Our scale of content creation is different from other video OTT players, says entertainment head of YouTube India

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July 20, 2018 4:59 AM

Despite a bunch of video over-the-top (OTT) platforms being present, YouTube continues to rule the charts in terms of user base.

YouTube, OTT platform, OTT players,  ChuChu TV,  Satya RaghavanDespite a bunch of video over-the-top (OTT) platforms being present, YouTube continues to rule the charts in terms of user base.

Despite a bunch of video over-the-top (OTT) platforms being present, YouTube continues to rule the charts in terms of user base. Moreover, the video streaming platform has also been beefing up its original content by getting artists like Vidya Vox and Sanam besides creating kids education channels like ChuChu TV. Satya Raghavan, entertainment head, YouTube India, talks to FE’s Anushree Bhattacharyya about content strategy and how is it different from the rest of the players. Excerpts:

What is the user base of YouTube in India? What kind of increase you expect?

Till December 2017, monthly user base stood at 225 million. Over 80% of the content is consumed through mobile devices. The number of Internet users currently is over 400 million. All reports suggest that by 2020 the total number of Internet users would be over 650 million. Next, number of smartphone users at present is over 330 million. The number of smartphone users is expected to grow exponentially to be a large part of the 650 million users, thereby increasing the consumption of content.

What is the content strategy followed by YouTube?

YouTube has 12 verticals of content. Five of the 12 verticals have traditional TV content such as general entertainment, movies, music, news and sports. Till about 2014 this kind of content constituted a large part of the platform. But starting 2015, YouTube has seen the emergence of content creators. Some of the early verticals that emerged were comedy, music followed by food, beauty, technology and auto. Learning too has become important with channels focussed on kids education. We have also seen film creators as well as production companies creating original web series and short films.

What about regional content? What percentage of overall content is regional?

Besides being available in Hindi and English, the same content is available in atleast 10 major regional language, including Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Odia and Marathi. That is how we define the content eco-system and this is also the reason that the content on YouTube has far-reaching impact. For example, in regional music Punjabi is consumed more. Short films in Telugu are watched more than in any other language.

As video OTT players increase original content how do you plan to compete?

The scale of content creation on YouTube is totally different. This is the reason behind 400 hours of content being uploaded every minute. For example, in case of verticals like technology content, makers upload about two videos a day. Beauty bloggers upload three-four videos a week. Every creator has access to in-depth analytics showing them how their content is working at any given point in time. This is very different from other models where content is largely commissioned.

What is being done to ensure advertising revenue continues to grow y-o-y?

Multiple revenue streams have been created and are being developed to ensure advertising revenue continues to rise. For example, developing marquee events like Fanfest. The fifth edition of Fanfest was held in five cities. It has grown to be one of the most engaging events for brands as well as consumers. Such events are sponsored by advertisers who want to reach out to their target audience, allowing us to generate revenue from sponsorship.

Compared to other platforms where content is commissioned, how do content creators benefit on YouTube?

We have a revenue share deal with content creators who create original content and run their own channels. Every time an ad runs on his/her video, most of the ad revenue goes to her account. Also, a lot of advertisers now work directly with content makers. Under such an arrangement, creators work directly with brands to create a branded content. However, the platform does not generate any revenue in such arrangement. For us it is about growing three parts of our eco-system — advertisers, consumers and creators.

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