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YouTube contemplates YRF, Shemaroo, Sony, Zee & studio tie-ups

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MUMBAI: With competition in the OTT space getting tougher every passing day, the players have to ensure that they boast an edge over the rest. In a move to compete with its rivals – Netflix and Amazon Prime, Alphabet’s YouTube is in talks with some of India’s biggest production houses and broadcasters.

Yash Raj Films, Shemaroo, Sony, Zee, etc are some of the big banners the streaming service is considering to partner with. It also plans to possess exclusive content for its Indian viewers from a large number of south Indian studios.

Though, the deals could be different in nature. YouTube APAC regional director Ajay Vidyasagar in an interview with Hindustan Times has stated that some of the deals may bundle the content for YouTube first followed by TV while, some can tweak it for YouTube.

YouTube is facing serious competition from rivals -- Netflix and Amazon Prime not just in India but also in America. Globally, YouTube added 400 hours of content every minute to its platform last year. With Amazon signing a deal with Dharma Productions for exclusive content, with few more to be added soon, YouTube has competition knocking at its door. Even Netflix is closing in deals with studios like Phantom Films apart from its original production.

Though, Vidyasagar is not letting the players affect his brand. He believes that Netflix is a high-value, low-volume business with limited reach. It creates content in one place and makes it globally available globally.

But, YouTube claims to have found its way in having large volume and diverse content catering to local needs. According to Vidyasagar, it is expanding to become a local player in every country. Even in small towns, YouTube is the default native video platform that everyone chooses.

Even after Star India taking away its famous talk show, Koffee with Karan which airs on Star World, off YouTube, Vidyasagar asserted that they have an extraordinary volume and in a few quarters time, they might look at the traffic.

YouTube will also look more at exclusive content. In India, it will keep the business free, dependent on ad revenue. Even after having a Netflix-like subscription model in some countries, YouTube does not plan to do the same in India at least in the next few months.

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