New Delhi: Don Anderson, head of family and learning partnerships at YouTube APAC, was in Delhi last week for the first EduCon for the Asia-Pacific region. EduCon is a EduTuber Summit where YouTube educational content creators gather for learning, community building and mentorship activities. In an interview, he shared insights about the creator community in India and how YouTube plans to support it. Edited excerpts:

How has learning as a category grown on YouTube in India?

We started seeing learning grow as a category over the last three years and though we are in phase 1, it is still early days yet but the growth is very, very strong. We are seeing more and more people going to YouTube to learn, rather than for entertainment. Out of 35 education and learning channels in APAC that have 1 million plus subscribers, nine channels are from India.

Besides, there are over 150 education and learning channels with 100,000 plus subscribers. In fact, our top education and learning creators in India have upwards of 68 million subscribers, while on an average, we have over a million viewers every day watching learning content on these channels. Learning and education is a key priority for us as announced by our CEO Susan Wojcicki earlier this year. We also announced a funding of $20 million (global fund) in October to support creators who make some of the best learning content on YouTube.

What drives this growth in India?

Indians are getting onto YouTube to learn all kinds of things, we haven’t seen something like this in any other market. Studies show that 71% of online video viewers go first to YouTube to watch videos to learn something. In fact, according to Ipsos research, when millennials want to learn something new, 68% of them choose to go to YouTube and this is not just a metro phenomenon anymore. With improved access and low cost data, users in tier 2 and tier 3 cities are getting online to learn new skills to improve their livelihoods. We have a plethora of content from academic content—like maths, science, engineering to videos that are teaching skills like dairy farming. Also, our learning content is not limited to English language but is available across a variety of Indian languages such as Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Marathi.

In fact, the flagship channel of National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning , a joint initiative from IITs and IISc to offer online courses and certification in various topics, has crossed 1 million subscribers.

How are you helping the creator community in India?

We have workshops and training programmes that enable the creator community to interface and interact with each other. They also get a chance to meet our team who train them. For the APAC region, we have also started providing access to actual grants where creators who meet the criteria can submit their proposals and apply for a grant.

How do you plan to make India the hub of all learning content?

India is leading the way when it comes to learning on YouTube in APAC. For instance, the civil services examination 2017 topper Anudeep Durishetty attributes his success to all the learning he did via YouTube videos. This is the biggest learning revolution in the world because it touches everyone.

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