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Satyadev Chada, Co-Founder Of Edewcate.com On Leveraging YouTube, Content On DTH & Future Plans

In Part 1 of our interview with Satyadev Chada, the co-founder and CTO of Edewcate, we discussed the company’s offerings, the motivation behind its inception, revenue model, product strategy and competition. In Part 2, he speaks about  monetisation patterns, leveraging YouTube, content tie-ups with DTH operators and future plans.

MediaNama: What is the percentage of people accessing your free content vs paid content?
Satyadev Chada: We have 2 crore unique viewers online Vs 150,000 students in classrooms. Currently, the maximum revenue is from digital classroom and maximum margin is from YouTube.

MediaNama:  How does YouTube work for your content?
Satyadev Chada: YouTube has been a spectacular growth story for us. We have been part of the YouTube partner program since Dec 2010.We have registered a 1000%+ growth rate YoY and recorded more than 50 million page views in the last two years. Our best metrics right now are for the kids channel that includes nursery rhymes from around the world. We collect nursery rhymes that are several hundred years old and recreate them with animation and music. The singing and music are done by people who are part of our team so the cost is really low. We train them part time on some of these languages also. We produce nursery rhymes in more than 12 different languages including Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Moroccan, Korean, English, Turkish, Mandarin, Italian, Hindi and Telugu apart from English making us the most diversified kids content producer in the country.
Currently we have 450 English rhymes right from 14th century British rhymes to latest American rhymes.

The 3 points listed below typify the success we’ve had at YouTube
a. We are the fastest growing “education channel” from India on YouTube with more than 10 million views per month.
b. We have more views worldwide than MIT, Stanford and UCTelevision (University of California), the top 3 most watched American Universities on YouTube.
c. Our Content has been watched for a sum total of 11,279,233 minutes that translates to 21 years and 162 days of content watched in 30 days.
You can check the channel out at www.youtube.com/edewcate

MediaNama: By running a YouTube channel, don’t you miss out on traffic to your website?
Satyadev Chada: Running a YouTube channel did hurt our search based visitors in the first year as they were routed to YouTube via Google. However, we have been successful in transferring decent audience to our website by branding it on our popular YouTube channel.

Adsense is a great model for small businesses, but it would be viable only after you reach a million hits. Generating that kind of volume would require expertise in SEO and in creating very niche content and then still hope for the best. When you work with websites like YouTube, searchability and visibility are taken care of. That takes down your costs by a large extent.

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We had setup edewcate.com in 2008 as we believed that YouTube and other video sharing sites would take longer to share revenues with publishers. But now with the YouTube Partner Program, they share 55% of the ad revenue with the publisher. So as the adage goes, if you can’t beat em, join em.

MediaNama: Which are the geographies from which you get maximum website and YouTube traffic – both India and abroad? (a break down)
Satyadev Chada: Our traffic is mainly from US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, South Asia (Phillipines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand) and the Middle East. US with 42% views is the largest demographic. India currently stands at around 16%.

MediaNama: How has the response been for your content via cable networks and DTH compared to your website or Youtube?
Satyadev Chada: DTH based education in India is a bit of a problem because most of the DTH providers have not made money themselves. This is reflected in their share prices. None of them are really profitable ventures. Since they are not profitable, gaining a competitive edge in a fragmented market would mean additional bandwidth. This is currently not available. Companies are still eyeing this bandwidth instead of providing different value added services. We tried the pilot in 2008 and believe that DTH would take another 3 years to be a good market.
However we are bullish on another space. We believe that the future is in “integrated television” – television, internet and mobile in 1 broadcast device.

Our internal projection is that a minimum of 50 million integrated internet enabled television will be sold in India by 2016-17. This would ensure that all the 50 million homes would have YouTube in their living room. It would be like having another TV channel. If that happens then we will have more viewers than many of the big Indian television channels in India. We will then make all the money that producers like Ekta Kapoor are making but we would do it without the same investment .This is our vision.

MediaNama: What is the kind of content on YouTube that gets you maximum traffic?
Satyadev Chada: The maximum hits are for kids’ content followed by K-12, cooking, music and arts.

MediaNama: How has the response been to your mobile platform compared to your website/YouTube traffic? Which one has better traffic and why?
Satyadev Chada: Mobile downloads have quadrupled in the last 6 months. However the revenue sharing model that is being employed by service providers with partners is not the same as YouTube. Airtel and Docomo share a much smaller percentage of the total package cost with the publisher. In a shared platform like Voicetap, which provides the content aggregation platform for Airtel /Docomo, we must be among the biggest publishers by volume in the country. We are getting into a larger space there. We are trying to provide Course based videos on mobile phones delivered via Docomo and Airtel from this December. This means you can subscribe to our content on your mobile. We are launching upto 25 courses this December.

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MediaNama: How do you manage copyright violation of your content? Have you developed any mechanism to manage copyright violations?
Satyadev Chada: Right now we have access to the secure server platform of YouTube to block all downloads if we feel the need to. However, If people download our open content like cooking, music videos etc, it means that we are actually creating a loyal user base. If the people who download these videos, like them, they will come back to us for more.

We are also part of the YouTube’s Content Id program which has been developed to cater to the needs of large partners like television and music companies. It is a software that has been internally developed by YouTube. It doesn’t allow replication of either video or audio. The platform informs the publisher in case of any infringement or replication. The publisher then can decide whether to remove the content or monetize it. So even if somebody replicates our content, we will make money off it. So we are not essentially bothered by downloads or copyright violations.

As for our K-12 content, it is still not fully available on YouTube. However we plan to port the complete content onto YouTube in the coming months. You can have a look at a few samples at www.youtube.com/elearnin.

MediaNama: Which audience do you plan to focus your open content on – India or U.S.A?
Satyadev Chada: We are thinking global and we wish to work towards a global audience.

MediaNama: How do you plan to move to open content – through YouTube or your platform?
Satyadev Chada: Videos may be embedded from YouTube, but the additional interactive learning tools would be developed by us and the service would be accessed from our website.

MediaNama: On receiving investment, where do you plan to use the funds?
Satyadev Chada:  We are seriously considering investment for scaling both online and mobile offerings. In case, we get funds, we want to build a product that will service the vast audience that we have built up from all over the world. We would want to keep it in the cloud and make it available to students/ enthusiasts/ corporates as well. To build that kind of product, we would require infrastructure and money.

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