How to Become a Youtuber in India

How to Become a Youtuber in India

In today’s digital age, YouTube stands as a testament to the power of video content, giving a voice to millions and building bridges across geographies.

Its exponential growth in India is a testament to the platform’s universal appeal and the country’s insatiable appetite for digital content.

From the busy streets of Mumbai to the tranquil landscapes of Kerala, Indians from diverse backgrounds are taking to YouTube to share their stories, knowledge, and passions.

But with a vast and varied audience and a mix of global and local competitors, how does one carve out a unique space in this bustling digital bazaar?

Becoming a successful YouTuber in India isn’t just about having a camera and an idea; it’s a blend of understanding cultural nuances, being technologically adept, and most importantly, being authentic.

In this guide, we’ll embark on a comprehensive journey, covering every step to establish oneself as a YouTuber in India.

From understanding the unique dynamics of the Indian audience to monetizing your content and dealing with challenges, this roadmap aims to provide aspiring content creators with the knowledge and tools they need to make their mark on the Indian YouTube landscape.

Whether you’re driven by passion, purpose, or profit, let’s delve deep into the world of YouTube in India and explore the myriad opportunities it presents.

Understanding the YouTube Landscape in India

a. Introduction to YouTube’s Popularity in India

Over the past decade, India has witnessed a digital revolution, with millions getting access to the internet for the first time.

Among the platforms that have surged in popularity, YouTube stands out prominently.

The accessibility of smartphones and affordable data plans, provided mainly by telecommunication giants like Reliance Jio, has meant that YouTube is now in the hands of people from all walks of life, from metropolitan cities to rural villages.

b. Notable Indian YouTube Success Stories

Several Indian YouTubers have gained international recognition, showcasing the vast potential of the platform. Examples include:

  • Bhuvan Bam of BB Ki Vines, who started with comedic skits and now has a diverse content portfolio.
  • T-Series, which transformed from a music label into one of the world’s most-subscribed YouTube channels.
  • Vidya Vox, who blends Western pop, electronic dance music, and Indian classical music to create catchy covers and originals.

These success stories highlight not just individual talent, but also the eclectic tastes of the Indian audience and the potential for creators to find their unique space.

c. Importance of Regional Languages and Localization

India is a diverse country, both culturally and linguistically. While English content is widely consumed, there’s an enormous appetite for regional content.

Channels producing content in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and other regional languages have seen massive growth.

This localization doesn’t just pertain to language but extends to content that resonates with local traditions, tastes, and issues.

For example, Village Cooking Channel showcases traditional cooking methods from Tamil Nadu’s villages, while channels like The Viral Fever (TVF) create web series that often reflect urban middle-class life in Hindi-speaking regions.

Defining Your Niche

a. Identifying Gaps in the Indian YouTube Market

The vastness of the YouTube platform, especially in a market as expansive as India, means that there are countless genres and sub-genres of content. However, not all niches are saturated.

To stand out, you need to identify gaps or underserved areas in the market. This could mean:

  • Exploring topics or genres that haven’t been widely covered.
  • Offering a unique perspective or approach to popular content areas.
  • Addressing specific regional or community interests that larger channels may overlook.

b. Matching Your Passion with Audience Demand

It’s essential to find a balance between what you love and what the audience wants.

Passion ensures that you remain dedicated and authentic, a quality viewers value immensely. Audience demand, on the other hand, ensures viewership and growth.

  • Passion-driven: Start by listing out topics you’re deeply passionate about or skilled in. This could range from hobbies, professional skills, or even personal experiences.
  • Demand-driven: Conduct market research using tools like YouTube’s search suggest feature, Google Trends, and keyword research tools. Analyze popular channels in potential niches to gauge viewership patterns.

c. Analyzing Competition Within Your Chosen Niche

Once you’ve zeroed in on potential niches, it’s time to study the competition:

  • Identify major players: Look at the top channels within your niche in terms of subscribers, views, and engagement.
  • Content analysis: Examine their most popular videos. Understand the kind of content they’re producing and identify patterns or gaps.
  • Engagement assessment: Go beyond views. Look at likes, dislikes, comments, and shares. This will give you insights into audience preferences and pain points.

