YouTube launches localized site for Malaysia

Malaysia becomes third country in Southeast Asia to have localized domain, in a move that will also help mine local creative talents.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Online video sharing site YouTube has launched its Malaysian domain, its third in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and the Philippines, as Google continues its international rollout of localized sites.

In a press statement Thursday, Google said YouTube Malaysia offered a local interface for Malaysians to easily and quickly find videos most relevant to them, including expanded content from local and global partners. The site will create a new online space for the national community and give Malaysian creators the opportunity to increase their exposure, it added.

"We hope that establishing YouTube in Malaysia and working with local partners will result in even more export of the country's great talent and creative video," said Adam Smith, director of product management, YouTube Asia-Pacific, in the statement.

Malaysia is the 42nd country in the world to have a localized YouTube site, according to the company's blog post. Google has been rolling out localized sites worldwide since 2007.

When contacted, Zeffri Yusof, communications and public affairs manager at Google Malaysia, said the localized domains are meant to make YouTube's services available to the residents of a specific country, offering customized content and advertising for the in-country market.

Benefits of localized site, mining local talent
"A localized YouTube presents content that is popular in Malaysia or is uploaded from users in Malaysia. By localizing features such as promoted videos and featured videos, we encourage the development of communities interested in niche Malaysian content within the greater YouTube community," he said.

For a start, YouTube Malaysia has partnered with local media companies including Astro Malaysia and KRU Studios as well as work with advertisers including Malaysia Airlines, Maxis, Dutch Lady and Standard Chartered.

In addition, it also signed a licensing agreement allowing Malaysian musicians and composers represented by the Music Author's Copyright Protection (MACP) to earn revenue when advertisements are displayed against YouTube partner's videos. Under this agreement, Malaysian authors will now receive payments from their associations when rights holders distribute them.

Google previously launched YouTube Singapore in October last year, its second localized site in Southeast Asia after the Philippines. It also has other sites across Asia-Pacific including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Yusof declined to reveal if other Asian countries are next in line for localized domains, saying "we will announce [them] as we roll out".

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