Why do Indians love Youtube

The New Year!

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Youtube – the baap of all TV Channels

Youtube – The Goliath

The biggest trend of 2014 has to be the emergence of Youtube as the biggest TV channel (and much more) of all time! If the entire TV Set top box is an animal, then Youtube is the entire jungle and the entire countryside, from shore to shore – and that is still understating Youtube’s relative size!

What does Youtube mean to its audiences

We were on way to Mahabaleshwar, a top hill station in Maharashtra, when we took a halt 30 KM from Pune. What I saw was quite startling – there were 5 friends at a desk, and they were streaming  Bollywood songs on 3G presumably, and were doing so quite comfortably. It just made me realise that one of the big reasons why 3G is slowly getting a higher adoption is [mobile + video + anytime on] as a package. Youtube has a massive role in this! There used to be a time when loading MP3s on a new mobile phone was an unmissable chore as soon as a mobile was bought! Not anymore though! And the big tipping point for this trend was Youtube!

So whats the big deal with Youtube?

Youtube is everywhere

Literally Youtube is everywhere – desktops, mobiles, tablets, TVs, other websites, apps. blogs, news channels! There is possibly very little in the media world where Youtube isn’t available. Of course thats due to Google and its entire ecosystem of Chrome, Android, Gmail, Gtalk – but you have to accept that Youtube is possibly omnipresent all over the media.

Youtube is accessible

Being available is one thing, being accessible is another. Youtube streaming works – whatever the bandwidth, whatever the device! Of course the streaming quality differs, but Youtube has done a great job with access for users, particularly in India

Youtube is inclusive

Given the range of Youtube’s video collection, Youtube is being used by one and all! While this is obvious and massive, try naming any other video website that is so inclusive, yet captivating apart from Youtube – my guess is you would struggle doing so!

Youtube search

Thanks to the parent company, Youtube search possibly throws up the biggest array of options when it comes to search. For video discoverability, any video creator could not have asked for a better platform.

Youtube creates a buzz

Every big initiative, be it a film, be it an event invariably launches its own Youtube channel and tries to develop its following. Indian elections were fought as much on the ground as on Youtube! Every upcoming movie release is preceeded with a Youtube trailer launch. Youtube is a fantastic place for buzz creation – something that every marketer aspires!

So, marketers, do share your ideas on how you use Youtube! Would be writing a new article about this next by collating your views.

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Hulu – winning the online video battle

If you are not from United States then you probably don’t know much about Hulu, but if you are from United States then I am pretty sure that you would be knowing about Hulu. The reason behind this is that as soon as you open Hulu it tells you that you can view shows only in the United States of America! Why are they doing this? Because that is what most of the world and advertisers want to target. Here is an introduction of Hulu quoting from the NYTimes

Hulu, which in the last 18 months has become the third most popular video site on the Web, behind YouTube and Fox Interactive Media, displays free, high-quality versions of television shows and movies, supported by advertising.

In just past 18 months Hulu has achieved what most video sharing sites have not been able to do in years. Hulu has been able to become number 3 in termsof most popular video site, it has contracts with 3 out of the 4 top media companies in US. It has tv series of NBC, Fox, Disney and ABC. Hulu streamed 390 million videos in March, and the best thing is that Hulu is estimated to make almost the same amount of revenue as Youtube! Youtube has about 5.9 billion video views in March and Hulu had just 390 million, still both are expected to have the same revenue! Youtube probably has a different aim and target segment. Hulu has a different plan and in it has really targeted its users well! Some of the policies at Hulu which really make sense-

  • Premium Content – Everyone likes to watch funny videos and Youtube is great for that but what about tv shows? TV Shows do not want to be on the same platform as a funny personal video of someone. Moreover TV Shows and such content gets much more attention, more views, and more advertisements.
  • Segmentation: Less Views, More Revenue – Through the segmentation of US vs the rest of the world, Hulu has been able to generate more advertising revenue through less views and in turn lower costs. Streaming is expensive and Youtube has to pay heavily for its 5.9 billion video views. Although through these views Youtube might be targeting the growing economies of the world which Hulu is missing out.
  • Sharing Equity – Most of the media houses know the value of their content. They also know the threat of piracy. The media houses wanted an exit but with enough compensation for themselves. Hulu has given them stake in itself thus making them partners and ensuring their support.
  • Advertising US Brands – Hulu has been able to replicate the model of television by showing advertisements in the online version as well. Such advertisements are not as disturbing as text ads/flashing ads in the sidebar. Their policy is clean and well suited for viewers.
  • Become Internet Television – With the increase in connectivity, the television is bound to shift to the web. Hulu has formed good alliances and it all set to pose a challenge to Youtube. Hulu lies in between Youtube & Television! Hulu knows the opportunity and looks all set to capture it.

To end the discussion I will just say that Hulu with its clear objectives, focus, alliances and strategy has done what no other video site could do! I am sure the coming few years will see a lot of wars being fought online but I believe that Hulu will be able to tackle them very well.

Sources for information: NYTimes, TechCrunch and SeekingAlpha

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