By understanding the competition, you can determine how to differentiate your channel. Perhaps you can bring a fresh format, delve deeper into topics, or simply bring a more authentic or localized touch.

Getting Started: Technical Aspects

Entering the world of YouTube requires a basic understanding of the technicalities that go behind creating a video.

While content is king, the quality of production can significantly influence audience retention and engagement. Let’s break down the technical foundations for starting a YouTube channel in India.

a. Choosing the Right Equipment

While starting a YouTube channel doesn’t necessitate high-end equipment, investing in decent gear can make your content stand out.

Camera Options:

  • Smartphones: Modern smartphones offer excellent camera quality and can be perfect for beginners. They’re portable, multifunctional, and often good enough for vlogging or talking head videos.
  • DSLRs: They offer better video quality, lens choices, and manual settings for those who wish to get more professional results.
  • Mirrorless: A lighter option than DSLRs with similar quality. They are becoming increasingly popular among content creators for their compact size and video capabilities.
  • Audio Equipment:
  • Microphones: Good audio is crucial. Consider lavalier mics for interviews, shotgun mics for on-camera work, or condenser mics for voiceovers and podcast-style content.
  • Sound Editing Tools: Softwares like Audacity (free) or Adobe Audition offer a range of options to clean and enhance audio.
  • Editing Software:
  • Free Options: Programs like iMovie or Shotcut can cater to basic editing needs.
  • Premium Options: Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve are industry standards for more advanced editing.

b. Setting Up Your YouTube Channel

Your channel is your brand’s home on YouTube, so it’s essential to set it up professionally:

  • Profile: Use a clear profile picture, preferably a logo or a professional photo.
  • Banner: Create an eye-catching channel banner that reflects your brand and content.
  • Description: Write a concise and engaging channel description, incorporating relevant keywords to help users understand your niche.
  • Links: Add links to your social media profiles, websites, or any other relevant platforms.

Content Creation

Crafting compelling content is at the heart of any successful YouTube channel.

While equipment and technical know-how set the stage, it’s the content that truly connects with the audience.

Here’s a deep dive into the content creation process for budding YouTubers in India:

a. Scriptwriting and Content Planning

Before hitting the record button, a well-thought-out plan can save time and result in more coherent content:

  • Brainstorming: Regularly jot down content ideas. Tools like Trello or Evernote can help keep these organized.
  • Scriptwriting: Depending on the type of content (e.g., educational videos, vlogs), creating a rough script or outline ensures you cover all points and maintain a logical flow.
  • Storyboarding: For more complex videos, sketching out scenes can give a clearer visual direction.
  • Scheduling: Establishing a content calendar helps maintain consistency, an essential aspect of growing an audience on YouTube.

b. Filming Techniques and Best Practices

Quality filming not only improves professionalism but also enhances the viewer’s experience:

  • Framing & Composition: Understand basic rules like the Rule of Thirds to compose visually pleasing shots.
  • Lighting: Natural light works wonders, but as you advance, investing in softboxes or ring lights can make a significant difference.
  • Stabilization: Use tripods or gimbals to prevent shaky footage. Even simple techniques, like leaning against a wall, can help stabilize handheld shots.
  • B-roll: Capture additional footage to overlay during editing. It breaks the monotony and adds depth to the story.

c. Editing: Cutting, Transitions, and Adding Music

Editing can transform raw footage into a captivating story:

  • Cutting: Trim unnecessary parts, ensuring the video stays engaging. Avoid long pauses or repetitive sections.
  • Transitions: Use them sparingly. While they can be visually pleasing, overuse can be distracting.
  • Music: Background music can elevate a video, but always ensure it’s not overpowering. Use royalty-free music sources to avoid copyright issues.
  • Graphics & Overlays: Adding text, animations, or images can emphasize points and make the video more engaging.

d. Thumbnail Creation: Importance and Tools

A thumbnail acts as the first impression:

  • Relevance: Ensure the thumbnail accurately represents the video content.
  • Visibility: Use bold fonts and close-up images. Remember, many viewers will see the thumbnail on mobile devices.
  • Consistency: Maintaining a consistent thumbnail style can make your videos easily recognizable.
  • Tools: Software like Canva or Adobe Photoshop can help create professional-looking thumbnails.

