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“Monetisation is low cos Indian creators are creating local, not global content” – Subrat Kar, Vidooly


In the first part of the two part interview series with Subrat Kar, CEO of Vidooly, spoke about the need for actionable data, content analytics data provided to customers, data provided on other video platforms and social networking platforms, geographies covered, among others. In the second part of the interview, he talks about G+ disintegration from YouTube, working brands, MCNs, rights management system, learnings and challenges. The interview has been edited for brevity.

G+ disintegration from YouTube

MediaNama: Now that Google has disintegrated YouTube and G+, how will the subscriber data collection using G+ account that you mentioned be done?

Kar: Earlier, you could comment on a video only if you had a G+ profile. Any subscriber subscribed to your channel must have a Gmail ID, which also means that the person has a public G+ profile. I’m tracking only that public ID. So in terms of data collection, the disintegration doesn’t really matter because I’m only tracking the Gmail ID with which they have subscribed to the channel. If a person has subscribed to your channel, I have his entire data. It doesn’t really matter if he comments on your video or just watching the video.

MediaNama: So when you say that you also crawl data on the other channels that my subscribers have subscribed to, do you do it only using the same Gmail ID?

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Kar: Yes, it is something like that. We have a similar technology. Now will not be the right time to comment on it. We are tracking the entire user behaviour on YouTube. You could assume that it could be with help from YouTube team or something else. That is our secret sauce. Apart from the Gmail ID, there are other factors also that we take into account. If you are commenting on a video, it means that you have watched some portion of the video, otherwise you can’t comment on the video.

Working with brands

MediaNama: Do you also work with brands?

Kar: Currently, our entire focus is on YouTube creators. We have more than 3,000 creators on our dashboard. Once we hit a certain number with creators on our platform, we also have plans to pitch to brands. We are still working with a few brands but in a private mode. We haven’t still launched our brand intelligence product publicly. But we have a brand product in place. For example, we worked with Myntra. Myntra wanted to reach out to the right women audience on YouTube. Myntra’s target audience is women between 20-35 years of age. We were trying to figure out which were the channels in India where most of the women audience spend their time.

If Myntra’s ad is shown to a woman over 50 years of age, she will skip the ad because she is not their audience. If Myntra shows the same ad to a woman between 20 – 25 years of age living in the metros, then the metrics will change. Skip rate will drop. Vidooly has a brand intelligence engine which will show the channels which women in this age group spend maximum time, the time of the day etc.  This year we are rolling our brand product for brand and media buying agencies. Now we are supporting YouTube so we are going to support advertisers on YouTube. When we are present on Facebook, we will also support advertisers on Facebook.

MediaNama:  Do you combine video analytics with page analytics of a website on which YouTube videos are embedded?
Kar: We have onsite analytics. For example, if StoryPick has embedded a video on the site then Vidooly will give data on the duration watched, time of exit along with the entire heat map of the geographies etc. Only thing is that we have all this data but we will release these as features if people ask for it. We are not working with publishers but this feature could be very useful for a publisher but it will not be that useful for a content creator on YouTube.

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MediaNama: What is your monetisation model for brands and content?
Kar: Let’s not talk about brands right now because it is still in private beta testing. We are still figuring out a model for the brand features. For content creators and MCNs, we work through a fixed monthly subscription model. It is free for creators with 500 to 5,000 subscribers. If you have more than 5,000 subscribers, then we charge between $29 to $79 per month. The lower costing package has lesser features while the higher package has more features.

Working with MCNs

MediaNama: Why will a MCN want to work with you when they can access the YouTube API themselves?
Kar: We have a different proposition for MCNs. We provide them with a white label CMS, an advanced version of what YouTube provides them, where they can manage their entire network in a single place. They can manage all their channels and get all their channel analytics on one single dashboard. That is one part. Second, they can manage their entire work flow. They can assign work to people and also share the creator analytics dashboard with the creators.

MCNs either own channels or aggregate channels. When they aggregate the channel, they share the revenue. It is important to manage the monthly payment in a seamless manner. Now they share the revenue offline using cheque etc. We have a financial model as well where any of the MCN can also manage the finance of their network. Vidooly automates the entire financial and payment process on the dashboard.

