Youtube(by Brindaalakshmi K and Nikhil Pahwa)

Google is in talks with DTH operators in India to bring YouTube onto television screens, according to the Economic Times. Franciso Varela, Global Director of Platform Partnerships at Google, is currently in India, and is meeting DTH operators. India accounts for only 5.5% of YouTube’s 1 billion global unique user base: it crossed 55 million unique users a month in September 2013. This comes close to the heels of Zee group owned DTH operator Dish TV launching Ditto TV, an over the top video service, for its subscribers, priced at up to Rs 129 per month.

From a viewers perspective, YouTube is an alternative that helps support time-shift TV – watch the shows based on when it is convenient for them, and an integration with TV comes via the TV deals that YouTube inks, as well as with Chromecast. It also helps discover new content outside of TV: On the other hand, YouTube, is now curating videos, like it did with September with its first Comedy Week initiative, wherein the platform featured curated comedy content from television shows and films, as well as original, made-for-YouTube content.  

It is difficult to imagine what kind of a partnership YouTube will ink with a distribution network like a DTH provider. YouTube partnerships have typically been with content owners – in India, with the likes of broadcasters like Viacom18, Sony, Star Network, Zee Group and original content creators like Jai Hind, Rajshri Media, Nirvana Digital and The Viral Fever, for bringing content on YouTube, and then to increase distribution, it has partnered with Samsung, LG and Sony.

Essentially, since YouTube is trying to be the MSO (Multi-System Operator) using the Internet as its pipe, why and how will it work with existing MSO’s? Or, for that matter, why will other MSO’s, whose business is being disrupted by YouTube, work with YouTube?

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