Branded content industry size pegged at Rs 10,000 crore in India: Report

The report highlighted 4 key pillars of content marketing: Consumers, Creators, Technology and Platforms. These 4 pillars have a deep symbiotic relationship. They all feed into each other and take inspiration from one another. A slight change in one changes the whole content ecosystem

BuzzInContent Bureau
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Delhi: Branded content has ballooned to become an approximately Rs 10,000 crore industry in India, according to Mindshare’s latest report on content marketing. 

The report highlighted that content marketing hinges on 4 key pillars: Consumers, Creators, Technology and Platforms. 


Of the 4 key pillars, if there’s one that fuels content marketing the most, it is its consumers. There’s been a massive surge in not just the number of consumers but also the quantum of content they’re consuming. And while there are many different types of consumers consuming all kinds of content, there are two cohorts that stand out – Gen Z and the Bharat consumers. 

GenZs are India’s first truly digital natives – spending over 8 hours online, consuming more than 5 hours of content every day, listening to podcasts weekly. 97.9% of them follow influencers. It’s thus, no wonder that 76% of all social content they consume is creator-made.


“The idea that Gen Z’s attention span is shorter than a goldfish on a caffeine high? Nonsense! These are the same folks who can binge a 12-hour Squid Game marathon, or game for a solid 15 hours straight. It’s not about the length, but the strength of the content. Size doesn’t matter! It’s all about the epic storytelling and mind-bending experiences. And they’re hungry for the good stuff,” said Ashiish Patil Ex-CEO, MTV India & Youth Films, Talent, Digital Originals at Yash Raj Films.

Regional content consumption is on the rise. Bharat users or those who prefer consuming social media content in regional and Indic languages over English form 49% of the urban active internet users. Preference for Indic languages is higher in non-metros at 53% compared to metros at 39%. 93% of YouTube viewers prefer watching content in Indian languages, stated the report. 


A whopping 80% of Indians trust social media influencers for their buying decisions, mentioned the report.

Brands are not far behind when it comes to leveraging the creator’s equity. Their perception of influencers has drastically evolved from using them as drivers of reach to product educators, sources of reviews to trial inducers and discoverability agents to evangelists who build brand love.

“As the mystery of influencer marketing unfolds, I envision its future as a dynamic landscape fuelled by authenticity, creativity, and meaningful connections. To stay relevant, marketers must undergo a paradigm shift, viewing creators not merely as endorsers but as storytellers and architects shaping brand narratives. As we venture into the future, the success of influencer marketing lies in the synergy between technology, content, and authentic relationships forged on the ever-evolving stage of digital storytelling,” commented Ashwin Padmanabhan President - Investments, Trading & Partnerships at GroupM.


The shift in power dynamics of digital consumption from metros to Tier 2+ has created new categories of influencers- micro and nano influencers. Today, they are a massive 80%+ of the total influencer segment, with an engagement rate 2x of mega and celebrity influencers.

Influencers are moving up the value chain. Just as brands are evaluating their approach to marketing using influencers, influencers with large followings are realising their value and impact on the lives of their followers. 

Many are leveraging these insights to build their own businesses, based on real-time consumer behaviour, which creates an opportunity to use their earned brand equity to build newer revenue streams.

A very expected next step to trend setting and inspiration is where the creator economy is now headed- a sticky, loyal, ardent community, creating cheerleaders for the creators across beats.  Close to 45 influencer genres are a testament to that. Indians are connecting with these creator communities on account of shared hobbies, professions, skills and life stages that make connections even more relatable and validating. 


AI is like a secret ingredient revolutionising how we create and share content. AI now tailors content so precisely that it feels custom-made for each person. AI-driven tools are transforming content creation, making it faster and more dynamic, with stunning visuals and captivating videos that cater to diverse preferences. AI analyses data patterns to predict trends, helping marketers fine-tune content strategies for better audience engagement and conversion.

Tech enables brands to create engaging experiences that consumers can actively take part in, that resonate better with their consumers and help bring alive the brand’s identity and core values in a tangible way. 

 By leveraging customer insights, marketers can create highly personalized experiences that drive customer loyalty and advocacy.


The journey to developing great content doesn’t end there. The proof finally is in the pudding. Hence measuring if the content delivers on the objective becomes critical. Each channel might have a different set of metrics. It is critical to monitor and interpret how each of the metrics contributes to the overall goals.


The role of content has changed from just entertainment to information to putting brands into consumers' consideration set and encouraging trial, often hastening the process from awareness to trial. 

India currently has over 600 D2C brands with an estimated market size of over 66 bn U.S.D in 2023. These new-age brands are taking a content-first and influencer marketing approach since good quality content attracts a larger number of consumers to the brand’s assets (websites, social media handles) as they come looking for content that’s relevant for them. Brands can push products to these consumers enabling them to close the journey faster and reducing their cost of acquisition. 

As shopping is becoming a social affair often combining simple transactions with an engaging customer experience, video platforms are becoming the default go-to place for consumers to engage.

As shopping is becoming a social affair often combining simple transactions with an engaging customer experience, video platforms are becoming the default go-to place for consumers to engage.

While in the SEA, it has taken off successfully with markets like South Korea where Live + video is 80% of e-commerce, Live Commerce is still at an experimental stage in India. Though at a nascent stage (0.5% of total commerce sales), it is expected to grow tremendously to become a $4–5 Bn opportunity by 2025. 60-65% of Live commerce engagement comes from Tier II & III as it allows consumers to interact and solve their queries related to the products, or services.

OTT is boasting an impressive subscriber base of 122 million active users. With a subscriber base that rivals the viewership of multiple blockbuster releases, OTT platforms provide an ‘always-on’ channel for brands to maintain a continuous and intimate connection with their audiences.

Data indicates that audiences not only invest substantial time in OTT shows but also demonstrate prolonged attention spans. This positions it as an optimal medium for seamlessly introducing brands in a non-disruptive manner. “Made In Heaven”, “Inside Edge”, and “Koffee with Karan” stand out as prime examples of seamlessly integrated brand placements within content.

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