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Short video platforms rise with Bharat positioning

Short-form video user base is back to nearly 100 per cent of pre-TikTok ban

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KOLKATA: The star of user-generated content was on the rise in India due to TikTok, only to be abruptly curtailed when the government banned the Chinese-origin app. Now, nearly a year after TikTok’s exit, a number of homegrown short form video platforms have emerged to plug the gap. It seems that these apps have been able to capture the space well, as a report from RedSeer says they have retained 65-70 per cent of TikTok users.

"Indian short form apps have been able to retain over 65-70 per cent of TikTok users, adding 30-35 per cent new users in the past year, essentially back to 97 per cent of the TikTok user base," the report said.

The newly acquired “30-35 per cent users” have been reeled in through aggressive customer acquisition and marketing push by Indian short form video apps. The new users getting onboarded have a higher share of tier-2+ users driven by stronger focus of platforms on vernacular content and ‘Bharat’ positioning.

A finding of the report that may give TikTok pause is that nearly 75 per cent of current short-form video users are likely to stick with these domestic apps and are unlikely to switch back to Chinese apps even if the ban was lifted.

The short form industry has seen strong recovery with respect to both traffic and engagement. It has differentiated itself from other global social media and content through a strong ‘Bharat’ positioning and moving from the middle of the internet funnel towards the top.

Time spent on short-form video has reached 55 per cent of June 2020, which indicates that Indian platforms are still maturing and there is a strong market opportunity, the report added. At present, daily active users spend close to 30 minutes on average on short-video apps.

55 per cent users mention availability of regional vernacular content as the key reason for using those apps. 45 per cent users would like more professionally generated content. Live commerce and online education are prominent features in the user wish-list. However, 60 per cent users mention data privacy as the main challenge, while 50 per cent complained about streaming quality and unregulated content.

Users and influencers are driving each other’s growth on the platforms. While influencer availability is the most important decision making factor for more than half of the users, large user base helps influencers to decide to choose the platform.

“Moj has been a strong gainer across consumer and business metrics, as compared to the last quarter. The growth has been driven by regional language markets, especially in the southern states. On the other hand, Roposo has shown strong performance in tier-1 cities compared to the smaller ones. MX TakaTak leads in the net promoter score (NPS) in the metro cities. The platform has held challenges and hashtag events similar to TikTok, to gain market share,” the report detailed.

Josh has fared higher on the NPS primarily on the back of increased satisfaction (47 per cent) of tier-2 users. On the other hand, Moj has performed well in the vernacular region, leading to best satisfaction (51 per cent) in tier-2+, and second best (38 per cent) in tier-1 cities.

In metro and tier-1+ cities, MX TakaTak and Roposo are leading the pack. The former has secured the highest satisfaction (38 per cent) across the competition in metro cities and Roposo has done reasonably well in tier-1+ cities.

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