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Unlocking the next big opportunity: The rise of online content creators across rural India

With the pandemic severely denting conventional livelihoods, people are increasingly turning towards the content creation industry

The Indian content scene is abounding with thousands of online creators who are visibly sharing their skills, knowledge, and expertise with millions of people

By Kinner N Sacchdev

With the rise of digital technology and streaming platforms in recent years, content-creation has emerged in a tremendous way. It has become an intensely lucrative business avenue for both content creators and consumers alike. As per a report released by EY, the Indian content industry stood at a towering $19 billion valuation in 2020 and is expected to reach $30.6 billion by 2023, all thanks to the pan-India digital adoption and internet penetration. With the online content industry racing ahead at a breakneck speed, it is no wonder that a content streaming giant like Youtube anticipates annual revenue of $30 billion by this year-end.

Therefore, more and more people across the country are aiming to cash in on the promising prospect of content creation and then monetizing it online for the world. With the pandemic severely denting conventional livelihoods, people are increasingly turning towards the content creation industry. This has been further evident across rural and remote regions where countless people have managed to unlock novel income-churning opportunities by displaying and monetising their skills online before ready-to-consume audiences.

We are seeing a massive influx of farmers, and agriculturists, craftsmen, artisans, skilled teenagers, and lakhs of creators are now shifting to the online realm to create and market content while sharing it through a plethora of channels like YouTube and other social media platforms. The primary enabler of this content boom has been the extensive proliferation of internet and digital services. With a sizable population of the country enjoying access to cheap internet and smartphone technology that come equipped with cameras, content-friendly apps, editing tools, etc, content creation has never been this simple.

On top of it all, couple this content-churning frenzy with the enormous and timeless knowledge and experience present in the denizens of rural India. From village elders to the sturdy and hardworking youth to wizened matriarchs, there is something rare and valuable for everyone to share. The range of themes may vary from growing and cultivation techniques, organic farming, hydroponics, astrology to yoga, to and even fiercely guarded delicious recipes passed from generation to generation. The Indian content scene is abounding with thousands of online creators who are visibly sharing their skills, knowledge, and expertise with millions of people.  

The process goes a notch further than the general stream of content shared on social media platforms and YouTube. People who are endowed with a certain set of skills and proficiencies are seeking to monetize their knowledge through tailored online courses and thereby, capitalizing on this vastly untapped trend. In today’s time, online influencers have emerged as major opinion-shapers due to the enormous online trust they command amongst their legion of followers. Therefore, when these online influencers take to promoting any of their in-depth courses, their followers oblige willingly by purchasing the course. 

This has become a raging trend nowadays as numerous content creators are leveraging this opportunity to further monetize their expertise and knowhow. Take for instance, the youtube channel IamSrimantha; a channel that shares both knowledge and knack needed for becoming a stock trader. The channel caters primarily to the Kannada speaking audience. This YouTube channel boasts a substantial fan following all across the country with a vast majority of rural Kannada speaking folk aspiring to learn and start trading on their own even though Priyaram and his team are based out of Bangalore. With new videos surfacing on Youtube on a daily basis, the channel currently enjoys over 25,000 subscribers and over 15 million views. Truly, a remarkable feat!

 Presently, content creators are probably one of the most unique personae in the ever-evolving digital tribe. They can be anything; whether subject matter experts, artists, passionate storytellers, travelers, stunt performers, mindfulness practitioners, you name it. The ubiquitous digitalisation has further spawned newfound sensibilities in India’s rural population. They are genuinely interested in sharing their vast treasure troves of knowledge with everyone. Moreover, they also sport a keen desire to engage with the rest of the world while hoping that their experiences and learning can help others in a significant manner.

Therefore, new-age online course platforms are supplying a hitherto unimaginable opportunity to rural adepts by allowing them to captivate online audiences by sharing their knowledge skills. With platforms collaborating with content creators witnessing such a pivotal growth, creators across rural India will continue to gain support and assistance from every corner.

(The author is co-founder and CEO, Knorish. Views expressed are personal.)

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