YouTube is exceeding 23 million viewers per month in India, while the country's content providers carve out a strong digital niche, according to a top Google executive.
Five out of the top 10 Asian content providers on the digital video platform are now from India, said Shailesh Rao, Google's vice president, media and platforms, Asia Pacific, at the TV.NXT conference in Mumbai last week, and reported on by afaqs!
He added that his company's revenue sharing AdSense programme has enticed many Indian content creators - from large players such as Rajshri Productions, Yash Raj Films and Colors TV, to small outfits like Desimad - to use YouTube.
Although it made its name with user-generated short form clips, YouTube is increasingly host to long form content. Bollywood films can be found at YouTube Box Office, and content creators are increasingly getting wise to the fact their content may reach more viewers online than on television, according to the Google executive.
"The average [YouTube] viewing time is 30 minutes, which matches the average viewing time of TV soaps in India," said Rao. "The attention span is increasing with each passing day. YouTube gets about 450 million viewers per month globally... In India, the audience is four to five times bigger than TV audiences and is consistently rising.
"Two years ago, before we started streaming Indian Premier League matches, we had 10.5 million active users, monthly. Now, we have more than 23 million viewers a month in India," he added.
Rao said he is very bullish about the market for digital video in the South Asian nation.
"India is a very creative country and internet entrepreneurism is now exploding. A huge audience is now available online," he enthused. "There are more than 100 million people on the internet in India. If you tell a creative person that the internet can help you reach five times more people than TV, you will find more people adopting the internet to distribute their content."