Ahmedabad Digital platforms are seen breaking geographical and class barriers for access to knowledge as more and more YouTube creators are targeting users in the hinterland and those from the non-English-speaking communities.

To part the know-how on stock market picks and learnings on financial discipline, content creators, are increasingly using digital platforms such as YouTube with a large userbase and ease of accessibility, i.e. with a tap on a smartphone.

Financial analyst Nitin Bhatia is one of the YouTubers (content creators on YouTube), specifically catering to the Hindi- speaking population in rural and semi-urban areas of India. Access to the internet and smartphones has enabled the masses to obtain guidance from professionals like Bhatia, free of cost!

Engagement experience

"The YouTube platform is language-and-literacy agnostic, which is a blessing in disguise. By providing a FREE video platform, YouTube helped me to reach my target audience," said Bhatia, who created the YouTube channel in 2016 and currently enjoys a subscriber base of close to 1 million. "Rather than sharing bookish knowledge, I only share my practical learnings through my YouTube channel which resonates well with my core audience," he tells about the engagement experience on YouTube.

In yet another example, Arvind Arora of 'A2 Motivation' channel has a total of 13.8 million subscribers, with most of the viewership from Hindi-speaking states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana and parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. He has over 12,000 motivational and personal development videos on his channel.

Affordable internet access

"The internet access has improved in Tiers 2, 3, and 4. We YouTube creators are becoming more popular as internet becomes more affordable, otherwise penetrating to small towns would have been impossible," said Arora. Arora is among several YouTube celebrities who participated virtually at the YouTube Fanfest 2022 held on June 30. Arora says it was a dream come true for him to be among the popular YouTube celebrities - mostly comedians, dancers and singers.

At 4.2 million subscribers, Pranjal Kamra has a different story of engagement on the digital platform. Aimed at simplifying finance and investing for the common man, Kamra's stock market concept channel targets 18-34 years (mostly male audience) with a geographical spread across metros and Tier 1 & 2 cities. "As a bootstrapped startup functioning in an ocean of well-funded ones, it’s only through Youtube that made it possible for us to compete with them and reach a wider audience base. Now, with the support of over 40 lakh people as our captive audience, anything we launch, breaks even in just one day. Finology’s Youtube community has played an important role in making us a Fintech Brand," he said.

Targeting rural India

The industry data suggests a latent potential for rural and semi-urban digital user base. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) data shows that 43 per cent or about 622 million of the Indian population is currently active internet users. But in rural India, the penetration is only 31 per cent i.e., 299 million. "Therefore, the channels focussing on rural and semi-urban areas will gain immensely once internet access is available to the rest of the 69% rural population," Bhatia said, expressing optimism around 5G rollout pushing up internet penetration, which will chart a new story for the digital content creators and consumers.