By 2025, 650 million Indians will watch short videos for one hour a day: Bain & Company Report

Online video consumption has exploded amid the coronavirus pandemic as “working from home” becomes the norm. 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 , revealed a new study.

According to a report titled “Online Videos In India – The Long And The Short Of It,” published by Bain & Company, video content is the present, but short video content is the future. The report suggests that by 2025 India will be home to 650 million users who consume short videos.

Interestingly, usage per active user has also increased significantly: The daily time spent per active user on online videos has simultaneously increased from 60% to 70% during the period 2018-2020. The majority of the time spent on smartphones is spent in entertainment, mostly watching videos, according to the report.

Arpan Sheth, partner and global leader of Bain & Company’s Vector Solutions group, said in a statement, “India has a large digital community, with around 640 million internet users and 550 million smartphone users. , which is growing fast 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.

Why are social media platforms adapting short videos?

Short videos (SFV) are between 15 seconds and 2 minutes, and long videos (LFV) are over 2 minutes. 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. For example, Instagram now has Reels, IGTV, and IG Live. YouTube recently introduced YouTube Shorts to India.

It should be noted that the SFV market has taken off over the past two years, increasing the number of users by 3.5 times and the total time spent by all users on SFV platforms 12 times.

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.

But .. Who is watching?

Historically, India’s short video user base has been mostly level 2 men and small town men, but this is changing rapidly, with the medium gaining ground in subways and among women as well.

Rapidly growing access with cheap and ubiquitous data, easy-to-use platforms and a high proportion of vernacular content will only help scale short videos in India. At least 200 million Indians watched SFV at least once in 2020, with daily active users spending up to 45 minutes a day on these platforms, according to the report. India has over 50 million users who have created and posted at least one short video.

The report notes that 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.

Indian SFV applications on the rise

The Indian SFV market is now occupied by a mix of specialized video applications made in India such as Moj, Josh, MX TakaTak, Roposo, Zili. These apps each have over 100 million downloads.

Content creators are active across multiple platforms and increasingly monetize their subscriber base through brand collaborations and commerce. All of this spawns a robust creator economy, a nurturing ecosystem of actors helping creators with content creation, monetization, funding, and business management.

Sriwatsan Krishnan, Private Equity and Alternative Investor Practice Leader and Partner of Bain & Company India, said, “Market leaders will need to focus on three areas to develop a large, engaged community of users and creators. First, they will need to invest heavily in technology to deliver a hyper-personalized experience to users, optimize the user interface (through faster loading times of apps and videos, etc.), and expand access. via vernacular interfaces. Winners will simultaneously focus on activating and locking creators on one side, and building scalable monetization engines on the other. Successful players will need access to large amounts of capital to achieve these goals and realize their potential. “

What about long duration videos (LFV)?

Long videos (LFV) are viewed by nearly 400 million users, almost twice as penetrated as SFV. The format has seen substantial growth, with users and usage increasing almost 1.5 times from 2018 to 2020.

The report reveals that active users today spend more than 2.5 hours per day on long content. Frequent closures imposed by COVID-19 and stay-at-home advisories during the pandemic have propelled those numbers further.

LFV is poised to grow from 600 to 650 million users in India by 2025. This growth will be driven by a steady increase in the Internet user base; access to cheaper and faster data; the introduction of more affordable plans, including the advent of freemium models; and a proliferation of content.