There is an emerging market and Google is considering entering the market with YouTube or Maps. Which would you choose?

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Answers (8)

I would ask a lot of clarifying questions as below:

  • Does emerging market mean countries with economic growth or more population or both?

There are a lot of countries like India, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, etc. that fit the description. Is there a particular country that Google wants to focus on?

  • Why is Google only choosing between the two – YT or Maps? Why not anyother product ?

Given the options, it seems Google is trying to offer a consumer focused service. Is it so?

  • What is the objective that Google is trying to fullfill ?

Lets say the objective is to extend Google services to the next billion users.

  • What is the user need that Google is trying to meet? Is there a user need to entertain him/her self e.g. like listening to music, watching videos or TV OR is there a need for discovering new places, restaurants, popular destinations, hotels, etc.?

Let’s assume that the interviewer says that there is a need for entertainment.

  • What user segments should Google focus on?

For countries like India, there is an increasing trend of mobile users than PC/Tablet users. So it might make sense to focus on the mobile users.

  • Are there any competitors that exists in the emerging market?

Facebook Videos, TikTok Videos, Amazon Prime,Twitch or anyother popular local media companies that produce content are some of the competitors for YT. Existence of competitors means higher customer acquisition costs.

  • How does the landscape look like in terms of local laws and policies ?

Let’s assume the market is ripe for Google services and the local governing bodies and users are eager to use and experience Google services.

  • Does Google have the support e.g. infra, partner support, content generators, brand marketing, etc.?

for example, even though there are a lot of mobile users, but they are not smart phone users, then it will be difficult to launch YT videos or TV or music. Is the internet connectivity in the emerging market stable and has minimum bandwith to support either of the YT services – music, video or TV? If not, then Google will need to pivot the service offering further.

Assume that the internet bandwith is not enough for videos or TV.

  • Lastly, what is the pricing that Google is trying to offer, will it be a freemium model or a premium model. For freemium model, Google will also require support for Ads.

Assume Google goes for the freemium model and has a market for Ads too.

To summarize, Google should go with YT music based on the above factors.

Clarifying Question Emerging market: India, Indonesia, Brazil…. Google’s goal: is committed to organizing world information, and make it accessible to all. Google’s business goal in entering the emerging mkt? What’s the metric we will be chasing? Do we have any other Google services such as Gmail, Search or Youtube

I will like to understand emerging mkt, then strength/weakness/opportunity of Youtube and Maps wrt to achieving our business goal of ….

I will to analyze the Emerging mkt on following parameters:

Emerging mkt criteria

  • Userbase
    • Youtube – Most internet  users in the emerging mkt
    • Google Map – Most internet  users
  • User need
  • Product readiness
    • YT: Local content, local creators, local ad
    • Map: Support for major mode of transport (2w, bus, ferry etc),
  • Competition
    • YT: Could be low or may have short form videos or fb penetration
    • Map: low
  • Market readiness
    • YT: Need good connectivity, Smartphone
    • Map: Can work on feature phone, low data usages
  • Business Goal
    • YT: Ad monetization
    • Map: We can list local businesses, promote ads
  • Metrics potential
    • YT: $, and users (will compute based on interviewer’s input of the emerging mkt)
    • Map: $ and users (will compute based on interviewer’s input of the emerging mkt)

I will go ahead with Map (assuming low monetisation opportunity and low market readiness for YT)


  1. Lite Map with offline support
  2. Map innovated to incorporate local transportation choices
  3. Map supported on feature phone

Prioritize 2 (most critical to make the Map universally useful), and then 1 (useful for ppl with low internet connectivity) and then 3 (if general trend is ppl upgrading from feature phone to smartphone, deprioritize)

GTM – News paper, tv advertising, tie up local transport authorities

Clarifying questions:

  • Is there a specific emerging market that we are focused on ?
    • Why I ask is so that we can look at the general behavior/infrastructure of that country
  • Is there a goal that we are looking at when we are choosing between the two products to prioritize? Ex. Monetization, User Engagement (usage, time spent, DAU, MAU), Growth


  • No restrictions /constraints
  • YT is a video sharing and streaming platform where users can upload, view and interact with content
  • Map is a navigation tool that allows users to navigate between locations and search in a geographical area.

