Vernacular content is the next big thing on online video: YouTube's Satya Raghavan

By Anirban Roy Choudhury , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital
Published : January 20, 2017
ContentAsia's Janine Stein interviewed YouTube India's Satya Raghavan on the vdonxt asia stage last week. A look at their discussion.

"Tech, content, platform, revenue, language and genre" are the foundations when it comes to YouTube's business world over and it is no different in India. Satya Raghavan, head of entertainment, YouTube India said this in a one on one discussion with Janine Stein, editorial director, ContentAsia. The discussion took place at vdonxt asia, the d two-day convention focusing on the future of digital business.

Raghavan spoke in detail about each aspect and felt, "Vernacular content is the next big thing on online video,". He was of the opinion that "localisation and hyper localisation will attract the next pool of users to digital content."

Janine Stein asked him about the blow that YouTube India had to face as majority of the catch up television content now are taken off from the platform by traditional media conglemerates. "No blow at all," he said, "YouTube is a platform that different brands use differently, look at The Kapil Sharma Show for example, Sony puts it up on YouTube 20 minutes after the show is aired and it does very well," he further added.

Raghavan drew light on how recent the original content creation revolution is in India. "It is only post 2013, the true 'original content creator revolution' began. Around 2014, the first set of comedy creators - guys like AIB and TVF - started to emerge. Their videos started to become popular which lead others to the platform," he mentioned.

Stein brought up the topic of education and asked Raghavan about the role YouTube is playing in it, "India is one of the very few countries where we have YouTube Space. The YouTube Space is in Mumbai and one can walk into it with an idea, use the infrastructure and come out with a well-produced video," he informed.

YouTube Space does not only help content creators in terms of infrastructure, "When the creators come together at one place and jam among themselves that helps them to create new, fresh and out of the box content," he said.

The joke about young and old unfolded on stage and Stein immediately threw a question to Raghavan about who is the oldest Indian YouTube star, "Oldest no! I would like to call wisest so the wisest YouTube star is a man called TS Madan, he is a motivational speaker who puts out videos about how you can make your life better and he gets huge number of views," Raghavan replied.

The session concluded with Stein asking Raghavan about that one question he is asked most often and Raghavan's reply to this was, "How can I become a YouTube superstar?", Stein quickly followed it with another question, "and your answer would be?" "Start already," is what he replied. "There are only 350 million internet subscribers now and by 2020 the number will go up to 600 to 650 million; so there is a huge opportunity. Also there are so many languages in India that it is quite possible the first video of a particular language is yet to be uploaded, so start uploading," he concluded.

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