Namah Chawla

Unacademy rolls out 50 YouTube channels to enable e-learning

The edtech unicorn also acquired Gate Academy to strengthen its offering in the graduate aptitude test in engineering (GATE) test preperation segment.

Online learning platform Unacademy has launched 50 unique YouTube education channels with the aim of democratising education. This was announced at the first edition of the company's flagship event ‘Unacademy One’. The channels will attempt to increase accessibility for learners across academic and non-academic categories.

Some of these channels are built on the existing content categories, as offered by Unacademy. They also mark the platform’s foray into newer terrains, like ‘Tick Tock Tax’ - to simplify direct and indirect tax concepts, and ‘Life After IIT’ - a platform to crack JEE and discuss the success stories of top rankers.

Karan Shroff, CMO of Unacademy, tells afaqs!, “We have always been learner-centric. A lot of these channels are a result of this exercise. While we will be covering a broad spectrum of categories, we will also be looking at niche segments of these categories through the new channels.”

Shroff adds that the initiative is to double down on the substance of content that Unacademy has already rolled out on YouTube and make the top educators of niche categories more accessible to learners. “The approach will not just be curriculum-driven, but also include the essential assets that learners need outside of their curriculum.”

The channels encompass broad categories, including NEET UG and JEE, UPSC and other post-graduation segments, and bank, SSC and defence.

In May 2022, citing the threat of 'funding winter', the edtech player's co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal said that the company will focus on organic growth, instead of splurging on advertising.

Speaking about the cut in marketing spends and Unacademy’s new marketing mix, Shroff mentions that the brand will focus and re-emphasise its energies and spends on the learners’ experience.

“Launching these channels and getting quality content live, will also be a part of our marketing initiatives. While it is not an expensive exercise, it has huge benefits for the learners. It is more about the efficiency that it brings to the learners’ journey, and that is where are efforts will be.”

In a tweet in July this year, Munjal had talked about not associating with the IPL, going forward. “The last three years with the IPL were amazing. Our brand went to another level. I recommend all upcoming brands to partner with the IPL. Our focus has changed. Hence, the decision to not do the IPL next year.”

The IPL accounted for a major part of Unacademy’s media spends. In 2020, Unacademy came on board as an official IPL partner. The partnership was slated to cover three seasons, ending with IPL 2022. As per media reports, the three-year deal was worth Rs 120-130 crore.

Revealing whether the IPL budget will be diverted towards other marketing initiatives, Shroff explains, “The entire intent of him (Munjal) saying this is that Unacademy is taking a step in the direction of profitability. If we are to spend that money, we will actually spend it on the IPL than any other platform. Hence, if we have to spend that money, the IPL will always be our first choice.”

The digital-first platform also announced its foray into offline learning centres. The first of these ‘Unacademy Centres’ opened in Kota and Lucknow, and will soon be followed by Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Patna, Pune and Delhi. These centres are launched to cater to some courses that need extra monitoring and supervision.

Through these centres, students can learn specific topics in the classroom itself, and then can go back to their online classes and other (online) study material available. It makes the learning journey far more efficient and fruitful.

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