Before EdTech platforms were a thing in India, students and teachers alike often turned to YouTube for educational videos on various topics. Even with the advent of platforms like Byju’s and Unacademy, students and teachers still turn to the platform for educational content.

Having understood their opportunity and position in the Indian education system, Google has announced that YouTube will be taking more steps to make their educational videos more appealing to educators and students. YouTube will enter the EdTech space in India and compete against companies like Byju’s and Unacademy.

Google pointed to an Oxford Economics Study that found that YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed over $1.2 billion to the Indian GDP last year and supported over 750,000 full-time equivalent jobs. The educational segment on the platform, which hasn’t been organized or optimized for creators, is bound to add significantly to these figures.

At its annual India conference on Monday, Google unveiled Courses, a feature that will seek to bring a structured learning experience to YouTube. Under the new program, YouTube will create a vertical that would primarily cater to educators on the platform and even help them monetize their content.

YouTube’s Courses will cover a range of academic as well as vocational subjects. Students or end users must buy a course to watch the videos. However, they will also have the option to watch a limited number of videos from educators for free, but with ads.

Teachers who sign up will be able to publish and organize their videos into a series and provide reading materials and worksheets right through the app. They will also have complete independence of whether to charge for their course content or to offer them for free.

The feature is currently in beta and will roll out to users in India “soon” and will represent a “new monetization option for our creators,” the company said, adding that it has partnered with several local creators (LearnoHub, Speak English With Aishwarya and Telusko) to develop courses across academic and vocational subjects in various Indian languages.

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