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How YouTube Preserves Indian Culture, Creates Entrepreneurs And Brings Us Together

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For the last 15 year creators in India have turned to YouTube as a stage to share their skills and stories. When Pushparani Sarkar, an 80-year-old grandmother from West Bengal, shares her recipe videos on YouTube, she’s preserving the food, traditions and culture of the region. When Santosh and Akash Jadhav, two farmers from Sangli in Maharashtra are sharing their latest tips on Agritech with the farming community, they’re boosting the productivity of other farmers. Khwaja Moinuddin’s videos on YouTube are helping to feed hundreds of orphans in Hyderabad.

YouTube India’s Director, Ishan John Chatterjee, gave a revealing overview of the impact which YouTube has had on our lives during a keynote address at the ongoing FICCI Frames 2023. Talking about the future of the creator economy in India he spoke about how with the ubiquity of smartphones, of cheap data and of other emerging technologies, stories are traveling farther and wider than ever before and they’ve been consumed by more people in deeply personal ways.

“Today, anyone with a mobile device cannot just create a video, but they can review it, they can recreate it into different content formats, they can react to it. And on YouTube, we’re seeing that the lines between a consumer of a video and a creator are blurring. Today, everyone is a creator, and that’s leading to the explosion of hyperlocal communities and new content genres.
So from automobile enthusiasts in Kerala who care about public buses, to artists like the Tetseo Sisters who sing in the tribal language of Chokri to mental health communities and even to stay at home parents who are converting everyday household chores into helpful content, YouTube is helping take those niches mainstream. Now, our creators are not just helping millions of Indians discover new things, learn more about specific topics, fuel aspirations, but they’re also making a living for themselves. Now, thanks to the YouTube Partner Program, lakhs of creators in India continue to monetize their knowledge, their talent, and their expertise. These creative entrepreneurs are hiring people and forming new businesses,” Chatterjee said.

All this is leading to a ripple effect across the entire economy with the latest Oxford Economic Study on the state of the creator economy estimating that YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed more than 10,000 crores to India’s GDP in 2021 and supported the equivalent of 7.5 lakh full time jobs. Providing more statistics, he narrated to the audience how globally, in the last three years, YouTube has paid out over $50 billion to creators and partners all over the world. During the calendar year between July 2021 to June 2022, they paid out over $6 billion to the music industry and over 30% of that came from user generated content. In January 2023, the top 1000 songs on Shorts on YouTube had over 280 billion views globally. When it comes to commercial success, the digital behaviour of Indians continues to evolve. And as more and more Indians participate in online commerce, new business models will emerge.

With that, YouTube will continue to offer more opportunities for creators to monetize their content outside of ads by expanding their subscriptions business by investing in shopping and by continually expanding their fan funded monetization options.

The author can be reached at bkabir@entrepreneurindia.com and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari

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