YouTube Open Mic Night | Sunday Observer

YouTube Open Mic Night

Bringing the entire YouTube community in the country, YouTube Open Mic Night was held on August 10, 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. The event was powered by Google and hosted by Google’s Business Community in Sri Lanka, Google Business Group (GBG) and local YouTube partners.

First of its kind, YouTube Open Mic Night saw more than 240 participants including YouTube Celebrities, Brand Ambassadors, Content Creators, Social Media influencers and YouTube Fans across the island and it was an evening filled with entertainment and knowledge sharing.


YouTube is the world’s leading video sharing platform with over 1.57 billion active users each month as of May 2018. YouTube has also become a hub for users, brands, entertainers and businesses to reach out to wider audiences, show what they do, what they offer and to keep audiences engaged across multiple devices and social platforms. With over 1 billion hours of videos consumed per day, and 400 hours of video uploaded every minute, YouTube is today’s second largest search engine in the world just after Google and has higher daily viewerships than both Facebook Videos and Netflix combined (Brandwatch Stats, 2018).

In Sri Lanka, YouTube has over 2.5 million unique daily visitors and approximately 6.5 million monthly unique visitors in 2018 (YouTube stats, June 2018). Local YouTube watch time grew by nearly 60% in 2017 and today almost 30 million videos are watched daily. This amounts to YouTube being one of the largest media facilitators allowing Brand personalities, Celebrities, Businesses and Influencers to tap into a wide and active pool of the digitally engaged Sri Lankans.

Why a YouTube Event

As of the last 3 years there has been an overwhelming demand for YouTube as a medium of influence and many organisations and Institutions and communities have called on for a proper YouTube event to bring together the entire YouTube community in Sri Lanka. This is why Google and GBG have sorted to launch the YouTube Open Mic Event to facilitate this type of gathering and let users; enthusiasts and influencers make the most of their YouTube experience and celebrate their successes.

This event is hosted locally by Google’s Business Community (GBG). GBG is one of Google’s four user communities across the globe. Google Business Groups are Google’s own business communities which aim to help local businesses, start-ups, IT & business professionals make the most of Google technologies and tools. With a presence in over 45 countries, GBGs have made an impact on over 150,000 entrepreneurs worldwide. The local chapter is GBG Colombo, which has a base community of over 6000 start-ups and professionals, which run Google programs like Growth Hacking, Women will, GDay X, Google I/O and more.

Knowledge sharing with the YouTube community

The line up of the event comprised several knowledge sessions focused on the latest news and the latest landscape of YouTube in Sri Lanka and How to earn with YouTube by Prash Balakrishnan - Country Consultant, Sri Lanka – Google and the GBG team. The founder of Idea Hell, Janeeth Rodrigo, also did a special session on the first official YouTube creator space in Colombo. The experience sharing segment was filled with a diverse array of YouTubers from music, humour to tech and many other genres. YouTube celebrities such as Chanux Bro, Malinda Alahakoon, Janai Priyai, Wasthi, FTT, Kalu Malli, Podi Malli, Travel with Wife, Drill team and more were invited for this experience sharing segment. They shared their ideas, strategies and their own journey to success which inspired many rising YouTubers who were present in the delegation. The main segment of the event was the Open Mic, where YouTubers were invited to step up and perform live for the audiences.

Adeesha Hewawasam from Future Television Trend (FTT) who is in the business of digital advertising addressing the YouTubers said, “We have the potential to do the digital revolution in Sri Lanka. I invite all the people who are interested in starting a new channel to join with us and do something worthwhile. We can do a lot for society from a YouTube channel. If you have a talent you can simply start a YouTube channel. You do not have to go behind anyone to achieve what you want. If you analyse the society today you will realise that people are changing. The insides of them have started to change. Like that we should change this too. You should know your talent is priceless. Use it wisely to achieve more without depending on money. If you do that you will realise that you can change the world and no one can stop you.”

Shanaka Alahakkoon, popularly known as ‘Podda’ speaking at the event, “Do something original. Do something you enjoy and like. There will be a lot of people to discourage you. Never listen to them. If you believe in yourself and the talent you have, just go for it. Do not ever sacrifice your dreams thinking of what will happen if people do not like what you do. There will always be a set of people who will dislike and let you down, no matter what you do. Do not let such people to decide your fate. Always make it the motivation to do better and prove them wrong.”

“I do videos on things I wanted to talk about. When you are doing your promotion process you need to know how to do it to show it to a maximum number of people. So for that you will have to use interesting titles, thumbnails, join Facebook groups of likeminded people, then according to the feedback you can see where your YouTube channel is going, said Malinda Alahakoon who runs the YouTube channel, The Tech Track Show while sharing his knowledge with the other participants.


Prash Balakrishnan, Google Country Consultant, “This is a great opportunity for YouTubers to learn how to earn while doing what they love with YouTube. Participants can also get to know what’s new with YouTube and what’s trending in 2018”

Google Business Community Manager, Sajini Jayawardena “This will be the start of a series of events which will continue to focus on making the most of YouTube. So current YouTubers and those wishing to get onboard YouTube can look forward to workshops, seminars and events around different topics related to YouTube in the coming future.”

“There’s been an overwhelming response to this event since the announcement and close 1000 YouTubers have registered for this event. As this is the first event, we have had to limit the audience size to make it an exclusive event. However it’s great to see the enthusiasm for YouTube in Sri Lanka, so our audiences can look forward to more exciting YouTube related efforts in future” said Indulekha Nanayakkara, Co Manager - GBG Colombo and Lead for Womenwill.

Furthermore, organisers expressing their gratitude for all the people who helped them to make the YouTube Open Mic Night a huge success mentioned that they are delighted about the feedback and that they are happy that they were able to organise a quality event that helped the Youtube community in Sri Lanka to network, mingle and share experiences.

“Due to vast registration and enthusiasm shown by the Sri Lankans for this event, Google and BGB is planning to host more events as this in the future, so that a large delegation can be hosted,” they said.


The Official Event Partner for the YouTube Open Mic Night is one of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious and happening hospitality destination brands – Shangri-La Hotel Colombo, providing its state of the art facilities and hospitality for this entertaining evening of knowledge and fun. Among some of the partners for this event are the country’s top industry brands including Uber as the Official Mobility Partner and TV Derana as the Official Electronic Media Partner? In addition to the above is, Sri Lanka’s first official YouTube MCN – IdeaHell which is also partnering for this event as a YouTube Partner. Meanwhile SOZO Gourmet Teas and Paan Paan are also onboard. Covering this event for Digital Media side is Roar Media, and NowYouSeeMe providing official online coverage of this event. Loops Digital is handling the social media for the event. More information can be found on the Google Community Facebook page – GBG Sri Lanka.