Tech giant Google is continuing to expand its presence in India, and this time it is doing so with the support of YouTube. With a user base of 265 Mn monthly active users in India, YouTube is an apt choice for the company to strengthen its local base with the ongoing vernacular opportunity.
In a blog post, Satya Raghavan, director content partnerships, YouTube in India, said that the company is committed to grow the learning community in India. It has already been supporting local creators with funds to develop high-quality learning content, which in turn is supporting the development of 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.
The interest in the learning content for the company comes on the back of its claims that learning content on YouTube is growing at a supersonic rate. It said, Wifi Study, a learning content channel in India, live streams upto 30 videos a day, with live Q&A, and crossed 9 Mn subscribers this year.
YouTube Introduces Learning Playlists
YouTube also introduced Learning Playlists to provide a dedicated learning environment for people who come to YouTube to learn. “10 of these are from India, covering a variety of categories from academic topics in English and Hindi, such as calculus, chemistry, and political science, to building english vocabulary and pronunciation lessons,” the blog said.
YouTube also hosted EduCon in India, an event for learning creators to learn from experts, mentors and peers, and networking with other learning creators from across the country. In its second edition, this year, EduCon got together with over 200 learning creators. There were curated sessions on live streaming, alternate monetisation, research and credibility, and content best practices, as well as production fundamentals.
YouTube’s push for localisation of content comes after there has been a considerable rise in internet usage in India. According to the World Bank, as of 2017, only 3% of India’s rural population was regularly active on the internet. As of 2018, the total internet subscribers in urban and rural regions are 365 Mn and 194 Mn respectively. The 2019 Mary Meeker report showed that in 2017, 4.5 Bn annual hours were spent on YouTube watching “How-To” videos.
With rural India coming online, the use case for vernacular content is at an all-time high. A Kantar IMRB report further showed that digital adoption is now being propelled by rural India, registering a 35% growth in internet users over the past year.
In 2018, vernacular content has been creating buzz, with several startups expanding their services to include regional languages other than Hindi. According to a Sharechat report, 2018 was the year when for the first time internet users in great numbers accessed social media in their regional languages and participated actively in contributing to user generated content in native languages.
Google has already launched personalised reading tutor app ‘Bolo’ to help children improve their reading skills for rural India. With the focus on content creators, YouTube is expected to help India in further expanding internet access and growing its use cases.