Indonesia's digital mavens expect real value from YouTube

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) ¿ Just a day after announcing its Indonesian domain, online video sharing website YouTube has achieved trending status on Twitter, with most tweets welcoming the local version of the website and its redesigned logo featuring the iconic wayang puppet and the National Monument (Monas).

Digital mavens, however, opine that it is not the fanfare surrounding the launch that ultimately matters, but the long term value that YouTube, through youtube.co.id, would bring to the domestic market through its presence here.

Donny Budhi Utomo, an Internet activist from Information and Communication Technology Watch, said that the presence of YouTube in Indonesia indicated that the company and their parent, Google, acknowledged Indonesia as a significant market.

However, he pointed out that YouTube should propose real value to the Indonesian market rather than only capitalizing on local content to drive additional traffic and hence attract more advertisements to the website.

"It would be good if their entry into Indonesia marked the first step toward better things, including setting up a server here," he said, adding that the local server would enhance the video viewing experience by enabling more rapid data traffic.

He said that YouTube should also conduct campaigns that would educate and train the local market on how to produce creative videos of good quality.

"Thus, they [YouTube] are here not only to make money, but to also help Indonesians become smarter," he said, adding that there was still a significant amount of "junk-quality" videos in circulation.

YouTube has become a springboard to fame for many people, including Bollywood fan and former police officer Norman Kamaru. The website itself ranks as the fifth most-viewed website in Indonesia, based on data from web information company, Alexa.

Adam M. Smith, the director and product management head of YouTube in the Asia Pacific region, said that YouTube would function as a platform for partners to develop digital strategies through the creation of channels or the placement of advertisements on the front page or as short clips run prior to a selected video.

The owner of the video page where the advertisements were shown would also benefit through larger cuts in advertisement revenue sharing.

"They [partners] publish a set of videos and we will sell advertising around it through which the revenue share goes back to them," he said.

Kusumo Martanto, CEO of online e-commerce website blibli.com, said that they planned to use their channel on YouTube not only to promote their services, but also to gather video reviews from those who used their service.

In addition to blibli.com, PT Unilever Indonesia and PT Telekomunikasi Seluler (Telkomsel) have decided to advertise on YouTube Indonesia.

Nanda Ivens, a digital marketing specialist, said that the advertising rates offered by YouTube were still steep. However, the online advertising model offered by YouTube allowed greater precision in targeting the specific audiences advertisements were intended for.

"Access to YouTube has been growing quite rapidly given that people can now access the website through their mobile devices," he said, adding that online advertising analysis made it easier for marketing professionals to measure the reach of these advertisements.

With such an edge, he said, several brands under his agency had expressed interest in advertising on YouTube, albeit in "big investments".

"It is going to be quite interesting to see YouTube in the next three to six months," he said.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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