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Homegrown short-video apps, including MX Takatak, Moj, Roposo and Josh, have hit almost 97% of once dominant TikTok’s user count, within a year after the Chinese app was banned in India.

According to management consultancy, Redseer, Indian short-form apps have retained 65-70% of TikTok subscribers, by acquiring influencers, and have added another 30-35% of new users in the past year.

The report, Short-form video- The Rise of Made in India digital content, said new users on the short-form video apps are mostly from tier-2 towns, with 60% the total user base representing these regions.

On the back of aggressive marketing and focus on vernacular content, daily active users for the Indian short-form video industry are back to June 2020 levels, right before the TikTok ban. However, the time spent by users on short-form video has reached just 55% of June 2020 levels, Redseer said.

Currently, daily active users spend close to 30 minutes on an average on the short-video apps. “In less than one year post TikTok ban, Indian platforms have shown a strong V- shaped recovery, bouncing back to almost 100% of the pre-ban daily user base. This shows how platforms were able to design the product, execute their plans and market it aggressively in a very short period of time. This is a strong indicator of how the Indian digital ecosystem has matured in the last few years," said Ujjwal Chaudhry, associate partner, Redseer Consulting.

Chaudhry said that in spite of the growth, Indian players are yet to reach the global and cross sector benchmarks on engagement and retention, which is expected to further grow the monetization potential for the entire ecosystem.

Indian short-video apps are also looking to offer social commerce on their platforms, in a bid to monetize further, Redseer said.

According to the survey by the management consultancy, nearly 75% of current short-form video users are likely to stick with these domestic apps and are unlikely to switch back to Chinese apps even if the ban was lifted.

The popularity of short-form video platforms in tier-2 towns is fuelled by local language content, coupled with availability of influencers and recreational content genres such as comedy and dance.

For almost 50% of users ‘influencer availability’ continues to be the most important criterion before subscribing to a platform.

The Redseer-study has focused on major Indian short-form apps including Josh, Moj, MX Takatak and Roposo, which comparatively had more awareness among the user sets.

On platform performance, Dailyhunt’s Josh leads both on influencer and end-user activity, driven by strong performance in the Hindi belt and tier-2 cities, while Sharechat’s Moj has seen strong traction in other markets, especially in south India. Roposo showed strong performance in tier-1 towns, compared to its peers.

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