‘What’s Trending’ Is Coming to India via Culture Machine

By Sahil Patel

Culture Machine, a digital video startup focused on South Asian programming, will soon launch an Indian version of “What’s Trending,” the Emmy-nominated YouTube series hosted by Shira Lazar.

As part of the pact, Culture Machine has agreed to launch a new YouTube channel and produce exclusive programming for the new “What’s Trending India and International” brand. The company will also work with the What’s Trending team, which is led by co-founders Lazar and Damon Berger, to feature digital talent and brands from the region.

Founded by former Disney and YouTube executives in 2013, Culture Machine’s business comprises a multi-channel network of more than 500 regional YouTube stars, two production facilities in Mumbai and Chennai, and a YouTube-certified analytics and marketing service.

“Culture Machine has a unique, unmatched understanding of India’s digital market and through our proprietary technology we not only understand what the audience sitting online wants but have the capability to deliver it, and at scale,” said Culture Machine COO Venkat Prasad in a statement.

“What’s Trending,” which works as both a curator of top online video content and a place for digital and traditional stars to talk about topics and personal projects people are interested in, might be well-suited for India’s booming digital video market — particularly as it pertains to mobile. A report released earlier this year by Deloitte projects that 50–60% of all mobile data consumption in India to be driven by video in the next few years. This is in addition to recent news that YouTube users in India now are able to download videos for offline viewing.

Culture Machine and What’s Trending did not specify when the Indian format will launch. The flagship version of the digital talk show has generated more than 50 million views on YouTube to date.