Google owned video sharing site, YouTube, has partnered with major Indian broadcasters like Sony Entertainment Television (SET), Colors, ImagineTV, Star India, and VikatanTV to offer television shows on the site. The company claims to offer more than 19,000 full episodes of 300 programs in six different languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Punjabi).
While these shows have been available on the respective YouTube channels for quite a while, YouTube announced that it has now revamped its Shows page for Indian viewers, to create a single video destination for users to follow their favorite television shows and discover new shows. As for the rest of world viewers, these television shows will be available at youtube.com/shows/other-languages.
Shows: With a layout similar to its movies page, YouTube Shows is divided into various sections based on genres like comedy, drama, entertainment, reality and game shows, news, daily soaps, classics, action and adventure, beauty and fashion and health and fitness.
There is a dedicated section for the latest uploaded episodes and the top viewed episodes, and users can also filter shows into any specific genre through the popup menu at the top.
On clicking on any of the shows, users can choose the episode they wish to watch, browse through information about the show including the cast and crew, genre, directors, and producers alongs with other show suggestions from the channel. Users can also subscribe to the channel or share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many other social networks.
As an aside, one thing worth nothing is the prominence of the television channels Colors and SET in this video hub. Along with the top episodes, there is an option to view only the top viewed episodes from Colors and SET and in the popup menu, there is an option to view shows only from this channel. Some of the example shows being offered are Mahabharat, Ramayan, CID, Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah and Thendral.
Over the past few months, it appears that Google has been extensively working to convert YouTube as a one stop digital video destination for Indian audience. It has been live streaming Indian Premier League (IPL) in partnership with Indiatimes* for the last 3 years, introduced ad supported movies with Box Office channel, tied up with various movie studios to increase their movie catalog, added support for more regional languages and content and launched its partner program in India. It also recently started offering live streams of few Indian channels including Star News, Aaj Tak, Life Ok and UTV Bindaas at Youtube.com/live. In fact they are also offering a live stream of the Union budget happening today. With this announcement, the only thing YouTube India is currently missing is movie rentals.
Disclosure: Indiatimes is an advertiser with Medianama.