India’s contribution to YouTube’s global traffic is less than one per cent but that is not stopping the Google-owned video-sharing service to launch an India-specific website, according to a top YouTube executive.
“We plan to launch YouTube India anytime between January and March 2008,” said Shashi Seth, head of monetisation at the San Bruno, California-based YouTube. He spoke exclusively to Hindustan Times
during his visit to India earlier this week.
YouTube India will aggregate Indian video content – specifically movie trailers, music videos, independent films and television content.
“YouTube.com has over 300,000 videos being uploaded every day,” Seth said. “Indian content obviously gets lost in this sea of videos. A YouTube.in site will help Indian surfers to get what they want. It will also be an excellent platform for young filmmakers to launch their work. All they have to do is create a channel to drive traffic to their videos.”
YouTube has already tied up with Eros Entertainment, a film production and distribution firm, to showcase its new releases, DVDs and other merchandise. “This is just the beginning,” Seth said. “Together with Google’s sales teams, YouTube’s India executives will scour the country for television content, music videos and also work with producers to make their products available for viewing.”
The possibilities are endless, especially for television production houses, according to Seth. “Television viewing in India is limited to just television, even though it is extremely vibrant. With YouTube, television production houses can internationalise their copyright content, even monetise it. Our advertising service will throw up region and topic-specific overlay ads on videos. This revenue will be shared with the copyright holder.”
YouTube charges $20 per for every 1,000 impressions internationally, but may have separate pricing for India.
Seth feels that with the rise of broadband penetration in India and viewership from India rising (a Rajinikanth video was recently ranked in the top 100 YouTube videos of all time), this is the right time to enter the market. “One of the key challenges will be to comply with the local laws in India, and we are making sure that our service does not violate any legal prerequisites,” Seth said.