Engagement with video in India is surprisingly higher on smartphones than televisions: Report

A new report points out that video content engagement with mobiles is 37 percent higher than that of television.

Kantar IMRB and Culture Machine have released a detailed report on the consumption of video content in India. The report tracks the consumption of video across platforms, content types and payment models in India, and is useful to video content publishers to fine tune their offering according to the demands of the market. The report is based on an AI intelligence platform that identifies formats, topics and genres that resonate with users, a propriety metering technology that measures smartphone behavior, as well as consumer surveys.

One of the key findings of the report was that mobile screens are more engaging than any other media such as radio, newspapers or television. Engagement with mobiles is 37 percent higher than that of television. Daily engagement with mobile screens is around the four hour mark. One of the major findings is the sharp increase in consumption of videos on smartphones. The surge is because of the aggressive roll out of 4G services in India, along with dropping data costs.

Image: Culture Machine Media Pvt. Ltd & Kantar IMRB.

Image: Culture Machine Media Pvt. Ltd & Kantar IMRB.

The consumption of data on smartphones is projected to see a five fold increase by 2021. Over the previous nine months, the time spent on entertainment content offered by smartphones has increased by an astounding 23 percent. By 2020, the digital video subscription market in India is expected to cross Rs 1,200 crore. 3 out of 10 users in India already access an OTT video platform. 80 percent of the OTT consumers would consider paying a premium to access exclusive content. Users in India spend three hours a week on average consuming video content, and ninety percent of this is through YouTube and Facebook.

One of the main emerging trends is the slowdown of video piracy and the emergence of OTT platforms for video content delivery. YouTube, Ditto, Voot, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Eros Now and Hotstar are some of the major players in this emerging market. Mobile video consumption is not just restricted to affluent urban consumers any more. More than 40 percent of the online video consumption originates from households in the C, D and E socio-economic categories. Sixty five percent of the viewers are from non metro towns.

The report also contains demographic information, and the type of content that is likely to work. Close to half the viewers on mobile are over the age of twenty five. Women are 30 percent more likely to be avid consumers of mobile video as compared to men. Top social video platforms have a wide range of content types, including entertainment, food, travel, technology and fashion. Music and entertainment are the most dominant categories, but education and news are the fastest growing.

Image: Culture Machine Media Pvt. Ltd & Kantar IMRB.

Image: Culture Machine Media Pvt. Ltd & Kantar IMRB.

Video content is intimately tied to the platform it is published on. For example, YouTube thrives around communities of creators and their fans, whereas shorter videos are popular on Facebook, which is often consumed without audio. The report has more granular information on what kind of content works on various platforms. The shorter videos are the most popular, with over 85 percent of the viewers preferring videos that are shorter than ten minutes in duration.

YouTube, leads the charge, with 1.5 times more reach than Facebook. At the same time, Facebook is poised to grow as the frequency of accessing Facebook is 2.5 times more than that of accessing YouTube. Facebook not only drives views, but also delivers engagement for the content. Video is not just a means of consumption on smartphones, it is also a way of expression. Consumers are evolving in the way they express their own opinions, and this is moving from text to images to videos.

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