Google’s YouTube video-sharing website may soon offer pay-per-view services for its Indian viewers, a move that could help the movie industry fend off growing piracy concerns while expanding the range of viewing options for customers.
Over the past two years, YouTube has started introducing paid video in different countries with Google having introduced its pay-per-view services in Australia, Korea and Japan over the last six months
“Our pay-per-view services or ‘rental’ model is a natural step here in India for the partners that we are working with. For instance, Eros Entertainment who has been with us for a long time already has a lot of content up on YouTube.
“Once we have the functionality in, it will be done. There are many Indian media companies which are interested,” said Gautam Anand, Director, Content Partnerships, Google Asia Pacific.
In the ‘rental’ model, viewers will be able to pay a one-time fee to stream the movie for a limited amount of time.
Pointing out that it was not a question of conducting talks, he said: “The major roadblock, which we are working on, is the payment mechanism – enabling carrier billing for example. We want to be able to ensure a seamless experience. Once this is done it will happen.”
According to Mr. Anand, regional television has the potential to be converted into YouTube content. At present, close to 30 per cent of television broadcast are in regional languages.
“We are raising a lot of awareness through our YouTube Partner Program on how regional content producers in South India can make money by putting up their videos on our website. We have seen its potential, much of this type of content is popular aboard,” he said.
In YouTube’s Partner Program, the content producer’s videos are packaged along with advertisements and then hosted. The revenue generated is then split between the partner and Google. At present, YouTube’s India partner plan has over 1000 participants.