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Scaling YouTube's impact in India, one creator at a time

YouTube has been the bedrock of the creator economy in India, giving everyone a solid foundation upon which to construct their own success stories. When their family fell on hard times, Sneha had the ingenious idea of starting a YouTube channel, ArtKala, where she and her siblings repurposed waste into art. Today, the trio have not only developed a steady revenue stream, securing their family’s financial future, their DIY ideas are also inspiring many of their viewers to start their own businesses. ArtKala is just one example of how a creator with a unique idea can have a ripple effect of positive impact on the world around us.

Now, for the first time we have a deeper sense of how our creative ecosystem connects to communities across the country. We asked the experts at Oxford Economics to measure the real impact and influence of YouTube’s creator economy in 2020. They conducted surveys in 2021, with over 6,000 Indian users and businesses and released the findings in their report, A Platform for Indian Opportunity: Assessing the Economic, Societal and Cultural Impact of YouTube in India. Oxford Economics found that YouTube’s growing creator ecosystem generates a considerable economic value in India, having contributed INR 6,800 Cr to the Indian economy in 20201. It is heartening to see that even against a backdrop of lockdowns and widespread economic disruption, the creative entrepreneurs2 on YouTube helped generate 683,900 full-time equivalent jobs in India.

Home of Creative Entrepreneurs

Home of Creative Entrepreneurs

These significant numbers are a testament to the resilience, resourcefulness and rigor of our creators, who have continued to show up for their communities with content that is entertaining, inspiring and even life-changing.

Take for instance Khwaja Moinuddin, who cooks large batches of food, sharing the recipe and process on his channel, Nawab’s Kitchen, and then donates the food to an orphanage. Today, Khwaja Moinuddin and his partners have a sustainable source of income through their YouTube channel, even as they continue to feed more than 1000 underprivileged children everyday.

YouTube has been a catalyst for the creator economy worldover. In India, over 80% of creative entrepreneurs said the platform has had a positive impact on their professional goals. Rachana Phadke Ranade, a chartered accountant by profession, but teacher by heart, truly embodies this. She launched her YouTube channel to help investors, especially first-time, young and women investors, better understand complex concepts including stock markets, mutual funds and other investment avenues. Today, she is recognised as a veritable force in driving financial literacy and in turn employs a small team including 10 women.

On the other hand, 92% of SMBs with a YouTube channel agreed that YouTube helps them reach new audiences across the world. A great example of this is Ananya who began her journey as an interior designer in Vadodara in 2017. When the pandemic slowed down the growth momentum, she rebuilt her existing business into a virtual operation and leveraged her YouTube channel "InteriorMaata" to connect with her customers.

The Rise of a New Economy

Since it was first launched in India in 2007, the YouTube Partner Program has been helping creative entrepreneurs convert their passions into professions, earn a living, and support the livelihoods of the people they in turn employ. Today, the number of channels earning at least INR 100,000 in revenue has increased by 60% year on year (as of June 2021). This continues to motivate more creative thinkers and doers, from across all backgrounds and geographies, to find their voice and build new ventures on YouTube.

The Rise of a New Economy

When Isak Munda, a day labourer, lost his job during the pandemic, he launched his YouTube channel to chronicle everyday rural life in his hamlet in Odisha. Sharing an authentic snapshot of a rarely-glimpsed culture, Isak has, today, found fame and fortune with fans spanning the globe. Thanks to efforts of creators like Isak Munda and others such as Tetseo Sisters, Village Cooking Channel, Telugu Geeks, PUNJABITREKKER, and Antriksh TV, people from all backgrounds are finding a place to belong on YouTube, seeing themselves reflected in the platform’s diverse content.

Today, anyone with an idea, an insight or inspiration can come to YouTube to tell their stories, reaching a global audience of 2 billion fans. With more than 40,000 channels with over 100,000 subscribers in India, seeing a 45% year on year growth, the creator economy in the country has the potential to emerge as a soft-power impacting economic growth, job creation, and even cultural influence. As we begin on the path of gradual economic recovery, emerging from the pandemic, our creative entrepreneurs who are creating for India stand to help unlock tremendous value and growth for the nation’s economy.

Take a look at the report and find out more about the fascinating people and stories behind these impactful numbers by visiting: https://yt.be/dUyTF. You can discover some of our dynamic and exciting creative entrepreneurs from your own state.


More Information


1

As per the Oxford Economics report, which was fielded in 2021, the YouTube creative ecosystem contributed INR 6,800 Cr to the Indian economy and supported 6,83,900 jobs in 2020.

2

Creative entrepreneurs comprise YouTube creators with at least 10,000 subscribers to their largest channel, and those with fewer subscribers who earn money directly from YouTube, earn money through their YouTube videos from other sources, and/or permanently employ others in support of their YouTube activities.