These numbers are significantly higher than video consumption in developed nations (the US, the UK, Singapore and Australia), where television accounts for 61 per cent, computer 50 per cent, and smartphones 52 per cent of video viewing.
Also, the frequency of viewing television in India at 87 per cent is 15 per cent higher than that in the developed nations (72 per cent). Indians prefer the television medium to watch entertainment content with family and for live broadcasts.
Nearly 90 per cent of viewers who participated in the survey indicated that in addition to live broadcast, they preferred the television for long-form consumption such as films and videos with run time of 10 minutes or more. Only 33 per cent of smartphone users in India use the device to view such content.
Indians also showed a stronger habit of downloading video content versus streaming both on computers and on smartphones. In India, 37 per cent respondents said they download content on their computer versus 21 per cent in developed nations. In case of smartphones, too, the difference was significant with 24 per cent Indian downloading content on their devices against 13 per cent in developed nations. However, one-third of users in India revealed they delete the downloaded content from their smartphones within a day of downloading due to memory constraints on the devices.
Smartphones lead the way in terms short-format consumption with 85 per cent of viewers in India consuming it on their mobile devices, while 71 per cent consume it on their computers and only 40 per cent consume it via television.
The findings bear significance since the OTT space has seen a lot of action over the past few months, especially with Netlfix entering India. According to experts, the biggest challenge Netflix and other OTT players will face is tapping into mobile video consumption, which has been leading the digital video consumption in the country.
“The OTT explosion in India is happening primarily on the smaller mobile screens. Mobile network penetration is higher (and increasingly so) than broadband penetration. With telcos launching 4G services and broadband penetration increasing, the availability of price-rationalised infrastructure will happen in the foreseeable future,” says Gaurav Gandhi, chief operating officer at Viacom18 Digital Ventures. In this light, players such as Netflix and Indian platforms like Ronnie Screvwala’s Arre and Balaji’s Alt Digital can be the clutter breakers since all are focusing on long-form original content.
While Netflix’s library consists of international and Indian titles of shows and movies, Arre and Alt will focus on Indian content and context in their programming.
In developed nations, Wi-Fi is most often (51 per cent) used to access mobile internet, while in India 3G data is most used for this purpose (52 per cent). The report observes this is mainly because of less number of free Wi-Fi zones in the country compared to developed nations.
“Unlike developed nations where usage of Wi-Fi and mobile network for accessing mobile internet is similar, Mobile network usage is significantly higher in India with two-third of population using it most often. This can be attributed to lower penetration of Wi-Fi and lesser number of free Wi-Fi zones in developing nations. 4G usage in India is negligible (3 per cent) while in developed nations (39 per cent) it is at par with Wi-Fi since better network connectivity and larger screen sizes are the key ingredients for an ideal video viewing consumption and developed nations have these in higher quantities in comparison to developing ones,” says the report.
Additionally, the report reveals audience in India is more demanding with seven features being considered ‘must have’ in an OTT player to drive trials, compared to four features in developed nations. Since India witnesses heavy downloads of content via torrents, people need higher value to use OTT players to consume videos. Propensity to purchase videos is significantly higher in developed nations (52 per cent) compared to India (23 per cent).