YouTube is making more original shows for international markets like Japan, France, India, Germany, and Mexico, an executive told Reuters last Friday. The move comes as YouTube looks for more paying subscribers in less saturated markets for its YouTube Premium service (formally known as YouTube Red).
YouTube plans to make music documentaries, scripted shows, reality shows, and talk shows all produced in local languages, the platform’s global head of original programming Susanne Daniels said. Most will be premium subscriber content, while some will available to watch for free. Specific titles and details will be announced in coming weeks.
These international markets “have a tremendous upside in potential subscribers”
While YouTube has been making original shows since 2016 to compete with Netflix and Hulu, the new push is notable for its focus on international markets. Daniels explained YouTube’s reasoning was that those markets “have a tremendous upside in potential subscribers.”
YouTube has found receptive audiences by making content that’s specific to a community’s interest, targeting formats that work well in individual markets. For example, a Hindi-language talk show about cricket in India has performed well, and a K-pop-themed reality show focused on veteran band Big Bang found viewership within and outside of South Korea, the company says.