Calling itself already the largest education platform globally, Youtube is taking on edtech giants like Byju’s and Unacademy and amping up the competition with the launch of ‘Courses’. At its annual Google for India event, YouTube lifted the veil of the new feature that will make it all the more attractive for educators and viewers alike.
Known as Courses, the subscription-based model will help ensure that creators on the platform can offer a better, more in-depth, and more immersive teaching experience to learners. Touted to be a new form of monetization on the platform, Courses will allow a select number of creators to offer multi-session video tutorials that are dedicated to one specific topic. The earlier days of Courses will see it limited to select creators and topics in a beta launch across the US, India and South Korea.
Some of these include local creators LearnoHub, Speak English With Aishwarya, and Telusko, who will be in charge of developing courses across academic and vocational subjects alike in a range of Indian languages. For now, the topics include digital skills such as coding, professional and entrepreneurial skills, and personal passions such as photography.
Learners will be able to learn a particular skill – that is, upskill themselves – and benefit from the supplementary notes that creators may choose to upload with the video tutorials.
These notes can be in the form of PDFs, PNGs, or the like, and is an improvement over the current system that allows creators to attach links to such supplementary materials in the description boxes of videos. Currently, it is in its beta phase, and will “soon” roll out to users in the country, along with those in South Korea and the US. While no official launch date has been revealed by YouTube, media reports suggest that the launch could happen as soon as the first half of next year.
“Viewers feel that YouTube can do more to create in-depth learning experiences. And creators also said they need more support to create such content,” said Ishan Chatterjee, Managing Director, YouTube India, at a media briefing ahead of the announcement.
Speaking of monetization, YouTube says that Courses will add to the eight different ways it currently offers to creators. They can choose to offer their courses for free – in which case, they will be supported by ads – or at a select price. Either way, it will let educators organize their video content and provide supplementary study materials right alongside it on the platform, which will help them to further promote their lessons and continue to cement YouTube’s dominance as an education platform.
“We are delighted that YouTube’s creative ecosystem continues to power India’s creator economy, supporting new jobs and opportunities across the length and breadth of the country. We have come a long way in this journey and remain committed to introducing new ways for creators to engage with their audiences, across languages, and grow their revenues,” said Ajay Vidyasagar, Director of Southeast Asia & Emerging Markets, YouTube.
Courses will thus accompany other features that were unveiled at the event. These are automatic dubbing on health-related videos with its Aloud feature, letting users hear them in their preferred language with auto-translation, and multi-lingual content by having videos offer multiple audio tracks across different languages.