From an autorickshaw driver to a business professional, everyone loves to binge-watch YouTube videos in their free time. With 265 million active users, YouTube caters to a wide multilingual audience. No matter how well-versed Indians become in the English language, a significant section of the country is comfortable watching videos in their mother tongue.
Back in 2013-14, the language of YouTube was Hinglish. But now, the prominent factors that drive content consumption are regional language and affordable phones. Targeting only English-speaking viewer pool does not lead to long-term lucrative outcomes, because they constitute a relatively smaller segment of viewership.
Let’s find out how regional content made YouTube a smashing hit in India.
Statistics draws the real picture
According to a report by Google and KPMG India, it is predicted that by 2021, there will be more than 500 million internet users in Indian languages. YouTube comprises a large portion of this figure. So, the sure-shot formula to YouTube’s success is regional language, let’s take a look at the insights:
1. YouTube is available in 10 languages, and 60% of its watch-time comes from outside the six largest cities in India.
2. Surprisingly, English will account for only 200 million internet users, which will be stagnant as more local people (non-English population) are coming online from remote places of India.
3. In the next three years, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, and Telugu speakers are likely to constitute 30% of the total regional language user base. Hindi holds the first spot on the list.
The change in content creation and consumption
YouTube is the stronghold of young, tech-savvy consumers in metro cities and now the rural areas as well. YouTube content is heterogeneous, but as far as conceptual clarity is concerned, regional language is the clear winner.
Not just content consumption, but content creation has also experienced a drastic transformation. The reason behind the fast-paced growth in villages is affordable smartphones and cheap data charges. A lot of people access YouTube videos through mobile devices. With the help of digital penetration, even people in isolated regions are able to create videos on their cell phones.
Popular Regional YouTube Channels
Undoubtedly, regional language has made YouTube content much more immersive. Be it daily tutorials, or movie spoofs or recipe videos, users understand only one thing – relatability. The users know what they want to see and that’s what YouTubers are offering them – compelling, humorous and engaging content in vernacular language. EASY TO UNDERSTAND, DUH!
The key to garnering maximum YouTube subscribers is to establish a connection with regional people. Some of the renowned regional channels which have become a household name are InfoBells, Village Food Factory and MadhurasRecipeMarathi.
It’s not just the case with YouTube. In fact, EdTech platforms, entertainment-driven apps like Vigo Video, and TikTok (formerly known as Musically), are also concentrating on regional language to personalize the content for the learners. Although there is a wave of Indian users who consider the fact that English language has a certain aspirational quotient, still a large of chunk Indians prefer to access internet in their native language. Now you know the why!