Do you think Google’s sudden inclination towards India for introducing services and Eric Schmidt’s latest visit are mere coincidences? Whatever it be, it is helping India. After making the Nexus 7 available to India, Google introduced Google Play Movies in India and simultaneously it also synced the same launch on YouTube. According to a story reported by Next Big What – Google has introduced the feature of YouTube video rentals and purchases for Indian users.
With the launch of pay to view service YouTube jumps into the market of online premium content. The service is more or less similar to Google Play Movies. The videos that are being showcased for rentals or purchase are also being synced with Google Play. The only difference is that YouTube has no limitation of hardware unlike Google Play which requires Android hardware. In addition to this, YouTube right now is giving an immense choice of regional content.
The prices of the videos vary from Rs 50 to more than Rs 500 depending upon the service you are opting for, the quality of the video and the popularity of the video too. For example when I selected the Hindi movie for rental then it was for Rs 50 but the same is for Rs 75 for a HD version, Rs 390 for a movie purchase and Rs 490 for a HD movie purchase. The rented movies have a time frame of 30 days for a user to watch it and can continue watching up to 48 hours. Once the rental period expires the movie disappears from the user’s video library. Furthermore, according to the YouTube Pay Content terms of services, you can watch these videos either by streaming or downloading it.
The move from Google has given a clear indication that it wants to get into the premium content business and also take the production houses in confidence that the medium is another revenue generating opportunity. If we look back, in June 2011, Google’s Youtube had launched “Box Office”. The launch meant a free service streaming online Bollywood blockbusters 24*7 by Google India. The service was free but the videos had ads packed around it. In October, 2012, Google announced same plans that Yahoo thought of in 2011, to offer paid video content in India via YouTube. And in March, 2013 the announcement has been implemented.
With the online video consumption gradually increasing day by day and YouTube being the favorite choice, this was a natural progression. This is the same way it did in Australia, Korea and Japan. However, Google is not the only player in this business, Apple in December 2012 had extended the feature on iTunes for Indians to rent and purchase videos.
Subsequently service providers like Eros International who offer Eros Now, an online streaming service, Spuul.com another streaming service that offers streaming service for Indian movies and TV shows online had tied up with Yash Raj Films to make YR films available on the site. In addition to this BoxTV.com, a Times Internet Company has also been in the premium video service that is not just focusing on Indian content (Bollywood and Regional) but is also offering a large section of Hollywood content.
With its Google Partner program running successfully in India, the introduction of paid content is a much thoughtful and well-timed introduction. But with pertinent Internet infrastructure problems and Internet rates still not affordable by the masses, the YouTube paid rentals and purchase won’t have an easygoing ride.