The number of Indian YouTube channels with six-figure revenue is doubling in less than 2 years

The exploding adoption of smartphones and high-speed mobile internet is resulting in an unprecedented rise in the contribution to the Indian economy by YouTube creators. More than Rs 6,800 crore was contributed by YouTube creators to GDP, which is equivalent to 6.84 lakh full-time jobs.

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The amount YouTube paid to creators in India is increasing steadily. On one side the number of creators is increasing, on the other hand, the earning potential of those creators is also rising consistently. In fact, creators are have realised the true potential of video and now finding ways to turn their YouTube gigs into career opportunities.

A study from Oxford Economics, an independent consulting firm, that was recently released by YouTube reveals that the Indian creator community of YouTube creates a huge economic value. A whopping Rs 6,800 crore was contributed by the Youtube creators community to the Indian economy in 2020. To put things in perspective, it’s equivalent to 6.84 lakh full-time jobs.

There are more than 40,000 YouTube channels in India that have over 100,000 subscribers. The extreme popularity of video content in India can be well understood from the fact that the number of such channels is doubling every two years. The unprecedented 45% YoY growth is driven by the exploded adoption of the smartphone and fast mobile internet, which, in turn, helps creators to find new avenues to earn revenue. YouTube offers eight different ways of monetizing channels and creators are leaving no stone unturned to reap the most of their channel reach and subscribers.

Indian YouTube channels revenue

It’s quite fascinating to learn that, as of June 2021, the number of Indian YouTube channels that generate six-figure revenue is increasing by 60% YoY.

As per Ajay Vidyasagar who is the Regional Director of APAC, YouTube Partnerships, the Indian creator economy is poised to expand as a soft power that can impact the employment scenario and economic growth.

“As our creators and artists build the next generation of media companies that are connecting with a global audience, their impact on the economy’s overall success will only continue to accelerate. We remain laser-focussed on our goal of delivering an open, inclusive and responsible platform for hundreds of millions of Indians who turn to YouTube to develop new skills, discover their passions, hone their talents, and grow their businesses,” he said as quoted in The Financial Express.

Alongside the income, YouTube is also helping Indian creators to find new ways to reach a larger audience and expand their reach both in the domestic and international markets. This creates opportunities for creators to earn money through live performances, brand partnerships, or sponsorships.

Based on the Oxford Economics report, over 80 percent of creative entrepreneurs in India have claimed that YouTube has been beneficial to what they do professionally. YouTube claims to have been an effective tool for medium and small companies (SMBs) too. More than 92 percent of SMBs who have YouTube channels agree that the platform has opened the floodgates of opportunities including establishing faster and more responsive connections with new audiences around the globe. They find it easier to reach a new audience for their personal or professional growth through targeted advertisements or simply by watching YouTube videos, as per the study.

“This report is the first of its kind to unpack and quantify the economic, societal, and cultural impacts of the YouTube ecosystem in India. Our research shows that YouTube fosters significant positive impacts for Indian creators in terms of helping them achieve their professional goals and grow their businesses,” Adrian Cooper, CEO, Oxford Economics, the report quotes.

The creator economy in India is growing at an unprecedented pace, and the above findings are testimony to the fact that video must be the most preferred way for individuals as well as businesses to reach new prospective customers.

India is the world’s second-largest country by population, the number of internet users, and smartphone users. This has created a huge opportunity for creators amounting to billions of dollars. Realising the potential of the Indian market, international creators have set their eyes on the Indian audience by releasing more India-specific content or rebroadcasting the content in Hindi. Mr. Beast, one of the most popular YouTubers, has opted for a similar strategy to reap the most out of the Indian audience! To attract the eyeballs of the global viewers, he has made his current videos available in different languages too and plans to dub his content into Hindi as well, which will eventually become his biggest international audience after English.

Brands are also aware of the importance of the Indian audience via the creators. International brands looking to expand into India and gain a strong foothold in the market could achieve this through Indian creators who could influence a sizeable number of subscribers.

As the creator economy in India going stronger with each passing year, it would be interesting to see whether it would be YouTube, Instagram Reels, or any other short video platform that succeeds in capturing a lion’s share of the pie.


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