Google-owned video streaming platform YouTube has typically been limited to videos uploaded by users, and has also been an active medium for video content creators to make their videos available for public viewing. However, the company has gone the way of producing its own videos for its platform, in the form of programming made for its YouTube Premium paid service.
The streaming platform is now bringing its Originals bouquet to India, with the first show being A.R. Rahman’s ARRived. The show is a music talent hunt competition, and features the Oscar-winning Indian music producer as the host. Ordinarily, YouTube Originals are only available on the paid YouTube Premium service, but in India, the first original shows are likely to be ad-supported and available to all for free. YouTube Premium is itself a part of the company’s plans for India, but this could be a while away.
Currently, a handful of streaming platforms already operate in India, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, to name a few. While Hotstar and other content-producer owned platforms have the advantage of ready in-house content, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are streaming platforms first, and content producers later. YouTube will therefore see Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as its biggest competition given that its focus will remain on being a platform for others to showcase their content.
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YouTube has already produced 60 of its own original projects globally, and is planning 50 more in 2019, according to reports. The advantage of original content is that YouTube does not need to share advertising revenue with any one else, given that it is both the producer and advertising medium with YouTube Originals.