India’s online video user base grew to over 350 million users: report


Online video consumption has grown exponentially in India in recent years, with an increase in users and usage bolstered by extended periods of stay at home, especially during the pandemic.

India’s online video user base has grown to over 350 million people, growing 24% between 2018 and 2020, almost twice as fast as markets such as China and Indonesia, according to a report titled “Online Videos in India: The Long and the Short of It”. , published by Bain & Company.

Usage per active user has also increased significantly, with the daily time spent per active user on online videos simultaneously increasing by 60-70% over the period 2018-2020. The majority of the time spent by users on smartphones is spent in entertainment, mainly watching videos.

“India has a large digital community, with around 640 million internet users and 550 million smartphone users, and is growing rapidly and spending more time online. Smartphone users spend around 4.8 hours on their devices per day, of which an average hour is spent consuming videos. Despite this rapid boom, there is huge room for growth: Online video user penetration in India accounts for nearly 60% of Internet users, compared to over 90% in China, ”said Arpan Sheth, partner and world leader in Bain & Company, a vector solutions group.

The report categorizes digital video entertainment into short videos (SFV), which last between 15 seconds and 2 minutes, and long videos (LFV), which are longer than two minutes.

Within the SFV and LFV segments, content can be further segregated based on creator, broken down into generated vs. professional users and how it is delivered (pre-recorded vs. live broadcast).

“The boundaries between these segments are increasingly blurred, as platforms expand their offerings to capture more of consumers’ time by meeting broader consumer needs and opportunities to improve adherence. “, adds the report.

LFV market

In terms of long-term video platforms, LFVs are viewed by 350 to 400 million users, which is almost twice the penetration of SFVs. The format has seen substantial growth, with users and usage increasing almost 1.5 times from 2018 to 2020. Active users today spend more than 2.5 hours per day on long content.

Growth has been driven by closures caused by the pandemic. LFV is poised to grow from 600 million to 650 million users in India by 2025. This is due to a steadily increasing internet user base and access to cheaper and cheaper data. faster thanks to the introduction of more affordable plans, including the advent of freemium. models and a proliferation of content, according to the report.

This will be further accelerated by a strong push on regional and vernacular content. According to the report, 85 percent of content viewed is not in English and 30 percent is in languages ​​other than English or Hindi.

“The LFV market is significantly more mature and crowded than the SFV market. Over 50 LFV platforms (also called “over-the-top” [OTT] platforms) exist in India. This crowded landscape includes four major archetypes of gamers vying for consumer time, including global giants (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + Hotstar), TV broadcast platforms (SonyLIV, ZEE5), Indian platforms specialized (MX Player, Eros Now), and aggregators (JioTV). Content drives differentiation and it is possible for multiple platforms to coexist stably, as seen in developed markets, ”the report says.

These players have taken a varied approach in terms of monetization models that reflect the platform’s consumer core in the revenue pyramid, such as subscription video on demand (SVOD), freemium, video on demand advertising. (AVOD) and transactional video on demand (TVOD).

Going forward, six trends will shape the LFV space, namely content explosion, value chain integration, hyper-personalization, increased monetization, gamification / social engagement and content moderation. , according to the report.

The platforms will seek to create more in-depth libraries with growing original and regional content. In terms of value chain integration, OTT platforms will look at upstream integration into content production, while “upstream integration by production houses may become more common,” he said. -he declares.

Content curation is also on the way to become more sophisticated. For example, almost 70% of YouTube viewing time worldwide is already generated by recommendations. The platforms will also put more emphasis on monetization as the industry matures. Players will explore social engagement to keep users hooked. They will look to invest in content protection tools to prevent piracy and moderate content to comply with regulations, the report adds.

SFV Market

The SFV market has taken off over the past two years in India, increasing the number of users by 3.5 times and the total time spent by all users on SFV platforms 12 times. Over 200 million Indians watched SFV at least once in 2020, with daily active users spending up to 45 minutes per day on these platforms.

“However, the user base for short videos in India has historically been mostly level 2 men and small towns, but this is changing rapidly, with the medium gaining ground in subways and among women,” the report says. report.

“China has led the way in the global SFV market with platforms such as TikTok over the past decade. India is three to four years behind China in terms of penetration and user utilization. However, rapidly growing access with cheap and ubiquitous data, easy-to-use platforms and a high proportion of vernacular content will make it easier to scale short videos in India, ”he added.

By 2025, three in four Internet users, or 600 to 650 million Indians, will consume short videos, with active users spending up to 55 to 60 minutes per day, according to the report. ByteDance’s TikTok was among the first to evolve its SFV platform in India, creating a massive base of creators. According to the report, a strong base of creators is essential to attracting users. India has over 50 million users who have created and posted at least one short video.

“Content creators are active across multiple platforms and increasingly monetize their subscriber base through brand collaborations and commerce. All of this results in a robust creator economy – an ecosystem of actors that enables creators to help creators with content creation, monetization, funding and business management, ”the report states,

Shyam Unnikrishnan, Partner and Leader in Consumer Products, Retail, Digital Strategy and Practices at Bain & Company in India, said, “The SFV ecosystem, which primarily consists of users, creators and advertisers, is essential to boost the economy of the platform. Brands are increasingly using short video platforms to reach their target customers. New monetization models, such as video commerce, live streaming, and in-app purchases, will become more and more common in the years to come. Gamers need to invest in the development of an advanced technological platform to connect users, creators and advertisers and deliver a seamless experience for all.

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