YouTube looks to strengthen position in India with original content

MUMBAI: With the competition in the Indian over the top (OTT) market heating up, YouTube is betting big on original content to solidify its numero uno position in India.

Globally, YouTube has already started developing original content to overcome competition from streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The original content is produced under YouTube Originals banner.

YouTube’s original series and movies range from dramas featuring award-winning actors to comedies with top YouTube creators and documentaries covering multi-platinum artists.

The platform’s original content resides in the subscription-led YouTube Premium platform, which is not available in India currently. Formerly known as YouTube Red, YouTube Premium offers ad-free music and original shows/movies.

It is pertinent to note that YouTube is India’s top video streaming platform, however, it doesn’t have original content of its own. YouTube acts like a content aggregator. In recent years, it has been working with independent content creators to shore up its content offering. YouTube’s competitor’s in the Indian market boast of acquired as well as original content.

The streaming giant has also started scouting for relevant talent to build its original content capability. It is looking for a Development Lead and Production Lead for YouTube Originals in India.

The India Lead Production Manager will oversee YouTube Originals scripted and unscripted projects through the entire production process.

The Development Lead role involves supporting the development, production and acquisition of original scripted and unscripted programming properties for the platform, sourced from India, including scripted series, scripted and unscripted features, unscripted series, docu-series, scripted reality programs, game-shows, and talk, live and syndicated programming.

According to YouTube, the YouTube Originals team is responsible for developing, producing and shepherding new scripted and unscripted series and movies with YouTube’s partners.

Internationally, the original series ordered by YouTube includes Origin (drama), Wayne (Action comedy), On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Dark comedy), Weird City (Anthology / Comedy science fiction), Kat & June Think Stuff! (Comedy) and Untitled artificial intelligence docuseries.

Whereas, series such as High & Tight (Comedy), Psychopath (Comedy), Widow, Untitled The Edge of Seventeen spin-off series and Untitled Jake Paul talk show are under the development stage. YouTube Originals is also working on films such as Vulture Club and The Lou Pearlman Project.

According to the Counterpoint Research report released in December 2017, Star India’s Hotstar is reigning the online video streaming market with 75 million subscribers, followed by Viacom18’s Voot that has 15 million subscribers. Amazon’s Prime Video is in the third position with 11 million subscribers, while SonyLiv and Netflix are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, with about 5 million subscribers each.