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Google bets on ‘videopreneurs’ in India push

Can you sing, dance, cook, joke or do some other useful stuff on video camera? Google may make a “videopreneur” out of you. Vivek Sinha reports. Full Interview with Rajan Anandan

business Updated: Sep 17, 2013 03:40 IST
Vivek Sinha

Can you sing, dance, cook, joke or do some other useful stuff on video camera? Google may make a “videopreneur” out of you.

Videopreneurs, in the company’s vocabulary, are new-age broadcasters who can excel in media skills, often from the comfort of homes.

The search engine giant, which likes to call its video site YouTube as the world’s second-largest search engine for the hunger its users display in hunting for videos, is on a drive to make it a media hub in India.

Last week, it had its own online “Comedy Week” for videos that received 35 “YouTube exclusive” shows apart from content from established production houses. Behind such initiatives lies a deep strategy to attract eyeballs and advertisement revenue.

“India gets around 55 million YouTube users in a month compared with around 1 billion around the world. Couple this with a very powerful monetisation system and it creates an amazing opportunity for content creators,” Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India, told HT in a recent interview.

Over the last two years, the number of YouTube visitors have multiplied rapidly. In 2011, YouTube had just over 15 million visitors a month, a number that has now crossed 55 million visitors a month.

“Today we have 10,000 full-length Indian movies on YouTube. Around 95% of India’s music catalogue, both in Hindi as well as regional, is available on YouTube. The top six TV networks are there on YouTube,” Anadan explained.

But then Google is not content with YouTube playing the second fiddle to television and hence the thrust on “videopreneurs’ and “YouTube exclusive” content.

In fact, despite the broadband constraints, web-only content is increasing at 300% year-on-year on YouTube, egging on Google to bet big on the site.

India has over 900 million mobile handsets of which only a little over 65 million are smartphones. The smartphone market, which is growing rapidly at over 100%, mean even more opportunity for video viewing.

Read:Full Interview with Rajan Anandan