Google’s YouTube plans to sell premium content to Indians. A move that was adopted by Yahoo in 2011 but Google made sure that it took time to go premium after it had made its base.
1. June 2011, Google’s Youtube 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.
2. August 2011, Yahoo emerges from nowhere and launches “Movieplex” on similar lines of Google. But it surprised everyone by saying that the move is going to be a paid one and not free. That was enough to hit the Pandora’s Box, in the age of free content Yahoo was talking about premium content.
3. October, 2012, Google announces same plans that Yahoo thought of in 2011. Now Google also wants to offer paid video content in India via YouTube. One of the reasons for this move was to provide the consumer with more choices which could lead to a curb in online piracy. ((Article Source))
Google took some time to showcase to us what it has in store and in the mean time, it has also made sure that it built a good partner base. With the online video consumption gradually increasing day by day and YouTube being the favourite choice, this was a natural progression. This is the same way it did in Australia, Korea, Japan and now it wants to do the same in India too.
Content partnership won’t be a pain for a giant like Google since we have already seen YouTube gradually growing it’s partner base as well as the user base. “Bigger names like Eros and other industry players have shown interest”, said Gautam Anand, Director, Content Partnerships, Google Asia Pacific.
However, Gautam was quick to point that the major challenge in a rental mode is the payment mechanism.
“The major roadblock, which we are working on, is the payment mechanism – enabling carrier billing for example. We want to be able to ensure a seamless experience. Once this is done it will happen.”
This would also mean that other forms of content, be it TV or regional content, Google would like to make them premium at some point of time.
Will Indians pay?
Good content will always make money. If we go back in our past, we had cable TV along with the set of channels with selected movies. Time changed and we had set-top boxes but still we were interested in paying more for the quality and the same applies to the new move by YouTube.
It is good for content producers since the risk of piracy decreases quite a bit. For example, if people are served premium content which is not available in India or let’s say a new Bollywood movie is released on YouTube simultaneously along with offline releases, wouldn’t people like to buy it? Every movie is not meant to be watched on big screen. Attractive incentive at least for me! And then I would say many won’t bother much about torrents.
With it’s Google Partner program running successfully in India, the introduction of paid content is a much thoughtful and well-timed feature upgrade now.
I don’t watch the idiot box anymore and my source of entertainment in the last year has been YouTube, so I am ready to pay and watch good content. What about you?
Image courtesy: Bizzteams.com