India stands at the cusp of a digital revolution. With over 400 million internet users, India has eclipsed the USA as the second largest base of internet users in the world. In addition to reaching millions of households through the internet, India has also grown to be the second-largest base of smartphone users. If predictions prove accurate, India will have 702 million smartphone users by 2020. What these numbers boil down to is the fact that internet uptake will continue to grow and we can expect a majority of new users to be accessing the internet for the first time, especially from mobile devices.
This development is great news for video platforms. As an economy, we are finally waking up to understanding the true potential of video. The kind of attention videos are garnering today, from users and marketers alike, is truly inspiring. Today, brand managers who had focused on video previously are fine tuning their efforts, while others are steadily adopting and adapting to this buzzing trend.
Mobile is the new platform to focus on for brands
Statistics show that as many as 50 per cent of video views in aggregate are done via mobile. At the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference held in July, when Susan Wojcicki the CEO of YouTube was asked what the top three priorities in the coming year were, she quipped “Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!”
This doesn’t really come as a shocker when looking at the increasing smartphone penetration in the economy. As of today, Indians constitute the second largest smartphone user base, across the globe.
Keeping in mind the fact that new manufacturers are entering Indian markets and further reducing the costs of owning a smartphone, this trend is only going to increase. At the same time, brand managers and content creators must keep in mind shrinking screen sizes and ideally, come up with responsive videos on varying devices.
Video advertisements & storytelling shall continue to rise
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have already started providing video options to brand managers and advertisers. Come 2016, we sawGoogle feature videos in search engine result pages ever more prominently. In fact, while revenue from digital advertisements was $7.7 billion in 2015, that figure is slated to increase to $ 9.59 billion this year.
As the industry for video matures, digital content producers will have to evolve with changing needs. Videos, even if they are meant for selling or promotional purposes, should tell a story rather than simply being a commercial. For brands looking to evoke emotion and become a part of viewers’ offline conversations, they need to come up with a compelling story. Analyze the top-performing video campaigns thus far and you will always discover the backdrop of a unique story.
In order to succeed, brands will need native video advertisements with the intention of both educating and entertaining viewers. In order to do this, they can either deploy a team of content creators and invest in sourcing real stories of real people, or outsource that effort to a platform which can supply the content they need.
Get set for videos with call-to-actions
As online viewers mature, we will need to have more interactive videos which subtly contain calls to action as well. The regular video watching experience is passé and brand marketers are already exploring different layers of interactive video to deepen the experiences of viewers. With brands looking for deeper and more meaningful forms of engagement with viewers, one should expect more interactive videos springing up, evoking emotions and getting the user to take a particular action; for instance, subscribe, share, comment and like.
Internet to take over the traditional TV viewership
Cord Cutting, a trend referring to TV viewers canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions, is on the rise in the US and industry pundits expect the trend to make inroads in India as well. While traditional TV viewership restricts viewers, the OTT and VOD industries open up a range of choices.
OTT players such as Netflix have set a new trend and revolutionized TV viewership, and several OTT players in India are also strengthening their service offerings to change the behavior patterns of indigenous consumers. We are already seeing the shift in user behavior, where remotely accessing content gains momentum over owning the same.
Users are boycotting downloads and are sticking to watching videos on demand. With the introduction of Smart TV and an increased awareness amongst users, this trend is only going to continue to rise in the coming days.
In conclusion, the rise in internet and smartphone users is only the beginning of a new paradigm shift. Brands and content creators must be aware of this change and factor the same into their business models in order to remain relevant and contemporary for the present day, digitally evolved user.