We also have a rights management software for MCNs. We are already public with it and we are also working with a few music labels as well. It is a solution that can be used to identify people who are copying their content on YouTube from the UGC (User Generated Content). It is useful even for MCNs because even some of them have music channels. Even they need to know who are the users copying from their music channels so that they can go to the CMS and claim it.

MediaNama: Which MCNs do you work with?
Kar: In India, we are working with three to four MCNs. One is Ping Digital then One MCN, we also have a few smaller aggregators as well. In India, there are only about eight to ten MCNs. Some of them are also looking at building their own technology backend.

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MediaNama: When you talk about MCNs building their own technology, especially to work with brands, why will they use Vidooly?
Kar: Only one MCN, Culture Machine has built the technology to pitch and work with brands in terms of giving viewership, genre data, audience data, audience profiling etc. Second, they also have a CMS for their network. Other MCNs only have a CMS to manage their entire network. If you want to give some Adwords analytics to the channel owners then you can do that with Vidooly. You can use it to give more intelligence to your partner creator. You give it free of cost to the creator but Vidooly will charge you.

Small aggregators need technology like Vidooly for them to manage their channels and become a MCN. Vidooly works with companies like these. However, Culture Machine and Vidooly are still figuring out how we could work together fitting into each other’s business model.

Rights management system

MediaNama: Doesn’t YouTube already provide details about the claims? How do you add more value to rights management?
Kar: Yes it does, but Vidooly gives you more features. Vidooly has a proprietary algorithm with which we identify three or four things. Presently, other such services only crawl from the title. Let’s say a Salman Khan movie trailer was released and five users have copied it and published it on YouTube. Currently, what is happening is that other softwares only detect the keywords in the title or description to give notify that someone has copied it.

Vidooly is working on identifying the user generated content and the second is the thumbnail. One part is analysing the keywords and the other is in analysing the entire video. For instance, an image can be copied and inserted in the middle of a video. Then cutting through the entire video, every pixel needs to be analysed. For a large creator like Sony, when they release a video, it is copied by around 10,000 people globally. So it is difficult for Sony to analyse all these 10,000 claims on their channel. So Vidooly will analyse the claims and give you actionable data. It is too early to comment on it because we are building the product and we have this access to very few people just to get their feedback. We are still figuring out other value add features as well.

MediaNama: In terms of rights management, what is the work that you do with film producers and music labels?
Kar: We don’t work around that. We only give you the data. It is upto you to take decisions based on that data. It is actually complicated because someone has the visual rights, someone else has the audio rights. That is a separate ball game. We don’t work in that space.

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MediaNama: Then what work do you do with music labels?
Kar: We give our entire product to their manager to use it. Music label is a category for us. Music is a good category for us because it has good monetisation around it. We are working with most of the music labels in India like Times Music, GE music, Sony, among others.


MediaNama: What have your learnings been working on YouTube?
Kar: India is a market that still needs to mature. US content is more mature in comparison with Indian content. The monetisation is not that high in India. The rise of creators is still happening in India. Brands like CommonFloor, Snapdeal have just started partnering with YouTube content creators to drive more engagement through collaborations. Though the market is large in India, the ecosystem still needs to be developed. It will take another 2-3 years to develop the entire YouTube ecosystem in India.

In terms of the platform, YouTube updates it’s API frequently. The platform changes it’s API everyday, every week, every month so if you are a platform dependent company you need to be very aware of all the API changes that happen on the platform. Otherwise your business will get affected.

For the brand side, brands have been spending for long. But they are not doing it intelligently. Every body is retargeting on Facebook and Twitter but nobody has cracked the video intelligence part.

MediaNama:  What are the challenges that your clients face with YouTube?
Kar: Most clients face problems only with monetisation. See a kid’s channel makes more money because they get good viewership from the U.S. Say if someone creates Hindi comedy content and their market is Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. There is no YouTube in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Monetisation can be done only in India and that is 60% monetisation.

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The CPM rates in India are low. The monetisation is thus low because they are creating local content. If they could create global content like College Humour or Super Woman, they will be targeting global audience. Even kids content is global content. In India, channels like Hupla Kids, Chuchu TV are in the right genre and they are creating content for everyone globally.

MediaNama: Do they face any challenges with analytics?
Kar: For analytics, Indian creators are not mature enough. Some don’t view the data and some don’t value the data. People who value data are not getting the intelligence that YouTube is giving right now. So Vidooly is solving their problem.

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