India now has YouTube’s largest and fastest-growing audience due to cheap data plans
India has some of the cheapest 4G data plans in the world and that has prompted a quick surge in the adoption of smartphones. But apart from telecoms and smartphone makers, India is also a market full of opportunities for video service providers like YouTube. With 265 million active monthly users, India has now surpassed the U.S. to become YouTube’s largest audience.
Speaking at the YouTube Broadcast event in Mumbai, India, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that India is not only its biggest consumer market by volume but also the fastest growing. At this rate of growth, the number of YouTube users from India can easily cross the 500 million by 2020. She also revealed that the consumption of videos has increased by 85% since the last year and 60% of the traffic is from tier-2 and tire-3 towns and cities of India.
Wojcicki highlighted that the number of channels with over a million subscribers has crossed 1,200. Five years ago, this number was 15. A YouTube representative speaking with The Times of India said that 95% of the videos are watched in regional languages. “With low-cost data, we have seen a rise in consumption of content across verticals including music, tech, beauty, health, fitness, dance, and food,” they added. Furthermore, the most consumed categories of videos included e-learning and education. As per the official, educational content drove more than a billion views per day.
Aside from sharing these stats, the executive announced that YouTube Music hit 3 million downloads within a week following its launch in India mid-March. YouTube’s VP of product management, Adam Smith, said that since music and Bollywood are driving forces in India’s contemporary culture, it is a very vivid and “visual market” where the company would like to experiment with new features. He added that YouTube Music is “designed to be a paid experience“, and crucial features like background listening are out-of-bounds for free users. But what makes YouTube Music more exciting over competitors such as Spotify or JioSaavn is the vastness of its catalog. Besides originals, YouTube Music also hosts a variety of remixes, live performance, covers, and music videos.
At the Broadcast 2019 event, YouTube also revealed the winners to its Creative Excellence Awards as well as invited representatives from major brands like Bajaj and Pepsi to talk about the impact of YouTube ads on their sales.
Source: Hindu Business Line