Understanding the Indian Audience

India, with its vast and diverse population, offers a unique challenge and opportunity for content creators.

A single-dimensional approach won’t resonate with the broad tapestry of cultures, languages, and preferences present.

To effectively cater to the Indian audience, YouTubers must appreciate and address this diversity. Here’s how to navigate this landscape:

a. Recognizing Regional Diversities

India isn’t a monolithic entity; it’s a mosaic of various cultures, languages, and traditions.

  • Languages: Hindi might be widely spoken, but regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, and others have substantial audiences. Catering to regional languages can lead to a more dedicated viewer base.
  • Cultural Nuances: Understanding festivals, traditions, and regional histories can help in creating content that resonates at a deeper level. For instance, content around Durga Puja will be more relatable for a Bengali audience, while Pongal-related content might appeal to the Tamil community.

b. Catering to Varied Age Groups

The Indian YouTube audience spans various age groups, each with distinct preferences:

  • Gen Z: They lean towards trendy topics, challenges, pop culture references, and digital-native content.
  • Millennials: Lifestyle, travel, career advice, technology, and pop culture from the 90s and early 2000s might appeal more to this demographic.
  • Older Generations: They might appreciate content centered around nostalgia, traditional recipes, health tips, and spiritual topics.

Being in touch with national and regional trends ensures your content remains topical and engaging:

  • Film and Music Industry: Bollywood and regional film industries play a pivotal role in Indian pop culture. Leveraging trending songs, movies, or controversies can drive views.
  • Sports: From cricket to kabaddi, understanding the sporting pulse can be beneficial, especially during major tournaments.
  • Social and Political Issues: Tread carefully, but addressing significant social issues, or providing educational content on current events, can be valuable.

d. Feedback and Engagement

Directly engaging with your audience can provide crucial insights:

  • Comments Section: Often, viewers leave feedback, requests, or questions in the comments. Engaging with them not only fosters community but also offers insights into their preferences.
  • Polls and Q&A: Use YouTube’s community tab or other social media platforms to conduct polls or Q&A sessions to understand your audience’s pulse.

Monetization and Growth

Building a YouTube channel isn’t just about sharing content; for many, it’s a potential source of income and a full-time career.

As your channel grows, understanding the facets of monetization and sustainable growth becomes pivotal. Here’s how to approach this in the Indian context:

a. AdSense and YouTube Partner Program (YPP)

The primary method of earning for most YouTubers:

  • Requirements: As of my last update in 2021, you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months to be eligible.
  • Revenue Streams: Once part of YPP, you can earn from ads shown in your videos, channel memberships, YouTube Premium revenue, and Super Chat.
  • Ad Relevance: Ensure the ads shown are relevant to your audience for better engagement. In India, regional ads might yield better results for regional content.

b. Affiliate Marketing

Promoting products and earning a commission on sales:

  • Relevance is Key: Promote products that align with your content. For instance, a tech YouTuber can promote gadgets, while a beauty influencer might promote cosmetics.
  • Indian Affiliate Networks: Platforms like Amazon India, Flipkart, and many others have robust affiliate programs tailored for the Indian market.

c. Sponsored Content and Brand Collaborations

Direct partnerships with brands:

  • Authenticity: Choose brands and products that you genuinely believe in. The Indian audience values authenticity, and overtly promotional content can be off-putting.
  • Regulations: Always disclose sponsored content to your audience and adhere to any local advertising standards and guidelines.

d. Merchandising

Selling branded products:

  • Cultural Nuances: If designing merchandise, incorporate elements that resonate with the Indian audience, whether it’s popular catchphrases, regional motifs, or culturally relevant designs.
  • Distribution: Partner with local producers and distributors for cost-effective and timely delivery.

e. Growth Strategies

Monetization is closely tied to growth. As your channel expands, so do your earnings:

  • Collaborations: Collaborate with other Indian YouTubers to tap into their audience and vice versa.
  • Consistency: Regular uploads can lead to better audience retention and channel growth.
  • Engagement: Actively engage with your audience through comments, polls, and community posts. Indian viewers often form close bonds with creators they feel connected to.
  • SEO and Analytics: Use relevant keywords tailored to Indian audiences, and regularly review analytics to understand content performance.

