Editor's note: Eric Bellman, author of this article, original titleIndians Are So Crazy About Mobile Video, They Use YouTube Like Google。
India is witnessing an unprecedented mobile video storm, which has changed many technology companies'understanding of the development of the Internet.
The total length of time Indians watch videos on smartphones has increased by billions of hours annually over the past three years, since the charge for 4G traffic dropped to less than $2 a month. App Annie, an analyst that monitors and ranks apps, says that makes India the country with the largest YouTube audience in 2018.
According to a survey by Analysys Mason, a consulting firm, smartphone users in India now consume an average of 8.5G of download traffic per month through the mobile network (non-Wi-Fi), and can download about 40 hours of videos, more than in the United States, China and Japan.
Ritik Taank, a student in Delhi, said he missed playing cricket with friends. Nowadays, everyone stays at home and watches and shares funny videos on their mobile phones. Taank, 18, spends hours a day browsing music videos, funny short plays and game videos, as well as content posted by his favorite fashion and entertainment video bloggers. He also takes the bus to school to watch videos of math and nature lessons on YouTube. Usually, by evening, he had reached the daily traffic limit of 1G and had to switch to his mother's mobile phone.
To better understand the video crazy Indian netizens, YouTube, which has nearly 250 million live users in the country, sent staff to investigate Indian Internet habits.
Vignolo will send the information she collected to the headquarters to provide a reference for the company to redesign the APP and user interface. After a visit last year, Vignolo found that for many Indians, YouTube's APP is their first place to find medical advice and financial tips, travel strategies, and even religious learning.
In other words, YouTube has become Google-like.
It is not only the content that Indian users watch, but also the way they watch that drives companies to innovate. Telecom companies say that when the network is available, Indian users will download as much content as possible to their mobile phones. They will pay close attention to their daily, weekly and monthly traffic caps, and by the end of each day or month, they will squander all the traffic they buy.
In order to better serve these users, YouTube launched the Indian dialect sound search function. Users can download videos for later viewing. In order to shorten download time when the network connection is unstable, YouTube allows users to choose a lower picture quality, and redesigns the APP to reduce the memory occupied by the mobile phone to one tenth of the original. Most of these adjustments have been made for Indian users, but they have also been introduced to other countries.
In addition, YouTube is promoting a richer variety of multilingual content with a wider range of topics, making it easier for Indian Internet users to find what they want to see. Content for Indian users has also been launched. Nail designs for brides, mentors, and cram courses for the Indian Academy of Engineering Enrollment Examination are all popular new video categories.
The most watched channel on YouTube is the music and video channel T-Series in India. Behind it is one of India's oldest media companies. The company's content strategy can be summarized in five words: Bollywood Music. According to YouTube, the cumulative number of viewings on the T-Series channel has approached 60 billion, more than Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift combined.
India's digital advertising market is still small, with annual revenue of only about $2 billion (in the United States, the figure exceeds $100 billion). But according to KPMG's forecast, the annual revenue of India's digital advertising market is expected to exceed $6 billion in the next five years. At present, the main advertising platforms are Google and Facebook, but many international technology and media companies have also focused on India, hoping to make a big profit from the video explosion.
These include Netflix and Amazon Prime, two of India's top-ranked apps. The other is Hotstar, where users can watch many TV channels of 21st Century Fox. Viacom's video content can also be viewed on a mobile app called Voot. These platforms are producing more exclusive content for Indian audiences.