The digital video platform is monetising its first original show in India through advertising
YouTube’s first original show in India is out. And it is free, unlike in other markets where YouTube Originals are available on the ad-free, subscription-driven platform YouTube Premium. ARRived, produced by Qyuki, is a music talent hunt show featuring music composers AR Rahman, Clinton Cerejo and singers Shaan and Vidya Vox. It remains to be seen if the largest digital video platform in the country hits the right note with viewers who are spoilt for choice with an array of offerings on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Potential for eyeballs
“India has 390 million active internet users, making it the second largest internet user base in the world, adding 40 million new users on an average every year,” says Satya Raghavan, head of entertainment, YouTube India. “YouTube has gained tremendously from this, reaching a unique user base of 245 million per month, as per Comscore. Our daily active viewers are also growing at 100% y-o-y.”
In FY18, 225 million viewers streamed videos online and KPMG projects this number to grow to 550 million by 2023. YouTube and Facebook account for 60-70% of the total video consumption. The advertising revenue for OTT is currently estimated to be around Rs 1,720 crore, projected to grow at 40% CAGR to reach Rs 9,300 crore by 2023.
YouTube has roped in Cadbury Dairy Milk and Colgate as sponsors, and plans to monetise its first Indian original through advertising. The CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for an ad slot on YouTube is approximately Rs 200-250, according to KPMG. “YouTube and our creators have been built on the advertising business and ads will continue to be a major focus for a long time,” says Raghavan. To market the show, YouTube has selected a mix of print media ads, advertising on its own masthead and hoardings across premium locations in the country.
The marketing muscle
Qyuki conceptualised the show and pitched it to YouTube; Qyuki will retain the IPR to grow it further. “There are very few countries where YouTube has launched originals before India, which shows this is an important market,” says Samir Bangara, co-founder and MD, Qyuki Digital.
Furthermore, marketing efforts make a big difference to original shows, whether they hail from subscription-led platforms, ad-led players or hybrid model followers. “Netflix, which has around two to three lakh paying customers in India, bought slots on premium hoardings to launch its original shows. The launches are at par with mainstream films. YouTube Originals takes the YouTube content to that mainstream level,” adds Bangara.
Globally, YouTube Originals has over 65 titles till date. “Originals have garnered over 650 million views, and we plan to release more than 50 new shows in 2019, globally. We are focussing on subscription and ad-supported original content as we feel both are critical to YouTube’s long-term success,” Raghavan says. The company announced recently that YouTube Premium, the ad-free subscription service, will soon be available in 17 countries. However, there is no clarity on when it will be launched in India.