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SVOD sees 82% growth in urban India

Smaller towns have driven SVOD growth.

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KOLKATA: Contrary to popular belief that Indians don’t pay for content, Kantar’s ICUBE 2019 report has found that SVOD has seen a significant surge of 82 per cent in India over the last one year. Moreover, smaller towns have driven growth. 

While total online video users count rose to 294 million in December 2019, online video usership in urban India grew by 25 per cent over the last one year compared to 11 per cent active internet user growth.  Notably, the growth of online video users in urban India is highest among 45 years and above age group. In addition to that, the proportion of this age group watching online video is higher among smaller cities than metros and large cities.

Along with the surge in the number of users, the engagement of users has also gone up as 65 per cent of online video watchers watch video online daily. On-demand video content watchers are on the rise in urban India. Thanks to affordable internet and a wide range of curated content, on-demand video has seen significant growth over the last year. 

While SVOD content has witnessed a significant surge over the last one year with users growing to the tune of 82 per cent in urban India over the last one year, AVOD has also marked growth in users by 29 per cent. The growth of social media video users has been slower compared to AVOD or SVOD growth rate. Although there is an increase in the number of social media video viewers by 18 per cent, the proportion of video users accessing social media video has dropped over the last year.

The growth of SVOD is driven by smaller towns (less than five lakh population). SVOD users have witnessed a significant demographic change over the last one year. 37 per cent of SVOD users now belong to small towns compared to 10 per cent of 2018. SVOD users are more mature as the majority of them are already using both social media and AVOD content. 99 per cent of the SVOD users watch either AVOD or social media videos. 

The report says that while SVOD has witnessed a huge surge in the last one year, AVOD will continue to be the most-watched video platform for foreseeable future due to its short format videos in comparison to long format videos of SVOD. It has also added that people watch AVOD content more frequently than SVOD content. But video watched on AVOD platforms is shorter than that of SVOD content. The majority of the AVOD content has a duration of lower than 10 minutes whereas the majority of the SVOD content has a duration of 15 minutes to up to one hour.

Music and movies have emerged as the two most-watched online video content in urban India. YouTube dominates on-demand video usage across genre, from music videos to news, except live sports, which is dominated by Disney+ Hotstar. 

Kantar Insights Division executive vice president  Biswapriya Bhattacharjee said, "The one line verdict on digital entertainment for the year is that of uninterrupted growth. There is good news, for both platforms and marketers.  The digital medium is way younger than its offline counter parts but we already see a very discerning audience base. The concept of specialisation is already in place and the platform allows the content creators to bring out their creative best on this platform.”

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