YouTube Enters Indian Edtech with ‘Courses’

Courses is a subscription-based model for creators on YouTube even though it already offers several other monetization ways, including Ads and paid sponsorships.
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At the ‘Google for India’ event, the tech giant added a new feature on YouTube, called ‘Courses,’ a subscription-based concept to offer a structured learning experience. Although it is now in the testing stage, it is anticipated to launch in early 2023; no specific date has been assigned yet. 

There are already eight ways to monetise YouTube, such as paid sponsorships, premium and ads, and Courses is adding to the list. Before the Google for India event, Ishan John Chatterjee, managing director of YouTube India, indicated that Courses would only be accessible in three countries: India, South Korea, and the United States. According to Chatterjee, India is one of the largest markets for online education. YouTube wants to make it as simple as possible for customers to access relevant content and advance their skills. He further added that the decision to monetise content related to digital learning is up to the content creators. Yet, they will soon have the option to reap financial benefits from their videos that assist viewers in skill enhancement.

YouTube is primarily looking into four areas for courses: digital skills, entrepreneurship, profession, and personal interest. YouTube creators will also be able to upload documents in PNG and PDF formats to explain the courses that they are delivering comprehensively. The streaming site has already enlisted some local creators (LearnoHub, Speak English With Aishwarya, and Telusko) to create courses in various Indian languages on academic and vocational themes.

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According to YouTube director of Southeast Asia and Emerging Markets Ajay Vidyasagar, the company seeks to provide the creative ecosystem with new ways to monetise its work and create new employment opportunities. The most recent research by Oxford Economics, also shared by Vidyasagar, showed that in 2021, the creative ecosystem of YouTube supported more than 750,000 full-time equivalent jobs in India and contributed over INR 10,000 crore to the country’s GDP.

With more than 300 million students attending schools in India, Google‘s efforts to penetrate the Indian education sector are escalating. In recent years, Meta and Amazon have also made substantial investments. Google is aggressively competing with Meta’s Instagram in India to swoop in more content creators. In addition, the 2020 Indian ban on TikTok prompted Google and Meta to introduce new services to fill the gap left by the Chinese company. However, the question persists: Why did YouTube choose to add another monetisation technique?

Shritama Saha
Shritama Saha is a technology journalist who is keen to learn about AI and analytics play. A graduate in mass communication, she is passionate to explore the influence of data science on fashion, drug development, films, and art.

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