Youtube, the world’s most popular online video sharing website has launched a localized version to cater to the Indian surfer. Youtube.co.in has India-specific features that will, for instance, throw up results about the game, and not the insect, when you search for cricket.
According to data from comScore, an independent research firm, there are around 5 million active users from India and the site adds around 200,000 every month.
Says Sakina Arsiwala, International Manager, YouTube: “A year ago India was among the top 30 countries. Now it is among the top 15”.
While YouTube seems to have its content sorted out, both YouTube and Google, which acquired the company for $1.65 billion in 2006, are still trying to figure out how they’re going to make money and how they’re going to share money with the people who make the website possible, especially formal content partners ranging from NDTV to IIT Madras.
“The company is experimenting with various models” says Shailesh Rao, MD, Google India and adds that right now the focus is on building a strong user community. Like Google search, they believe the money will come once they have that user base. For the users themselves YouTube can often mean serious business, by giving greater visibility and reach at a price that’s hard to beat.