With more than 1,200 video creators in the country crossing the million-subscriber base, YouTube is experiencing a “staggering growth” in vernacular content consumption, said director of content partnerships of YouTube India, Satya Raghavan.
The video-sharing website has over 265 million users per month in India currently and 60 percent of users come from outside the metro cities. “We are witnessing a staggering growth in content consumption in Indian languages. More than 1200 creators in the country have crossed the million-subscriber threshold. Just five years ago there were only two creators with one million subscribers,” said Raghavan.
Over 95 per cent of the online video consumption is in Indian languages and Bengali content is growing more than 100 per cent year-on-year in watch time, Raghavan said. According to RedSeer report, watching short format videos account for up to 40 percent of the spend on various platforms. It also said that the video ads are expected to grow from the current 20 percent of digital ad spend to 40 percent.
“From 16 YouTube channels that had 10 lakh users in 2014, the number has grown to over 1,200 now. In fact, vernacular content accounts for 95 per cent of video consumption in India and there are about 23 crore regional language users,” added Raghavan.
Increasing Internet Penetration Across Tier 2, 3 Cities
The online platform claimed that online video content in Indian languages is becoming a primary driver for internet usage as less than 20 per cent of the country’s population is conversant in English.
According to the Internet in India 2019 report by Nielsen and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), even though internet penetration is higher in urban areas with 192 Mn users, there is an equal split of urban and rural internet users. However, in terms of percentages of penetration, given the disparity of population distribution in urban and rural India, urban India has a considerably higher penetration level. With vernacular content coming in, internet penetration in rural, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities is going to increase. Addressing the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2019 in Delhi recently, Wipro chairman Rishad Premj said that there is a need to ensure internet services are “equitable” and vernacular content is made available so that a “digital divide” is not created.
In September this year, YouTube also invested in 8 Indian creators for high-quality learning content. In a blog post, Raghavan, had said that the company was committed to growing the learning community in India. It has already been supporting local creators with funds to develop high-quality learning content, covering topics like English language training, environmental science, political science, calculus, genetics, chemistry in English, Hindi and Tamil.
The company has already funded eight creators from India— ExamFear Education Hindi, Learn Engineering, Don’t Memorise, Study IQ Education, D’art of Science, Learnex – English Lessons Through Hindi, GetSetFlySCIENCE, and Let’s Make Engineering Simple.