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New Delhi: Indians are increasingly watching more videos online. The average time spent by an Indian watching videos online has grown to 52 minutes per day in 2018 from a mere two minutes per day in 2012. It is expected to increase further to 67 minutes per day by 2019, according to a report by media agency Zenith published on Monday.

Titled Online Video Forecasts 2018, the report said globally consumers will spend an average of 67 minutes a day watching online videos this year, up from 56 minutes in 2017. The time spent watching videos online is expected to go up to 84 minutes a day for the average person by 2020. Interestingly, more time is spent watching online videos on mobiles (40 minutes in 2018) compared with non-mobile devices (26 minutes in 2018).

By 2020, China will have the keenest viewers, with the average person spending 105 minutes a day watching online video, followed by Russia (102 minutes) and the UK (101 minutes).

Global online video consumption, which is growing faster than overall media consumption, is expected to grow by an average of nine minutes a day each year to 2020.

The fourth edition of Zenith’s annual Online Video Forecasts report covers 59 key markets. Online video refers to all video content viewed over an internet connection, including broadcaster-owned platforms, over-the-top subscription services, video-sharing sites and videos viewed on social media.

Telecommunication networks’ investments in cheap data plans and Wi-Fi packages are one reason for the rise in online video consumption in India. Mukesh Ambani’s 4G mobile network Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has played an important part in democratizing data usage, also forcing other operators to cut down rates. The entry of low-cost Chinese smartphones like Lenovo, Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO into the market has also enabled more Indians to log on to the Internet. “It’s also about content. The entry of OTT platforms and the rise of YouTube stars have meant improved content for a previously under-served youth and millennial population," said Ali Hussein, chief operating officer at video streaming service Eros Now.

“There has also been a change in customer pattern where people are more comfortable with on-the-go and on-demand viewing."

The report estimates that online video ad spend will reach $43 billion by 2020. India’s online video ad spend grew from $7 million in 2012 to $286 million in 2018, while its mobile video ad spend grew from $3 million in 2012 to $161 million in 2018.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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