Engaging with Your Audience

Engagement isn’t just about increasing your video views or subscriber count; it’s about fostering a genuine connection and community around your content.

Especially on a platform like YouTube, where audiences often form strong bonds with creators, maintaining and cultivating this relationship becomes crucial.

Here’s how to engage with your audience effectively:

a. Active Interaction in the Comments Section

  • Acknowledge Feedback: Regularly read and respond to comments, addressing both praise and constructive criticism.
  • Encourage Interaction: At the end of your videos, pose questions or ask for feedback to stimulate comments and discussions.
  • Manage Negativity: While it’s important to address concerns, avoid getting involved in heated arguments or responding to outright trolling. Remember, maintaining a positive environment is essential for community building.

b. Utilize the YouTube Community Tab

  • Updates and Announcements: Share behind-the-scenes content, channel updates, or upcoming video teasers to keep your audience in the loop.
  • Polls: Engage your subscribers by running polls to gather opinions on potential content ideas or general preferences.
  • Engaging Posts: Share relevant memes, pictures, or shoutouts to keep your channel active even between video uploads.

c. Live Streaming Sessions

  • Real-time Interaction: Live sessions allow direct, real-time communication with your audience. It can be an avenue for Q&A sessions, real-time reactions, or even casual chats.
  • Event-based Streams: Consider streaming during special occasions, milestones (e.g., hitting a certain number of subscribers), or events relevant to your niche.

d. Engage Beyond YouTube

  • Social Media Platforms: Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can help in engaging with your audience more frequently and diversely.
  • Personalized Responses: Engage in direct messaging when appropriate. Personal responses can make viewers feel special and more connected.
  • Collaborate with Fans: Occasionally, consider involving your audience in your content. For instance, feature fan art, react to user-generated content, or host viewer-involved challenges.

e. Host Giveaways and Contests

  • Audience Involvement: Hosting contests or giveaways can increase viewer participation. However, always ensure that the process is transparent and fair.
  • Relevance: Prizes or themes should be relevant to your channel’s niche and your audience’s interests.

f. Celebrate Milestones

  • Acknowledge Growth: Celebrate subscriber milestones, anniversaries, or any significant achievements of your channel with your audience. After all, these accomplishments are collective.
  • Special Content: Consider creating special content or events for these milestones. For instance, a “Draw My Life” video at a 1 million subscriber mark or a behind-the-scenes video on your channel’s journey.

The digital landscape, especially platforms like YouTube, is ever-evolving.

Adapting to these changes is not just about maintaining relevance but is also essential for growth and visibility. Here’s how to navigate and adapt to shifting algorithms and trends:

a. Stay Updated with YouTube’s Official Communications

  • Platform Updates: Regularly check YouTube’s official blog, Creator Academy, and Creator Insider channel. They often share valuable insights, updates, and changes related to the platform.
  • Feedback: YouTube occasionally seeks feedback from its creators. Participating in these can provide a clearer understanding and even influence future updates.

b. Recognize and Adapt to Algorithm Changes

  • Viewer Engagement: YouTube’s algorithm often prioritizes viewer engagement over sheer view count. Focus on creating content that encourages likes, comments, and shares.
  • Watch Time: Long gone are the days when click-bait titles could guarantee success. The algorithm now values watch time, so ensuring your content keeps viewers engaged throughout is crucial.
  • Consistency: Regular uploads can signal to the algorithm that your channel is active and consistent, possibly giving it a slight boost in recommendations.
  • Trending Tab: Keep an eye on YouTube’s trending tab to understand what’s currently popular.
  • Google Trends: This tool can provide insights into what topics are gaining traction. Filtering it for YouTube search can offer more platform-specific insights.
  • Balance: While it’s beneficial to tap into trends, always maintain a balance between trending and evergreen content.

d. Engage with the Creator Community

  • Collaborations: Partnering with fellow creators can offer insights into what strategies work for them and expose you to a broader audience.
  • Forums and Groups: Joining YouTube creator forums, Facebook groups, or Reddit communities can be a source of valuable advice, shared experiences, and updates.

e. Analyze Your Channel Analytics

  • YouTube Studio: Regularly check your analytics in YouTube Studio. Look for patterns in viewer behavior, watch times, and engagement metrics.
  • Feedback Loop: Use this data to refine your content strategy, optimize video upload times, or identify which content types are most popular among your audience.

f. Be Prepared to Pivot

  • Flexibility: Sometimes, despite best efforts, certain content might not perform as expected. Be ready to adapt, change directions, or experiment with new content types.
  • Continuous Learning: The digital space is one of continuous learning. Attend workshops, webinars, or online courses to stay updated and refine your skills.

