BY AILYN LOW
THE term “YouTube star” is as ubiquitous in the Malaysian media landscape as nasi lemak is to the local palate.
Home-grown talents like Jinnyboy, Dan Khoo and Joseph Germani are so popular on the video-sharing platform (together, the three have nearly one million subscribers!) that it’s almost impossible to ignore YouTubers’ increasing presence in the country.
Now you can add TricycleTV to this growing mix.
TricycleTV is made up of three young men – Jason Goh, 31, Eric Lin, 32, and Joshua Chiam, 33, who decided to establish their own YouTube channel in mid-2013.
Going into the YouTuber business was a no-brainer for them, given the increasing popularity of localised YouTube content.
“We chose the name TricycleTV because it represents how our joint endeavour only works when the three of us are in it together,” explained Goh.
The trio are in many ways, the perfect people to start a YouTube channel.
Goh is a tech blogger (better known as smashpOp) with IT engrained in his DNA, Lin is a local artiste with acting and singing chops and contacts in the industry, and Chiam is a scriptwriter, who – duh! – comes up with the scripts for the videos.
“One of our biggest challenges was getting people to view our videos. Our first video had only 200 views! Even when we got views, people weren’t likely to subscribe to us as we’re really nobodies compared to the key players,” said Chiam.
The guys persevered, continuing to produce lots of videos, working through weekends and recruiting friends to star in their productions.
Then they bugged their family, friends and acquaintances to share their work.
Their peskiness paid off as they are finally seeing results!
“You won’t lose anything from making a video! Instead, you’ll gain views and followers, so why not just do it?” Lin said.
Tricycle TV was involved in the production of Typical Malaysian Football Fans (with Mindshare and Reelity.TV) which had over 1.6 million views and was one of the top five most viewed Malaysian YouTube videos of 2014!
The video was made in conjunction with the 2014 World Cup, and starring celebs like Hansen Lee and Arnold Loh, has had over 1.6 million views.
“We never expected it to be that popular. When it caught on in a big way, we thought ‘Wow, Malaysians are really into football!’” said Goh.
Now, even the big guns have come a-knocking.
“Major brands have approached us to do videos for them, which is great news because early YouTubers took a lot longer to get to this stage,” said Chiam happily.
Clearly, there are people out there who like what they do, and for this, the boys are grateful.
“The feedback we get each time, regardless of how big or small it is, motivates us to continue with this project, because there is always the chance of people viewing our videos,” said Chiam.
Having made waves last year, TricycleTV has bigger plans for this year.
The trio will be launching their new website that hosts their blog, videos and other content.
They are also looking to branch out into commercials and short films.
At the moment, they’re already hard at work on the music video for a local Chinese flick called The Dream Boyz, which Lin will be starring in.
On top of all that, TricycleTV has just launched a new competition based on their recent video, 5 types of coffee lovers.
The competition will run on their Facebook page.
The boys are optimistic about their future and encourage others interested in starting their own YouTube channels to just go for it.
Lin said, “You won’t lose anything from making a video! Instead, you’ll gain views and followers, so why not just do it?”