Google’s mission: Organize the world’s information so that it is universally accessible and usable Goal entering this market: We want to grow the number of users using the application and thus increase product stickiness and usage within these markets. Evaluation Metrics: #downloads, #account creation/logins, DAU, MAU, Usage frequency, Churn Landscape of Emerging Markets

  • Most users are <30 years of age
  • Millions of first-time internet users coming onboard per day
  • Smartphones is the primary way that users are getting access to the internet today
  • There could be multiple users on a singular device

Users within this market

  • Kids – little access to technology and disposable income
  • Adolescence – #1 age group, becoming more tech-savvy, 50% + of smartphone owners are <30 years of age
  • Adults – becoming more tech savvy and reliant to carry out needs
  • Elderly

Youtube – SWOT YT Mission: Give everyone a voice and show them the world Strengths Brand Recognition Lots of content being created and available Job creator opportunities Weaknesses Amount of content available and quality for emerging markets may be lacking Opportunities Education – access to the internet is allowing people in emerging markets more access to information which is allowing them to learn. Live Streaming events Threats -Ecommerce space – most product searches start at amazon -Geo/social political tensions -Other social media platforms that is competing with us for user time

Maps – SWOT Strengths

  • Rich Data
  • Mapped most of the worlds countries
  • Visually based- can be easily understood by a user


  • Google maps brand recognition in comparison to Waze


  • Lots of data
  • Advertising market
  • Motorcycle/scooter navigation improvements


  • Boundary mapping – Ukraine vs Russia
  • Data Availability /Freshness
  • Self-driving cards removing the need for users to use maps to help direct themselves.
  • Not as many people in these markets own cars- the may rely on pubic transportation

Youtube REACH: There is a variety of content that is available across YT such as, ‘How to’s’, education, sports and news which makes it an entertainment source that could appeal to a variety of users IMPACT: This would be useful in emerging markets as users may not have access to information such as education, news etc. that could help them learn a new lanagugage, or other skills EFORT: We would need to better incentivize creators in this space to produce content for our emerging market. We would also need to ensure that we have language translation capabilities BUSINESS VALUE: This product is creating more of an attachment with the product, especially for creators who are investing their time and energy into their YT platform

Map REACH: Given that we are looking at emerging markets, the number of people who own a car is probably not as significant there as could be seen in more well developed areas. IMPACT: The service would not be as useful to people here because it is assumed that a lot of travel is done on foot or via public transportation.If there isnt anything available for navigation and to help discover new places, this could have a big impact esp for small businesses getting discovered. EFFORT In terms of effort, given that navigation is a lot of visual aid, I dont see a lot of UI lift, but I do see the need to ensure that the voice navigation accurately reflects the emerging market language(s). How do we get local businesses on maps? How do we account for roads that have poor infrastructure/signage? How do we address a situation where someone does not have an address? BUSINESS VALUE : This could be a good way for us to establish a business (APIs) that other businesses locally could use such as delivery, food , taxis, tours etc.

Summary I would launch Youtube first in the emerging market. This is because, given reach, impact effort and user needs, Youtube is the clear choice. Youtube has the ability to educate, communicate and provide jobs for users around the world. Something that maps do not help wit. Also, it is assumed that those in these emerging markets do not travel great distances leading to a reduced need to be able to locate areas.


  • Company goals? Adoption/growth

Let’s start by considering possible customer segments found in this market, what the product can offer to these customers, and finally which product is better positioned to make a more immediate impact.


  • These users wish to capitalize on introduction of new technology. They want to further develop their skills and bring their ideas to life. Having seen how the rest of the world has benefited from technology, they hope to start a business to find similar success within their community. Developing the skills necessary to launch a tech product can be a challenge due to spotty internet connections even if there is a demand for products that have been successful in other parts of the world, such as Uber and scooter rentals.


  • People owning decently-large plots of land and living outside of densely-populated cities. They work the fields, raise the livestock, and bring their finished products to the markets in the city a few times a week. Infrastructure like roads, electricity, and water treatment is not reliable. They make the most of what the land provides, but there is room for the farmers to improve their yields if infrastructure can improve and/or if they can learn about new techniques.


  • These shopkeepers might live in a second-floor apartment on a busy street in a densely-populated city with the shop that they own and operate on the ground floor with street access. Let’s say most what’s for sale is souvenirs and handmade goods or clothing. The shopkeepers have a lot of downtime with most customers being bargain-hunting tourists/travelers who just happen to wander in.

Now what can each product offer to these types of users?

YouTube can connect people from an emerging market with the rest of the world on a cultural and social level. YouTube has such an extensive amount of video content that anyone can find something that they will find valuable.

  1. The entrepreneurs will have access to video content that will expose them to tech product reviews, news of the latest tech developments, and coding tutorials which will allow them to be at the forefront of tech in their communities and give them the skills to implement their own ideas.
  2. Farmers may find YouTube videos about farming and gardening techniques to be valuable and for example may learn about raising new crops that could thrive but have yet to be introduced into the area.
  3. Shopkeepers may appreciate the entertainment aspect of YouTube and enjoy passing the time by watching viral videos or play music to add some atmosphere to the shop.

