The Popularity of YouTube in India
The most popular YouTube videos in India get hundreds of thousands of views every week, attesting to the popularity of the video sharing service in India. Like in the Hollywood-dominated West the popular YouTube videos in India are the latest trailers of new Bollywood releases or the hottest songs from Indian rock stars or musicians.
Tamil actor/singer Dhanush’s “Why this Kolaveri” was perhaps one of the most popular YouTube videos in India and had an impact similar to the one created by the incredibly famous and record breaking YouTube sensation, Gangnam Style by South Korean pop start PSY.
Browsing through YouTube, along with Facebook, is what a majority of Indians do on their mobile phones. India is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, and most Indian buyers use their ultra-cheap smartphones to watch videos on YouTube.
The Importance of Mobile
Indeed, mobile is the most important part of YouTube’s India strategy, as the company owned by Google focuses on non-PC devices in countries with relatively lower PC and internet penetration such as India. Worldwide, mobile accounts for 25% of YouTube’s daily views, 1 billion in all, and this percentage is much higher in lower income countries such as India, or for that matter, in Africa.
India is one of YouTube’s top five markets in the world and hence quite significant. YouTube’s primary focus is to keep growing alongside, as the penetration of smartphones, internet and “smart” DTH television grows in India. The primary focus, as discussed earlier, is on mobile penetration. YouTube plans to take advantage of the rising popularity of YouTube videos in India by integrating YouTube videos with direct-to-home (DTH) television subscriptions provided by Indian companies such as with Airtel, Tata Sky and Dish TV.
Not Just A Bollywood Thing
While the most popular YouTube videos in India have related to Bollywood, it is not necessarily the case that all top content providers in India for YouTube have links to movies to India’s “City of Dreams”.
There are a plenty of content providers for YouTube in the country who have done remarkably well with their educational videos – such as, “how to change your hard drive”, product review videos – “New Google Nexus 6 Review” or “iPhone 6 Review” or some thrilling videos such as the video of stuntmen in Mumbai performing dangerous acrobatics on a moving train, which became viral, and eventually created a huge political storm, leading to stricter monitoring of Indian trains.
Point is, there is a great hunger in India for new and original videos, interesting videos, and they may have nothing whatsoever to do with Bollywood.
Video Tutorial in Hindi:
YouTube Popularity For Politics
Even politicians in India have taken to YouTube in a big way for their campaigning, none more so than India’s popular prime minister, Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi made YouTube and other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook the corner stones of his campaigning in the recently concluded election, which he won by a landslide victory. Mr. Modi has been a pioneer in Indian politics and very good with technology – which makes him very popular among India’s young voters. Any YouTube video of the new Indian prime minister’s speeches, was likely to get hundreds of thousands of views. Indeed, fans of the Indian prime minister have a dedicated YouTube channel where his speeches were broadcasted. Hence, it’s not outlandish to suggest that YouTube could claim a small but significant role in Mr. Modi being the prime minister of India today!
Some of the most popular YouTube videos in India have been partnerships. YouTube has had highly successful partnerships with content creators such as the India Comedy Week a few years back, during which over 400 hours of comedy content were hosted by YouTube that featured originals and some all-time favorite TV comedy shows such as Mamman Bhai, Dilli Ki Billi and Shit People Say.
YouTube’s Diverse Language Options
Another important thing done by YouTube is not to cater to India’s most popular languages – Hindi and English – alone. YouTube has made a concerted effort to target speakers of other major Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Malyalam, Gujarati, Punjabi as well as various dialects of Hindi such as Bhojpuri and Rajasthani.
While doing business in India, YouTube has been smarter than many other multinational companies. The big reason for YouTube’s great success in India is how well the US based company has “Indianized” itself and adapted to Indian tastes and sensibilities. And the best part is that, we have seen nothing yet – YouTube will only get stronger and more popular in India over the next few years.