YouTube will target Germany, Japan, Mexico, France and India with scripted series and other original programming in hopes of bolstering its paid subscription service.
The move puts YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc., into competition with Netflix and Amazon, both also investing in local language programming for online audiences.
Programming under consideration includes reality series, music documentaries, talk shows and scripted series, said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original programming. The programs would be in local languages and subtitled for other markets.
Some of the programming may be available on YouTube’s free service, running with advertising.
“We are targeting markets where we believe we have a tremendous upside in potential subscribers,” Daniels said.
YouTube has already explored South Korea with a reality show about a pop band, Big Bang, and has one show in India, a talk show in Hindi about cricket. Called “UnCricket,” the show has proved popular with the target audience.