Some downsides of YouTube are that a steady internet connection is required along with a large amount of bandwidth, which is something that can’t be taken for granted in an emerging market and may stifle growth. If the community is very insulated from the rest of the world, there may be language barriers that make most content inaccessible, hindering early adoption. Prospective content creators probably have a higher barrier to entry in this market as well given the hardware, software, and knowledge required for recording, editing, and uploading high-quality videos.

Google Maps can offer users in an emerging market efficient routing from point A to point B, satellite photos, business reviews, and StreetView, among other features. For our customer segments specifically:

  1. Entrepreneurs see the value in literally putting their community on the map in the Maps product. They might implement the Maps API into their products to create their community’s version of Uber or some other product that would benefit from a Maps product that fully reflects the contours of their part of the world.
  2. Farmers may find value in Maps when needing to make a trip into the city and discovering that a road is closed or that traffic may cause them to be late to drop off their goods at the market.
  3. Shopkeepers will likely see value in listing their business in Maps. Many of their potential customers will naturally turn to Maps to find out the shop’s hours/address/phone number or maybe they’ll just discover the shop’s existence while browsing the map and decide to visit. StreetView can also be helpful, allowing visitors to see the actual storefront before visiting.

Some challenges of Maps are that high resolution satellite photos and StreetView may be not be quick to implement. Again, infrastructure may also be a challenge, but some of the basic mapping functionality can be downloaded for offline use.

All things considered, Google Maps seems to be the better option. When you look at the positives sides of each product, the sky is the limit in terms of potential benefits to the user and the community. Both products can be a life-changing tool for their users. However, it seems that one of the biggest concerns in an emerging market is the state of infrastructure. Cellular data and high speed internet may not be a given, so attempting to stream video on YouTube will often leave users with a sub-par experience. Maps, on the other hand, does not need to consume as much bandwidth to be useful. Finally, as a navigation aid and handheld representation of the Earth, Maps also speaks more to the basic needs of the modern person and should be made available as widely as possible.

After choosing: How would the Maps/YouTube experience change given low bandwidth considerations in this emerging market.

We can accommodate lower bandwidth by:

  1. having lower-res satellite photos
  2. downloading imagery only on demand
  3. prioritizing support for offline use of features:
    • allowing the user to save maps
    • saving business/landmark metadata
    • allowing the navigation/routing algorithm to run offline
    • etc.

Many of these features exist in Maps already, making it an even more attractive option for a near-term launch.

Where necessary, we should also prioritize support for mobile devices over desktop and Android support over iOS (i.e. designing for whatever devices are most predominantly used in the area).

Intensive features like Street View probably require a more nuanced rollout plan due to the logistics involved. We’d have to look into whether a fleet of vehicles can be rigged up with cameras, if people should be hired to walk the streets with cameras (and whether that amount of data can even be uploaded from that area), etc.


  • What does Entry mean —> Launch our service in the market
  • Why are we entering this market ? —> New market entry to capture new users
  • Do we need to enter the market with either product or can we decide we dont want enter the market or launch both products —> We have done research. We want to enter. We want to start with one product. Which one should it be?
  • Do we want to launch this on web or mobile —> Should be available on both.

Summarizing the goals

  • Enter a developing market to win new users
  • Focus for now is purely user adoption of our services. Revenue is not currently a consideration
  • We need to pick either Youtube or Maps as a product to launch. Only one

Decision factors There are several factors that we need to consider before decide what type of product would work best for the population of the market and deliver on our goals. Some of the key things I would want to dive deep into are

  • Demographics – View the demographics of the country. Age and affluence levels —> If population skews older than less likely to use computers. More likely to be on mobile phones
  • Internet penetration – How wide is the internet penetration in the market? What % of the population has access to the internet —> Low penetration means low volume of users
  • Internet quality – What is the speed of the internet in the country. Is it mainly 2G/3G speeds or do they have 4G+ —> Bandwidth plays a big role in deciding the product experience
  • Devices – What type of platforms dominate in the country. Do most people have cell phones but no computers. Does Android or IoS dominate?—> Most developing markets have skipped the personal computer phase and directly gone to smart phones.
  • Competition – Are there any local services that offer YT or Maps type of features that have high traction? —> If a well entrenched local player than we need to factor that into out plan
  • Language – What is the language in the country? Do we have enough content on Youtube to meet the country’s demand —> this is Huge for video content. We would need to setup content creation and build content before getting into the market to get the flywheel going. Thereafter users can create their own content and post it online
  • Infrastructure – How robust are are countries roads and highways. Are they named correctly. Do we have reliable mapping information on the market —> If we dont have mapping information then we need to setup the process of collecting and organizing the street information for maps to be successful
  • Transportation – Do people relay of mass transit or drive own cars. —> if Public transport is dominant mode in cities or inter-city travel then the case of maps weakens and vice-versa

