YouTube has partnered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bring live coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games to India and 63 other countries and territories across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The IOC channel on YouTube will have ten high-definition live-streams of the London Games and one dedicated olympic news channel for the desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
To promote the partnership and encourage youth to step up and support the Indian contingent, YouTube India has launched an initiative called 'It’s Time You Cheer'. Part of this is a special theme song composed by Shantanu Moitra and Swanand Kirkere, titled 'Aap Agar Saath Hain, Toh Jeet Bhi Saath Hai'.
A 'YouTube Bus for Olympics' started its journey in Gurgaon on 26 July and will travel across nine key cities in Punjab and Haryana, including hometowns of the athletes from Punjab and Haryana. Passengers on the bus can watch the Games as they are streamed on YouTube and learn more about the history of Indian athletes at the Olympics.
We asked Nikhil Rungta, country head marketing, Google India, a few more questions about the initiative:
Regarding the YouTube bus, what were the reasons for choosing Punjab and Haryana? Will the bus also visit other states?
Since the event is only happening till 12 August, we had a very short window to cover more states. We picked Haryana and Punjab as many (Olympic) athletes are from these two states and our campaign is built around promoting the Indian Olympic squad in their home towns.
Coming to the live streaming, are there sponsors or advertisers who are on board or will come on board?
We’re not monetising the livestream - it’s the Olympic committee channel and we’re only streaming the event on YouTube.
Will there be India-focussed coverage in the live streams?
Yes, we will have 10 live feeds available on the channel - all the live feeds will be prioritised to show country-specific events based on the IP. So if you visit the channel from India - the feeds will show all events that have Indian participants - you can of course change the feed to watch other events.
What is the traffic that YouTube India expects from the live streaming?
We’re doing this for the first time so we can’t give you an estimate. But we’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past with live streaming of IPL and French Open, and we hope to get a great response for this initiative.
Has there been any comparable event live streamed in India?
IPL live streaming is probably the biggest event we have covered in sports - with almost two months of action brought live on YouTube.
Would there be similar initiatives (theme song or bus) in the other 63 countries?
The theme song and the bus is something we’re only doing in India, so it's a unique initiative for India. We’ve never done this before in any other country.
How will YouTube promote the 10 live streams on offline media?
The campaign will be focused on the digital platform with a combination of radio and theatres. So the theme song and some of the other videos will be played across the country in cinema halls.
Will there be engagement on-ground by YouTube at the Games in London?
We can’t comment on this.
Is there some indication of growth in viewership for live streaming in India?
Live streaming is a recent phenomenon on the web but we’ve been streaming IPL live on YouTube for three years and every year there is an increase in the viewership. This year the viewership grew by over 55 per cent.