YouTube aims to provide its users with reliable news by partnering with trusted news publishers and independent journalists
Although news isn't treated as a distinct category on YouTube, it remains a significant factor influencing content consumption on the platform
YouTube's fastest-growing platform over the past five years has been CTV, with more than 58 Mn individuals streaming YouTube on their TVs in India as of June
Google-owned video streaming platform YouTube is gearing up to tackle the spread of fake news and disinformation in the lead-up to India’s general elections next year.
The platform aims to provide its users with reliable news by partnering with trusted news publishers and independent journalists, a senior company official told ET.
“Our misinformation policies clearly state that if the content has been technically manipulated with the intent to deceive a user and there’s a danger of real-world harm, we will act against that content. I want to reiterate that that’s only one part of the strategy,” said Ishan Chatterjee, Director, YouTube India.
Chatterjee also added that another aspect of the strategy to combat fake news involves ensuring that people can access high-quality content produced by news organisations and independent journalists. Although news isn’t treated as a distinct category on YouTube, it remains a significant factor influencing content consumption on the platform.
“We are seeing a lot of news consumption on both YouTube Shorts as well as CTV (Connected TV). These two platforms are seeing a lot of growth, and that’s flowing into news consumption as well,” he said.
In October, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) wrote to YouTube, urging it to take legal action against ‘fake news channels‘ and advised the platform to include a disclaimer addressing unverified news.
Chatterjee further said that YouTube’s fastest-growing platform over the past five years has been CTV, with more than 58 Mn individuals streaming YouTube on their TVs in India as of June.
YouTube Director and Global Head of Responsibility Tim Katz said that the Indian market is unique since the consumption of live content, including news, is very high, including on CTV.
From January 2022 to March 2023, Indians collectively spent 6.1 Tn minutes watching online videos, marking a substantial increase in online content consumption since 2016.
The surge is attributed to lower internet prices and the widespread availability of affordable smartphones. Notably, 88% of this viewing time occurred on YouTube, emphasising its dominance in the online video space.
A research study conducted by the AMPD platform, operated by Media Partners Asia (MPA), underscores the significant growth of the online video industry in India over the years.
Further, Katz pointed out that there has been a growth in the different types of news partners that are coming onto the platform, including independent journalists, broadcasters, print publishers, and digital native publishers.
A Google News Initiative and Kantar report revealed that video is the favoured format for news consumption across languages. In India, 1 in 2 language internet users engages with news, with a third from urban areas. Hyperlocal news is consumed by 7 in 10 users nationwide.
According to the Oxford Economics Impact Report, 70% of Indian media and music companies with a YouTube channel consider it a crucial revenue source.
YouTube has been bringing many innovations in the country to capture the creator economy, as well as changing consumer trends. Last year, YouTube piloted shoppable content for viewers in the country. The company also launched a learning management system (LMS) embedded into the YouTube app called ‘Courses’ for content creators.
Marking its 15th year in India, YouTube anticipates growth driven by mobile-first creators and content consumption from living rooms. The platform launched Shorts in India in 2020, aiming to tap into the burgeoning creator economy.
As YouTube started adding creativity tools to bite-sized video feature Shorts, the platform witnessed hundreds of Shorts and mobile-first creators coming to join the platform for the first time, Ishan John Chatterjee, Director of YouTube India, said at that time.