Report: 1 in 3 Indians watches online videos, usually in Hindi

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Who are the new Indian online video viewers? According to Google, they’re 15-34 year-olds (73 per cent) who Google videos whenever they wish to learn something. The search giant revealed these details in a report titled the Indian online video viewer based on viewership patterns and behaviour on its video-streaming platform, YouTube.

The report highlights prominent usage bands for the platform’s video content, including average watch time (67 minutes), language preferences (Hindi) and the reasons behind video time, alongside other prominent insights. With 245 million monthly active users, YouTube reaches 80 to 85 per cent of India’s internet population, making India one of the biggest consumers of YouTube content.

“These insights allow us to have a more in-depth look at the Indian video audience. They have confirmed some obvious inferences in terms of audience age, watch time and language patterns, which we’ve observed amid our video audience too”, said Shakir Ebrahim, the founder of Bisbo India.

As a sign of the turbulent times, Google says 55 per cent online users accessed the internet as a way to de-stress, followed by a need to learn. Only 11 per cent go online to connect with another person. 33 per cent or one in every three Indians are online to watch videos. The pattern about what they watch has shifted too, including explainers and other news and current affairs content, over live feeds and music.

BARC India had recently revealed how India’s online viewership had changed its consumption patterns during the coronavirus pandemic and the nation-wide lockdown. Their report highlighted how news and analysis trumped needs for entertainment from January 2020 to March 2020.

In terms of language, the preference is for Hindi and regional languages, over English. The report revealed that 54 per cent audience preferred Hindi videos, followed by content in English (16 per cent). The rest preferred to watch content in Telugu (7 per cent), Kannada (6 per cent), Tamil (5 per cent) and Bengali (3 per cent).

“Since Bisbo’s inception, we’ve seen a steady rise in viewership for our Hindi content – it currently accounts for half of our video views and watch time, against the viewership of our other five main channels. Our short videos, which clock between 6-10 minutes, provide learning and entertainment and so cater to 89 per cent of the online market”, Ebrahim added.

The Google report has laid down the pattern for upcoming Indian YouTubers too. “Inform, entertain and talk to the Indian audience in its language – that’s the way to the Indian online viewer’s eyeballs.”


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