Based on the responses to above questions we can decide which product to launch. The product we launch needs to be able to serve user needs and also be able to grow and scale. For example, if we are entering this country with YT and there is no local language content that YT adoption might be low unless we create a sizable chunk of content

Metrics for Success Overall (regardless of service)

  • MAU growth

If we launch YT then

  • Videos viewed
  • Videos uploaded

If Maps then

  • Number of trips completed

The way I approach this type of situation is by first stating my assumptions, then defining a business goal and a set of metrics to evaluate is we succeed at this goal, then I’ll establish a framework to evaluate each available option and its trade-offs to then make a decision.


  1. As emerging market, **I’**m considering a new geographical region which is growing in adoption of internet services and which Google has not entered yet with any product.
  2. There is internet service and 80% of population has access to it
  3. It doesn’t have any special regulations e.g. embargo, hard/strict privacy regulations, trade restrictions, etc.
  4. The emerging market speaks Spanish
  5. The emerging market has a government service and a few other private companies that have developed and published maps of the main cities/towns in the emerging market
  6. We do not have any restrictions on resources, and our launch timeline is in the next 6mos.
  7. YouTube is a video sharing applications where users can upload, watch, comment on, like and share content, and it is also an advertisement platform. For the purpose of this question I’m going to leave out the experience of advertisers and focus on launching YouTube to watch and share content.
  8. Maps is a navigation service which allows users to find places, consult transit routes, get directions and explore a geographical area. For the purpose of this question I’m going to assume we’ll launch maps with information on local places and transit routes.

Defining the business goal

Considering that Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful for everyone.

My business goal is to enter this new emerging market in order to make the world’s information accessible and useful to the habitants of this new market, as well as to collect and organize information coming from this new market for Google.

I would measure success with the following metrics:

  1. Signups: I want to signup as many new users as possible.
  2. Daily Active Users: I want users to be active at least once a day in the service we promote.
  3. Usefulness: I want users to feel that this service adds value to them. I will measure this with in app surveys or with proxy metrics such as usage frequency (average session duration, number of queries made, etc.)

Evaluation Framework

These are the dimensions I will consider when evaluating wether YouTube or Maps would be a better entry service for Google into a new emerging market:

Reach: How many people would use the service

Impact: How useful would the service be

Effort: How much effort would we need to put into the launch

Business Strategy: How beneficial this entry would be to Google? Would it open opportunities for other services?

Making a Decision (Evaluating Options)

Let’s evaluate Maps first, in terms of reach we can consider that by distributing as a mobile app, we could go after all the population with a smart-phone, the use cases for this service would be: people wanting to go from point a to point b (navigation), find new places nearby or in a given zone and find the best transit route to arrive places. If nothing like this exists in the market, the impact will be big, specially for small businesses who could now be literally on the map, and for users we would help them save time by always finding the most efficient route to go places. In terms of effort, we will need to invest a lot upfront, first to build/finish all available maps and make them available in the app, then a big force to incentivize owners of places to register to curate local places, and lastly also collaborate with local transit companies to add the routes and timetables to our database. In terms of business strategy, offering this service to business owners could be an entry point for us to also promote Google Ads, and other services that could help them grow their business. Also becoming the first map services in a region would help us establish as the service other apps could use, for example food delivery services, taxis services, tourism apps, etc.

Now, thinking about YouTube, in terms of reach the service could easily be made available to the same demographic as the maps service, however the use cases are more since people looking for entertainment, or looking to learn something or consult something will find content relevant to their need in this service, the addressable market grows exponentially when we add more use cases and user segments. In terms of impact, YouTube could be tremendous if we focus on learning use case, we could help a region get access to information they didn’t have before, from academic content to trade-skills such as how to make your own clothes or how to start your first website. We could bring so much more information to the region than maps could. In terms of effort, Launching YouTube would require minimum effort, perhaps mainly regulatory work to make global content available to these users, the leg of work would come from creating a community of local content producers and local advertisers, but this could be a second phase. In terms of business strategy, launching YouTube could open up the opportunity to bring other Google products to the region, such as Google Photos to share content, or Google Cloud Platform for developers learning to code via videos in YouTube.


I’d launch YouTube first, because its potential reach is larger than Maps if we consider the broader range of use cases it could serve. It also requires less effort to launch since we can focus first on making global content available to the users of the region and then on creating a community of local content producers. It is also a better strategic move to open the door for other Google Products either by adversing them or enabling users.