YouTube banks on Bollywood | Pakistan Today

YouTube banks on Bollywood

MUMBAI – YouTube, the Google-owned video-sharing website, is banking on Bollywood and cricket to make its mark in the Indian market, looking at tie-ups with major studios to expand its movie library.
YouTube, which launched in India in 2008, says there is a huge market for Bollywood and cricket content not just in India, but in markets which haven’t been explored earlier, a trend it is hoping to cash in on, a top official at the company told. “For most Bollywood producers, distribution in non-traditional markets is a problem and then the only choice left for people in those markets is piracy,” Gautam Anand, Director, Content Partnerships, Asia Pacific for Google, said in an interview.
“At least this way we are legitimizing views and monetizing it.” YouTube currently has 17.3 million unique visitors in India, where it also has the most premium partner views after the United States. One of Bollywood’s biggest hits from 2010, ‘Dabangg,’ which stars Salman Khan, one of its most well-known actors, attracted more than a million hits in less than a week when it was screened for free viewing on YouTube last month.
YouTube currently has around 400 titles in its library and deals with major Indian studios such as UTV Motion Pictures, Eros International, Yashraj Films and Rajshri for content sharing. There are advantages for Bollywood to a greater tie-up as it looks to expand to markets other than its traditional strongholds, which would enable it to rely less on declining theatrical revenues.
Last year, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, a Viacom 18 company, released its small budget film “Striker” on YouTube, a day after it released theatrically, making it available for paid viewing in countries outside India. Four of out of India’s five main entertainment channels are also on board, uploading “catch-up programing” on their prime-time band within 24 hours of the original telecast.
Bollywood is not the only entertainment drawing attention, with cricket taking aim at viewers as well. Last year, YouTube streamed a domestic cricket tournament live to more than 250 countries, and found that hits reached 55 million.

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