Pakistan, slowly becoming a major attraction for foreign investment, is now seeing YouTube running official advertisements throughout the country. These can be seen on some of the biggest television channels in the South Asian country, which interestingly was a tough market for YouTube Pakistan to penetrate not quite long ago.
After three years of being unable to be accessed within Pakistan, YouTube was finally freed in January of 2016. The ban came about as a result of a judicial decision after the Pakistani government requested YouTube to remove offensive and blasphemous content from the website. There was much tension between the two, but operations were allowed to resume when YouTube complied by launching a local version of the video sharing website.
These efforts were made by both sides of the table to figure out a solution as to how the website would be allowed to continue working in Pakistan, while at the same time remove any offensive content.
Not only was the content offensive for the Pakistani government, but also incited the general public to hold rallies and protests. It was ultimately decided that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) can directly request YouTube to remove any material under such a category to be removed.
“ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF PTA, THE GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN HAS ALLOWED ACCESS TO THE RECENTLY LAUNCHED COUNTRY VERSION OF YOUTUBE FOR INTERNET USERS IN PAKISTAN,” THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOM SAID.
Localizing Web Streaming
The advertisement, which is now the first of its kind from YouTube ever since it allowed Pakistani users to monetize from the website, is a good push at targeting the local people. In it, YouTube encourages the use of the offline mode feature to download videos now to watch later. This is more in a local content keeping in view how internet speed in Pakistan really isn’t at par with modern standards in other parts of the world.
Regardless, the attempt would allow Google’s product to also regain its lost market share to other websites such as DailyMotion – which can mostly be blamed on the three-year long ban.
For Pakistani users, it is important to keep in mind that videos downloaded through the offline mode option will be available for viewing up till 48 hours. After that, the application will clear the downloaded video. This also does not mean that the content will be saved on your phone memory as it only allows access and viewing from the YouTube application.
YouTube and the Pakistani Potential
With over 200 million people and currently, only 29 percent of the population are active internet users. Running such targeted advertisements could allow YouTube to reach out to a whole new market which really has not thought about getting online yet.
This is especially true since the AD running has also showed how Pakistani users can download their favorite dramas and television serials. Unlike the trend of Netflix and online streaming in other countries, the majority of Pakistanis are still stuck to traditional TV. Dependency on cable TV is still wide in Pakistan and the online streaming service is looking to challenge that.
How common is YouTube in your household now after seeing these advertisements? Can it really become a daily accessed application by a majority of Pakistani users? Let us know your thoughts below and why you think that way.