Dealing with Challenges

Every YouTube journey, while filled with moments of triumph, is also riddled with challenges.

From handling criticism to facing burnout, navigating these obstacles is essential for a creator’s well-being and the channel’s longevity. Here’s how to tackle some common challenges faced by YouTubers:

a. Handling Criticism and Negative Comments

  • Differentiate: Understand the difference between constructive criticism and outright trolling or hate. The former can be valuable feedback, while the latter often doesn’t warrant attention.
  • Engage Thoughtfully: If addressing criticism, do so calmly and politely. Avoid getting embroiled in heated arguments.
  • Protect Your Mental Space: Use features like comment filters or moderation tools to limit exposure to persistent negativity.

b. Coping with Burnout

  • Recognize the Signs: Feeling continuously drained, disinterested, or stressed about content creation can be indicators of burnout.
  • Take Breaks: It’s okay to take a hiatus from uploading content to recharge mentally and creatively.
  • Set Boundaries: Allocate specific hours for content creation, editing, and engagement. Avoid making YouTube a 24/7 endeavor.

c. Overcoming Plateaus in Growth

  • Re-evaluate Content: If your channel isn’t growing, assess if the content remains relevant to your target audience or if it needs refreshing.
  • Engage with Your Community: Ask your viewers directly about the type of content they’d like to see.
  • Experiment: Try different content formats, video lengths, or collaboration styles to reinvigorate your channel.

d. Staying Motivated Amidst Competition

  • Your Unique Voice: Remember that each creator brings a unique perspective. Instead of comparing with others, focus on refining your unique voice and style.
  • Collaborate, Don’t Compete: Transform potential competitors into collaborators. Collaborative efforts can often benefit both channels involved.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: Every milestone, no matter how minor, is a step forward. Celebrate these achievements to keep the motivation alive.
  • Educate Yourself: Understand YouTube’s copyright policies to avoid unintentional infringements.
  • Use Royalty-Free Content: Opt for royalty-free music, videos, or images, or obtain proper licenses for any copyrighted content you use.
  • Address Claims Promptly: If you receive a copyright claim, address it promptly – either by disputing it (if you believe it’s incorrect) or by making the necessary amendments to your video.

f. Maintaining Privacy and Safety

  • Be Cautious with Personal Information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal details like home address, phone numbers, or any information that can compromise your safety.
  • Address Issues Proactively: If you feel threatened or harassed, report it to platform authorities and, if necessary, local law enforcement.
  • Stay Grounded: As you grow in popularity, you might attract both praise and unwarranted attention. Stay grounded, and prioritize your well-being above all else.

Expanding Beyond YouTube

While YouTube can be a fantastic platform for building a brand and audience, diversifying beyond it offers additional opportunities for growth, income, and impact.

Here’s how creators can branch out and why it’s beneficial:

a. Building a Personal Brand

  • Website/Blog: Create a personal website or blog where you can share content in written format, provide updates, and establish a centralized online presence.
  • Merchandise: Turn your catchphrases, designs, or themes into tangible products. This can be an additional revenue stream and a way for fans to connect more deeply with your brand.
  • Public Speaking/Workshops: Leverage your expertise to deliver talks, host workshops, or even teach online courses.

b. Diversifying Social Media Presence

  • Instagram and TikTok: Platforms like Instagram and TikTok cater to shorter, often more spontaneous content. They can reach different demographics and keep your audience engaged daily.
  • Podcasting: Convert your video content into audio format or explore new topics in-depth via podcasting.
  • Twitter and Facebook: Share updates, engage in real-time discussions, and tap into trending topics.

