YouTube to take on Byju’s and Unacademy with new paid learning courses

YouTube to take on Byju’s and Unacademy with new paid learning courses


YouTube announced on December 19 it will allow qualified creators in India to provide free and paid courses to consumers starting next year. This move pits YouTube directly against domestic edtech companies like Byju’s, Unacademy, and PhysicsWallah, many of which began on the Google-owned platform.

While educational content has been available on YouTube for several years, this will allow creators to provide viewers with a more comprehensive, structured learning experience. In return, creators will receive a new monetization option in addition to advertising, channel memberships, and subscriptions.

Creators will also be able to provide viewers with supplemental materials such as documents, images, and PDFs via the YouTube app. Join Our Telegram Channel

Ishan John Chatterjee, India Director for YouTube said the platform will share revenue with the “same kind of principles” that they have with other creators with a majority of the revenue paid out to the creator. Although, the exact percentage is not disclosed as yet.

YouTube has traditionally paid out 55 percent of its ad revenue to creators while keeping the remainder as part of its partner programme.

In the coming months, the service will be initially rolled out in beta phase with creators such as LearnoHub, Speak English With Aishwarya, and Telusko covering a variety of academic and vocational subjects in multiple Indian languages.

“Learning has always been a huge priority for YouTube. We are already the world’s largest platform for learning and skilling content around the world,” Chatterjee said during a media roundtable with reporters.

“There are 60 million videos already in India that are focused on learning and skilling content,” he added.

In the beta phase, YouTube will initially focus on three broad areas: digital skills (such as coding languages), professional and entrepreneurial skills (how to start a business, how to do an interview well), and personal passions (Photography). It intends to gradually expand these areas after soliciting feedback from both creators and viewers. Join Our Instagram Channel

Roshni Mukherjee, YouTube creator, LearnoHub, said, “I always wanted to build a free learning platform and make quality education affordable and accessible to all. YouTube as a platform enabled me to create quality educational content and make it accessible to millions. I am excited to expand my repertoire of learning content with Courses and bring even more immersive content for my community.”

This launch, however, comes at a time when demand for Indian edtech firms is slowing, as schools, colleges, and physical tuition centres reopen, driving students back to traditional offline learning modes.

Falling demand for online learning, combined with a lack of funding, forced many edtech companies to resort to aggressive cost-cutting initiatives such as mass layoffs, the closure of non-core verticals, and the shelving of expansion plans, among other initiatives.

Edtech companies, including some of the most well-funded unicorns, such as Byju’s, Unacademy, and Vedantu, have laid off nearly 10,000 employees since the start of 2022.




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