Digital & Mobile, Interviews, Music Business, Videos — February 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Interview with YouTube


In today’s world of wireless internet connections and endless array of gadgets, who hasn’t really heard of the video-sharing website YouTube? Its recent launch of localized website versions in the Philippines and Singapore proves that YouTube is set out to conquer the South-East Asia region. So we sat down with Eshan Ponnadurai, Head of YouTube Marketing South-East Asia, and talked about settling in the region, the amount of potential in the pool of local artists, and their plans for the future.

Why did it take so long for YouTube to come and settle in this part of the world?

The launch of YouTube has coincided with the development of Google’s presence here in South-East Asia. We set up our regional office here in Singapore only five years ago and are in the process of setting up local offices around the region. It’s important for us to have a strong local presence in our markets to ensure we understand our users and are in position to deliver meaningful content on YouTube that engages them. So we’ve made sure that when we look to develop the presence of YouTube in a particular market, we are setup with strong local presence to support YouTube in a meaningful manner.

What are your expectations of this market?

We’re very excited about the potential in South-East Asia. First off, we’re already seeing amazing results both in terms of viewership and of the groundswell of local talent that is emerging on YouTube. We’re now seeing 60 hours of video uploaded every minute and 4 billion video views a day – South-East Asia contributes to that. People are also using their mobile phones to access YouTube, generat[ing] more than 600 million views a day on mobile phones and it’s becoming a particularly important way to access YouTube, especially in Asia. Considering the fact that in many regions, Internet penetration is less than 30% and broadband and smartphone penetration is even lower in many, then we are very confident of YouTube’s success in the region going forward.

What are your main challenges?

I wouldn’t say that there are specific challenges that exist for us, but rather big opportunities.
YouTube is a great destination for premium content, but at the same time, an ideal platform for up-and-coming talent. Going forward, our vision – and thus our challenge – is to establish YouTube as a platform that can nurture local talent form South-East Asia and provide them with the opportunity to amplify their message and creativity as we establish ourselves in this region. We are excited about the level of talent that exists here in South-East Asia, and the challenge for us is to identify the right avenues and vehicles to develop it further and create awareness about it globally.

What model do you propose?

YouTube supports the development of content produced by businesses and individuals to monetize their content and build global audiences. As our tag line suggests, we give everyone an opportunity to broadcast themselves.

After Philippines and Singapore, what are your next steps?

Our intention is to continue growing YouTube across the region, so we definitively have plans to launch YouTube in other markets. As for which markets and when, you will have to watch this space!


* Interview by Stephanie Winkler

Watch the cute “One Hour Per Second” Youtube video:






and check out Music Services Asia‘s YouTube channel!