Leading media conglomerate GMA Network celebrates another milestone as the GMA Entertainment channel recently surpassed 10 million subscribers on YouTube, thus joining an elite group of content creators in Southeast Asia that have also achieved such a feat.
With this accomplishment, the Network formally received on July 23 the Diamond Creator Award, a recognition given by YouTube to content creators that have reached 10 million subscribers. Present in the ceremonial turnover were GMA Network Chairman and CEO Felipe L. Gozon; President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr.; Executive Committee Vice Chairman Joel G. Jimenez; Executive Vice President and CFO Felipe S. Yalong; GMA New Media, Inc. (NMI) President and COO Judd Gallares; and GMA NMI Senior Vice President and General Manager Dennis Caharian. The Diamond Play Button was awarded by YouTube’s Southeast Asia Director of Content Partnerships and Business Development Vishal Sarin, and Content Partnerships Philippines Country Lead Pablo Mendoza.
Through NMI, the Network’s technology arm, GMA forged a partnership with YouTube dubbed the YouTube Player for Publishers (“YT PfP”) in mid-2017 that has enabled viewers everywhere to watch official, full episodes of GMA programs online. The partnership not only supports the anti-piracy efforts of GMA Network, but more significantly addresses the millennial video viewing habits that demand access to premium content when they want, wherever they may be. The YT PfP partnership was an enabler for GMA as it aided strategy for boosting YouTube views and hastening the acquisition of subscribers. It also allowed for a more robust content archive that used to only house show highlights, recaps, behind-the-scene videos, among others.
From only 1.6 million subscribers at the start of the YT PfP agreement in June 2017, this soared past 10 million in May this year. As of December 2018, the GMA Network YouTube channel’s rank improved from being in the Top 200 in 2017 to being among the Top 50 worldwide.
“We are very gratified that GMA has reached quite an achievement and it is translated into about four times growth [in watch time] year-on-year so that’s enough reason for us to be really happy. This is the work of many people and they are all here as we receive this Diamond Creator Award,” said Gozon.
Meanwhile, YouTube’s Sarin said, “We congratulate GMA for growing their channel to more than 10 million subscribers. This is a great milestone as there are only five media networks in Southeast Asia that have received the Diamond Creator Award and GMA is one of them.”
Of the achievement, Gallares shared, “Our mandate is to lead GMA’s transformation from a media and entertainment giant into a dominant multi-platform content provider worldwide. YouTube has in recent years been a strategic ally in this regard, as it has not only helped us expand GMA’s online footprint but it has also been key to building preference for the GMA brand. This recognition affirms that we are on track.”
Caharian further added that they were just showcasing the output of GMA Entertainment and how they help in making sure that their content can also be discovered online. “At the end of the day, what attracts a lot of viewers is still the quality of the content, so congratulations to GMA Entertainment. We’d also like to thank the viewers for their support, and we’d like them to know that many projects are in the pipeline for more viewing fun.”
Since its launch in November 2006, the GMA Entertainment channel now has 11.8 billion lifetime views. Total subscribers are currently at 11.1 million, a million more in a span of less than three months.
Other Kapuso YouTube channels include GMA News for daily video clips from the Network’s news programs, now with 4.1 million subscribers; GMA Public Affairs for documentaries, docudrama, and news magazine shows, now with 6.1 million subscribers; GMA Playlist for heartfelt song renditions from various Kapuso stars; GMA Playground for some of the Network’s child-friendly programs; and GMA Regional TV for the top stories from the regions.