YouTube plans original programming in India, Japan and other markets

Susanne Daniels, global head of original content, YouTube, participates in the executive panel during the YouTube Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Friday, July 27, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)
Updated 28 July 2018

YouTube plans original programming in India, Japan and other markets

  • YouTube will be competing with companies including Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. that are investing in local language programming for online audiences around the world
  • Some of the programming will appear on YouTube Premium, the monthly subscription service formerly called YouTube Red

BEVERLY HILLS, California: Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is creating scripted series and other original programming for international markets including France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and India to try to draw new customers to its paid subscription service, a senior executive said on Friday.
The programming will come in the form of multiple genres such as music documentaries, reality series, talk shows and scripted series, Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original programming, said in an interview. It will be produced in local languages and subtitled or dubbed for other markets.
Some of the programming will appear on YouTube Premium, the monthly subscription service formerly called YouTube Red. Other content will be available on YouTube’s free service with advertising.
“We are targeting markets where we believe we have a tremendous upside in potential subscribers,” Daniels said.
YouTube already has released a handful of original shows in South Korea and one in India, a talk show in Hindi about cricket. Called “UnCricket,” the show has performed “beyond expectations,” Daniels said.
Daniels also said a reality show starring South Korean pop band Big Bang had boosted subscriptions, and that 50 percent of the new customers came from outside of Korea.
More details about the new international slate will be released in the coming weeks, she said.
YouTube will be competing with companies including Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. that are investing in local language programming for online audiences around the world.
The first original shows from YouTube debuted on its premium service in 2016, starting with series from some of the platform’s most popular video creators. It added programming from Hollywood stars and also released a batch of children’s shows including Emmy-winning “Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force.”
There are no current plans for more original children’s programming, Daniels said. The YouTube Kids app serves that younger audience, she said, and the company does not believe children’s content will drive subscriptions to YouTube Premium at this time.


Twitter plans to build ‘decentralized standard’ for social networks

Updated 12 December 2019

Twitter plans to build ‘decentralized standard’ for social networks

  • The system, or “standard,” would not be owned by any single private company, says Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
  • He said Twitter will fund the project, which will take many years to complete, but will not direct it

Twitter Inc. plans to set up an independent research group to create an “open and decentralized” system for social networks, CEO Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday, which could relieve pressure on the company to appease critics of its content policies but also give rise to a new crop of competitors.
The system, or “standard,” would not be owned by any single private company, Dorsey said, and would enable individuals to use a variety of services to access the same network, just like they choose different email providers to see the same messages.
Policing speech on social media sites has required hefty investments while still failing to stem criticism from users who find the policies either too aggressive or too lax.
“Centralized enforcement of global policy to address abuse and misleading information is unlikely to scale over the long-term without placing far too much burden on people,” Dorsey tweeted.
He said the new approach would also allow Twitter to “focus our efforts on building open recommendation algorithms which promote healthy conversation, and will force us to be far more innovative than in the past.”

The idea, as outlined in articles Dorsey shared, is that developers could use their own algorithms to offer like-minded individuals targeted access to the same social media networks.
For instance, an individual could sign up with a provider that would aggressively filter out racist material, or another that would promote conversations over other types of content.
The open standard, however, could upend Twitter’s business model in the process, giving rise to competitor services that offer filters, content suggestions or other tools that prove more popular with consumers.
In an article that Dorsey shared called “Protocols, Not Platforms,” tech news site Techdirt founder Mike Masnick outlined how an open standard could give rise to a “competition for business models” among developers.
Some providers might collect less user data for ads, while others might abandon advertising altogether, instead charging users for access to premium services like filters or data storage, Masnick wrote.
Dorsey said Twitter’s chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, will be in charge of hiring a lead for the research team, called BlueSky. Twitter will fund the project, which will take many years to complete, but will not direct it, he said.
He went on to suggest that blockchain technology might provide a model for decentralizing content hosting, oversight and even monetization of social media, without elaborating on possible alternatives to Twitter’s ads-driven business.