase interest over the previous month.
Currently experiencing a peak in popularity that hasn’t been seen in a long time, popular ARY, Hum TV, and Geo TV (among others) television shows can be streamed for free in HD quality on YouTube, Netflix and several other platforms.
The data shows that internet users across the globe are searching for Pakistani content in increasing numbers, perhaps a testament to the family-friendly/wholesome nature of local content. At a time when most families are cooped together at home, it seems local dramas do the job rather well when it comes to providing quality entertainment.
Note: All graphs cover data from the previous 12 months, with the portion nearest to the right indicating the preceding month, March of the current year
The past year witnessed several humongous shows such as Ehd-e-Wafa, Meray Paas Tum Ho, Do Bol, Ye Dil Mera, and Alif, with a monthly audience on YouTube alone exceeding 200 million monthly views, according to estimates. The current lull represents a great time for those on a busy schedule to catch up on these popular shows they might have missed on, besides tuning into the currently on-air Dilruba and Jhooti, among others.
Apart from Pakistan, the trend is especially pronounced in places like the UAE, Bangladesh, and India. Our methodology was to query for the top four search terms for Pakistani television shows and aggregate them.
Pakistani Television Shows: Interest Surge In UAE
Pakistani Television Shows: Interest Surge In Bangladesh
Pakistani Television Shows: Interest Surge In India
What about the films?
During the same period, Pakistani films too have experienced a worldwide increase in search volumes, although the current peak is still a bit lower than the levels seen when Parey Hut Love and Superstar released last year in August. Interestingly, a similar aggregated query for Bollywood didn’t reveal much change during the coronavirus period.
Worldwide Interest for Pakistani Films
All of this bodes rather well for the Pakistani entertainment industry, which is likely to benefit from increased revenue from the digital domain as a result of the current global quarantine period. It will be interesting to watch whether this trend persists over the coming months. For that and a lot more, stay tuned to Galaxy Lollywood!