c. Collaborations and Networking

  • Guest Appearances: Appear as a guest on other YouTube channels, podcasts, or even traditional media shows.
  • Industry Events: Attend industry-related events, conventions, or seminars to network with peers and industry professionals.

d. Exploring Alternate Revenue Streams

  • Patreon and Fan Funding: Platforms like Patreon allow dedicated fans to support creators directly, often in exchange for exclusive content or perks.
  • Online Courses: If you have expertise in a particular domain, consider creating and selling online courses.
  • Consultation: Offer consultation services based on your niche, be it in content creation, a specific skill you’ve showcased, or industry knowledge.

e. Traditional Media Opportunities

  • TV and Radio: With the increasing blur between digital and traditional celebrities, opportunities might arise for TV appearances, radio shows, or interviews.
  • Writing: Consider penning articles, guest blogs, or even books related to your domain of expertise or YouTube journey.

f. Expanding Content Horizons

  • Documentary Making: Delve deeper into topics of interest by producing longer-form content like documentaries.
  • Short Films or Series: If storytelling is your strength, consider producing narrative content in the form of short films or series.

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Conclusion: Becoming a YouTuber in India

In the digital tapestry of the 21st century, YouTube stands out as a powerful medium where voices are heard, stories are shared, and impact is made.

Becoming a successful YouTuber, especially in a diverse and culturally rich landscape like India, requires more than just passion.

It demands an understanding of the audience, the tenacity to navigate challenges, the adaptability to stay relevant amidst changing algorithms, and the vision to expand beyond just one platform.

The journey, while promising great rewards, is interspersed with its set of hurdles.

Yet, with every video uploaded, connection made, and milestone achieved, creators weave their unique narrative into the vast digital realm.

For many, YouTube is not just about fame or financial gains; it’s about leaving an indelible mark, fostering communities, and making a difference.

India, with its mosaic of languages, cultures, and traditions, offers a fertile ground for content creation.

And for those willing to invest time, effort, and heart into understanding this milieu, the sky’s the limit.

As aspiring YouTubers embark on this journey, it’s essential to remember that success isn’t merely defined by metrics but by the genuine connections made, stories told, and lives touched.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Is it too late to start a YouTube channel in India?

No, it’s never too late. While the platform is competitive, there’s always room for fresh voices and perspectives. Success hinges on uniqueness, authenticity, and understanding the audience.

How long does it usually take to monetize a channel?

It varies. To qualify for YouTube’s Partner Program, you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. Some achieve this quickly; for others, it takes longer. Consistency and quality are key.

Do I need expensive equipment to start?

Not necessarily. Many successful YouTubers started with basic gear. What’s crucial is content quality and authenticity. As you grow, you can reinvest in better equipment.

How do I handle negative comments or criticism?

Differentiate between constructive feedback and trolls. Address valid criticism gracefully and consider using moderation tools or filters to limit exposure to negativity.

Is English the best language for a YouTube channel in India?

While English reaches a global audience, regional languages like Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, and others have massive viewership in India. Choose a language you’re comfortable with and that aligns with your target audience.

How often should I post new videos?

Consistency is essential, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, pick a schedule that maintains content quality and doesn’t lead to burnout.

Do collaborations really help in growing a channel?

Yes, collaborations can expose your content to a broader audience, offer fresh content perspectives, and provide networking opportunities.

What are other ways to earn apart from YouTube ads?

YouTubers can monetize through merchandise sales, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, Patreon or fan funding, and more. Expanding beyond YouTube offers even more revenue avenues.

How do I stay updated with YouTube’s changing algorithms?

Regularly check YouTube’s official channels, such as their blog, Creator Academy, and Creator Insider. Engaging with the creator community and forums can also provide insights.

Are there legal considerations I should be aware of as a YouTuber in India?

Yes, from respecting copyright laws to understanding advertising and endorsement regulations, it’s essential to be informed about the legal landscape. Consider seeking advice from professionals or institutions familiar with the digital space in India.

Meet Ankit Kumar holding a master's degree in Museology, Ankit Kumar brings a profound understanding of the cultural and historical significance of museums. With a passion for research and a keen interest in writing, they have not only excelled in guiding individuals in their career paths but also have a flair for creating insightful and engaging blogs on various aspects of museology as well as different professions.

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