YouTube aims to double India users

‘Regional languages to aid in growth’

August 01, 2017 09:43 pm | Updated 09:50 pm IST - CHENNAI

Widening horizons: At least 50% of new users on YouTube will come from rural areas, says Ajay Vidyasagar of Google.

Widening horizons: At least 50% of new users on YouTube will come from rural areas, says Ajay Vidyasagar of Google.

YouTube, the popular video sharing website, expects to more than double its user base in India in the next three years, said a top official.

“Currently, we have a user base of 400 million in India,” said Ajay Vidyasagar, regional director, Google Asia Pacific. “We expect to more than double the user base in two-three years.”

Speaking to the media, he said: “India is one of the most exciting markets and it has extraordinary momentum. We are trying to do a whole lot of things in India before it is done elsewhere. We feel that regional language content will push growth,” he said.

For YouTube, India is one of the fastest growing markets globally and is in the Top 10 list. It started with content in English, followed by Hindi.

Currently, it has been seeing good traction in southern languages, he said.

Mobile viewership

According to him, of the 400 million users, 250 million viewed YouTube via a mobile device, he said: “Today, 85% of the content consumed is through mobile. Year-on-year, we have been seeing a 400% growth in mobile device users.” In the coming years, he said he expected at least “50% of new users to come from the rural areas, as it has been growing [faster] than the urban market.”

Indicating that content in the Tamil language has hit a new high after the roll out of the ‘Kolaveri’ song, he said teasers of Rajinikanth’s ‘Kabali’ and ‘Baahubali 4K’ received 34 million views and 24 million views respectively, which was more than Hollywood’s ‘Star Wars: Force Awakens’ at 22 million views.

Mr. Vidyasagar was in Chennai to host ‘Tamil Day’ and “celebrate the success of Tamil community of online video content creators.”

Going forward, YouTube may also look at a subscription-based revenue model, offering features such as ad-free content, videos playing in background and ‘save videos offline’ among others, he said.

Currently, YouTube Red is available in the U.S, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

The video service has also started working with production houses and producers to address the piracy issue in India.

Last year, it saved close to $1 billion for Hollywood movies, he said.

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