However, when it comes to consuming Internet videos, YouTube remains one of the oldest, most widely visited online video destinations — not just for viewers all over the world, but here in India as well. In the twelfth year of YouTube’s journey in India, 2019 has become somewhat of a culmination point. A year of milestones in more ways than one.
And creators — passionate individuals creating original video content — from diverse backgrounds and interests are well and truly leading the charge of fuelling YouTube’s growth and appeal across India over the past year.
“Apart from T-Series becoming the most subscribed YouTube channel globally with 120 million subscribers, 2019 also saw the first individual Indian creator (Bhuvan Bam) cross the 10 million subscriber mark,” according to Satya Raghavan, Director – YouTube Partnerships, India, who spoke on the occasion of #YouTubeRewind 2019, YouTube’s annual zeitgeist highlighting what India watched on YouTube in 2019, along with some of the milestones and trends.
“In fact, if you take a step back and look at the entire ecosystem, there are more than 1200 channels with over 1 million subscribers, and 120 of those channels are women creators,” Satya Raghavan mentioned, before highlighting the explosive growth of vernacular language driven content on YouTube.
“Content in South Indian languages started growing on YouTube from around 2015 onwards, but in 2019 if you just look at Tamil channels, there are now 95 channels with more than 1 million subscribers today, growing from 30 channels with 1 million subscribers in 2018,” Satya highlighted. He also said that other vernacular language channels are also growing steadily, with as many as 60 channels crossing the 1 million subscriber mark this year.
“Education as a vertical started to breakout in 2017 on YouTube in India, and it really showed a sharp growth this year in 2019,” he told me. “There are now 70 channels with over 1 million subscribers for education and learning-related content on YouTube, and we also the first channel in this space cross the 10 million subscriber mark just a couple of weeks ago.”
That’s some of the highlights from YouTube India this year, where Satya Raghavan feels all the different verticals and languages that have been picking up over the years have shown very healthy growth, and almost all of them have had amazing milestones to celebrate in 2019.
With all the explosive growth, and hundreds of hours of video content being uploaded every minute, keeping YouTube safe is obviously critical. Is content curation the way to go?
“That’s one measure of keeping YouTube safe, by curating content and YouTube Kids is a great example of that,” Satya pointed out, “but see, fundamentally YouTube is an open platform, and we all have to appreciate that. Our objective is to make sure that content stays up, but having said that we put a lot of emphasis on content that goes against our community guidelines is identified and blocked before anyone even views it.”
“YouTube creators are quite a responsible lot,” according to Satya Raghavan, who works very closely with YouTube creators from all over the country, “and through their content, they’re always trying to see how they can improve someone’s life.”