Digital India: Short Form Videos are the future

From Facebook and Instagram reels to Snapchat Spotlight and YouTube Shorts, it’s clear digital innovation is geared towards short format videos. In a country with burgeoning digital savviness, this trend seems to be on the cusp of a revolution. And research backs it.

According to a report titled , ‘Online Videos in India— The Long and Short of It’, released by management consulting firm, Bain & Company — short form video content is the future. The report adds that by 2025, India will have 650 million users who consume short-form videos (SFV).

At the recently concluded All About Music conference, Stephen Bryan, Global Head of Label Relations for YouTube, said, “Only last September, we started the roll-out of Shorts in India, and in less than a year since then, we’ve expanded globally across more than a hundred countries. As of July 2021, we have surpassed more than 15 billion views per day on Shorts.”

In the same vein, Shashank Shekhar Sr Director- Content Strategy & Operations at Moj, said, “Last year, the percentage of spend on influencer marketing within digital marketing was 2-3%, this year it is expected to grow at 3.5-4.5%.”

Indians, it seems, not just enjoy the consumption of the SFV format but also realise the potential for revenue generation.

Paras Sharma, Director & Head of Media Partnerships at Facebook echoed the sentiment at All About Music: “Reels are becoming the de facto discovery source for new music and new artistes but this is also where new trends in music are breaking out.” He added that Facebook alone accounts for six million new reels every day.

Shorts fired 

SFV span 15 seconds to two minutes, and long-form videos (LFV) extend beyond two minutes. Last year’s Indian government ban on Tik Tok has spawned several homegrown solutions to satisfy the country’s need for SFV. Take Moj, MX Taka Tak, Roposo, Josh, Zili, and many others. Then there’s the international competition vying for the same space: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and more. The time spent on these platforms has grown 3.5 times in user base and 12 times in total time spent. Approximately, 200 million Indians watched SFVs at least once in 2020, with daily active users spending up to 45 minutes a day, the report says. India has more than 50 million users who have created and posted at least one short video.

Bain & Company’s report says, ‘India’s total online video user base has scaled to more than 350 million people. That’s a 24% growth from 2018 to 2020 and twice as fast as China and Indonesia’. Active usage per individual has also spiked exponentially: daily time spent per active user has increased by 60% to 70% over 2018-20. Most of the time spent on smart devices is relegated to entertainment, specifically video consumption.

In spite of the skewed gender and geographical ratios involved in the India’s SFV base –largely men from Tier-II and III locales – the format gaining is traction in metros, transcending age, sex and socio-economic classes.

In a statement, Arpan Sheth, partner and global leader of Bain & Company’s Vector Solutions Group said that India’s digital community sports approximately 640 million Internet users with 550 million smartphone users. Smartphone users spend about 4.8 hours on their devices daily, of which approximately an entire hour is dedicated to video consumption. However, online video user penetration in India is nearly 60% of Internet users, compared with more than 90% in China. The report claims that by 2025, three in four Internet users – that is almost 600 million Indians, will consume SFV – with active users spending up to an hour per day.

Visit Bain & Company for more insights 

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