Television viewing in India is limited to just television, even though it is extremely vibrant. With YouTube, television production houses can internationalise their copyright content, even monetise it. Our advertising service will throw up region and topic-specific overlay ads on videos. This revenue will be shared with the copyright holder.
Given the state of broadband connections in India (see this), I wonder if this new media initiative is also driven by demand for desi film and TV content in the diaspora. For instance, YouTube’s tie-up with Eros Entertainment was, to be sure, devised keeping in mind the need to bring overseas audiences into the Bollywood marketing/promo arena. And as Nikhil Pahwa points out, it also remains to be seen how this initiative takes on countless other desi-content websites like videochutney and desiscreen. I’m hoping this works out though.
If a TV production house like Balaji Telefilms or even MidiTech does sign a contract with YouTube India, it will be interesting to see if that affects satellite TV subscriptions. Given the terrible pricing structure – $54.99/month for a Hindi-language mega-pack and $24.99/month for a Tamil or Bangla channel – I would love to have the option of watching specific shows online for a smaller fee. I wouldn’t even mind a season-pass fee for a show like Indian Idol instead of paying a monthly fee for saas-bahu serials I won’t watch anyway.