YouTube to take on Byju’s, Unacademy with new paid learning courses

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YouTube announced on December 19 it will allow qualified creators in India to provide free and paid courses to consumers starting next year. This move pits YouTube directly against domestic edtech companies like Byju’s, Unacademy, and PhysicsWallah, many of which began on the Google-owned platform.

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Google on Monday launched the Google for India event and laid out the roadmap for its India-related strategies for the year 2023. The search engine giant also announced new products and services to expand its user base in the country through the creative audiences.

Google for India came with new additions to YouTube. The U.S.-based company has said it will launch YouTube Courses in the first half of 2023. YouTube Courses will be an online medium to share learning materials in the form of videos. It will also incorporate PDF and other files for reference. YouTube Courses will start in beta form in India, the U.S. and South Korea.

YouTube Courses is going to be a free or paid campaign, depending on the creators. For the paid content, Google will charge as per its standard rates.

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While educational content has been available on YouTube for several years, this will allow creators to provide viewers with a more comprehensive, structured learning experience. In return, creators will receive a new monetization option in addition to advertising, channel memberships, and subscriptions.

Creators will also be able to provide viewers with supplemental materials such as documents, images, and PDFs via the YouTube app.

Ishan John Chatterjee, India Director for YouTube said the platform will share revenue with the “same kind of principles” that they have with other creators with a majority of the revenue paid out to the creator. Although, the exact percentage is not disclosed as yet.

YouTube has traditionally paid out 55 percent of its ad revenue to creators while keeping the remainder as part of its partner programme.

Google announced that it is supporting healthcare partners on YouTube with new Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning product called Aloud which transcribes, translates and dub original content on its own.

The company said it is beta testing the ability to have a single video with multiple audio tracks. The viewers can access healthcare content from medical experts in their preferred language. Google said it is continuing to invest in new features to help content creators develop more content and is expanding ways for them to interact with fans and make money.

This launch, however, comes at a time when demand for Indian edtech firms is slowing, as schools, colleges, and physical tuition centres reopen, driving students back to traditional offline learning modes.

Falling demand for online learning, combined with a lack of funding, forced many edtech companies to resort to aggressive cost-cutting initiatives such as mass layoffs, the closure of non-core verticals, and the shelving of expansion plans, among other initiatives.

Edtech companies, including some of the most well-funded unicorns, such as Byju’s, Unacademy, and Vedantu, have laid off nearly 10,000 employees since the start of 2022.

The search giant Google is working on a way nowadays to make it easier to search through YouTube videos. In addition to that, it is also working on creating educational courses and having multiple audio tracks that make it easy to present content in several different languages. Youtube courses, multiple audio tracks, easier search, and many other features are under testing, however, they’re not necessarily fully available to everyone yet.

Youtube Easier Search

The company is “piloting” a feature that will let you search in a video from its Search app. For instance, if you Google something and end up with video results, you will be able to tap a “search in video” button that will allow you to type in a phrase to check if it shows up in the audio transcript. Let me tell you that it is often auto-generated by YouTube. No doubt, being able to search through a video’s auto or manually-generated transcript isn’t a brand-new feature. You’ve been doing it on the desktop for quite a while, though it was a manual process. It involved opening the video and transcript and then using your browser’s search-on-page function.

Youtube Courses

The company has also announced a new feature called Courses. It will let creators sell access to a series of educational videos together with supplemental materials like PDFs or images. It will be available under the relevant videos. Courses are expected to be a way for YouTubers in order to compete with other paid educational services like MasterClass or Skillshare. 

Youtube Multiple Audio Tracks

The company is also working on another feature that can help make Courses and other videos on YouTube more accessible across a wide variety of languages. It is the ability to have multiple audio tracks in different languages just like what’s possible with some streaming services and movies. The feature however is under beta testing in partnership with some healthcare companies and hospitals in India. No doubt, it works quite similarly to the captions system. you will click on the settings cog and then on the audio track menu, which will present you with all of the languages in which the video is available.

These features are under testing and are rolling out in India to some users right now. Let’s wait until it comes to other countries. Stay tuned!

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