The big daddy of video social network, YouTube is spreading its arms in India. After announcing that YouTube is opening up Spaces in India, the Google-owned video network revealed that the India operations of YouTube Space will be headed by Jigisha Mistry Iyengar.
“Jigisha comes from a very strong background in production, both here and in the US. Apart from her, we will be collaborating with all the popular creators onboard with YouTube from all genres be it music, art comedy, news,” said YouTube Space head South Asia David McDonald, who is in Mumbai to conduct a workshop on YouTube at Celebrate Cinema 2015.
The news comes close on the heels of YouTube deciding to open up Spaces to support YouTube creators and foster the next generation of talent. YouTube has partnered with one of Asia’s largest and most renowned film schools, Whistling Woods International, to set up a new YouTube Space in Mumbai.
“This collaboration follows the footsteps of our YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, among others. Since the first Space was launched in 2012, creators have visited YouTube Spaces over 100,000 times, we have had over 800 events and workshops and our partners have created over 11,000 videos.”
Through this collaboration, India’s popular up-and-coming YouTube creators, as well as their students, will have free access to Whistling Woods’ studios, high-end audio, visual and editing equipment, in addition to training programs, workshops and community events.
Like all other production facilities, YouTube Space Mumbai will be a place where creators can collaborate, innovate and experiment with new content for audiences around the world to watch and love. From training programs and workshops to master classes and attending events and sharing experiences on how to succeed on YouTube. It will also give opportunity to experiment and create great videos that fans will love.
As per YouTube’s internal studies, the number of watch hours on YouTube has grown by 80 percent in India. Over the year we have seen the growing culture of new age Internet content creators who are depending on YouTube to a great extent. Very recently India’s biggest YouTube content creators – AIB and TVF also reached more than million fans within just two years of being on the platform.
McDonald is confident that having YouTube Space in India will boost the number of creators here. “We have seen this in other parts of the world and I think it stands true for India as well. Specially with the growing demand.”
A lot is still under planning when it comes to accessibility of the ‘Space’. The challenge of course is that we have finite resources. “Our idea behind the Space is to democratize the access to these kind of facilities, which means we are a democratized platform available for everyone who wants to learn connect and create. The challenge of course is that we have finite resources in only so many studios, cameras and other equipments. At some point we have to figure what the right threshold of the access locations is,” he explained.
Growing consumption of videos that is being pushed by mobile is one of the deciding factor. The recent We Are Social mobile growth report in India highlighted that social networking remains the top most regular activity on smartphones followed by watching a video clip and uploading a picture.
The other reason is the growing interest of Facebook in videos. The social network states that it is now serving more than 4 billion video views a day. YouTube is aware of the challenges that Facebook could give in the coming times from India which happens to be the second biggest market for Facebook after US.
Nonetheless, YouTube has a clear edge on Facebook for videos while the latter is busy fixing its 2 major problems before it could compete with YouTube.