Indian mobile content consumption to be driven by video-first strategy | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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As the 4G user base in India is projected to increase from 600 million in 2019 to almost 900 million by 2022, research from global management consulting firm Zinnov is predicting that moderated and personalised content will be key to driving the growth of content platforms in the country.
ZInnov IndianContentPlayers 3Oct2019
The Future of Internet Content Consumption in India – Frictionless Consumer Experience for Mobile-only India and Bharat report sampled a user base of over 500 smartphone users in the country, revealing the changing consumer preferences when it comes to accessing online content. The study analysed the changing content consumption patterns of Indian consumers, the rise of Indian content platform players, and the intersection of content and commerce as well as other evolving business models.

The key to the future was that with the 4G user base in India set to approach 900 million over the next three years across tier-1, -2, and -3 cities and with 5G set to make its entry in mid-2020, there would be a plethora of opportunities for content players. Specifically the survey revealed that 81% of tier-2 and 80% of tier-3 respondents chose mobile as the preferred platform for consuming online content. Further, as many as four-fifths of respondents acknowledged that they check their phones as soon as they wake up, providing a unique window of opportunity for content platforms to push relevant and targeted content in terms of news, videos, fitness content, etc. Just over a third (36%) of respondents preferred recommended content over searching for content on their own.

This said Zinnov highlighted that content moderation and personalisation would be a key online content preference going forward. This was particularly relevant considering that in India video-based content is becoming the most preferred content type, with more than 68% of respondents choosing it over text-based content. Zinnov noted the massive scale that platforms such as YouTube and TikTok have achieved in the last two years.

The analysis also noted that combined with the demand for video-first content, vernacularity has also surfaced as a key ask by the Indian consumer, with over 70% of consumers preferring content in regional language over Hindi and English. Zinnov remarked that the popularity of global apps such as Helo and local apps such as Glance, which is the fastest growing Indian content platform, stands testament to this shifting trend.

Another key finding was that both global and local content players in India were experimenting with different user strategies to enable a frictionless content experience, and that it was the Indian platforms leading the way. Indian platforms were registering daily average users (DAU) growth rates in the magnitude of 2X-5X, against 1.1X-2X average growth by their global counterparts. Indian content platforms were said to be leveraging global venture capital investments to diversify their offerings with the likes of original, video-first, vernacular content and an intersection of content and commerce, among others.

“In each new wave of content platforms in India, the time taken for the best in class platforms to reach a significant milestone of 30 million DAUs has been reducing by half,” said Praveen Bhadada, partner and global head – digital transformation at Zinnov. “Today, for content platforms to scale in India, it will be crucial to understand the winning imperatives of innovation and localisation. Strategic planning will be key for content platforms to evolve in tandem with mobile users’ changing preferences. Identifying the sweet spot between content quality and user scale, empowering personalisation through AI, creating an intersection of content and commerce, all while ensuring ‘frictionless content experience’ is what will determine the leader board in these content wars.”