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With India’s 1.3 billion population under lockdown, Mindshare India and Vidooly have released a report that ascertains the impact on online content consumption trends over the first quarter of 2020.

The report has studied the video platforms of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram aiming to highlight the new ways people are looking to entertain themselves as well as be socially connected with their friends and families. The comprehensive study analyses the impact of the pandemic, Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown on the content consumption patterns observed across genres.

The report’s findings showcased a steep increase in content consumption as it reported the time spent by the average user to be over four hours per day as compared to previous ~1.5 hours on social media platforms.

The comparison of the online content consumption trends of Q4' 2019 and Q1'2020 details the high and low points showcasing the stickiness of the content on the video platforms with deep-dive analysis of monthly trends for each genre in Q1'2020.

As a primary video sharing platform, YouTube alone garnered over ~300 B views in Q1’2020, which is 13% more than Q4’2019 and 11% more than Q1’2019. The millennials remain the most active group on YouTube in India with 70% of viewership coming from the age group 18-34.

Entertainment, music and news were the top three genres based on content consumption contributing to over 70% of views in Q1’20. Over 90% of the views on YouTube were through mobile devices.

A section of the report, Impact of Covid-19 on social media, identifies the content consumption trends and analyses how creators/influencers, brands and government agencies are utilising social media platforms to communicate with their audience during this lockdown period.

YouTube has seen a 20.5% surge in its subscriber base in a span of 45 days of the lockdown. Covid-related content has seen a surge of 98% in terms of views and 199% in terms of engagement.

While informational content, as well as trivia, is specific to YouTube, awareness/prevention videos are thriving on Facebook.

In order to garner better engagement, brands are indulging into thorough marketing through Facebook and Instagram. The Government of India’s efforts in spreading awareness has gained mileage over YouTube.

M A Parthasarathy

M A Parthasarathy, CEO, Mindshare South Asia, commented, “In unprecedented times like these, it is important to keep a finger on the pulse of the consumer. Mindshare’s partnership with Vidooly enables us to leverage data and digital analytics to truly understand the shifts in consumer behaviour when it comes to content consumption on online media platforms. Insights from this study will help us partner our clients in crafting relevant, timely and effective content solutions.”

Subrat Kar

Subrat Kar, CEO, Co-Founder, Vidooly, said, "The worldwide lockdown has resulted in significant shifts in audience behaviour, specifically in terms of online content consumption. I believe in such a scenario retention rate and watch time of videos will be the key metrics to filter and identify the best performing channels. We at Vidooly have been closely monitoring these dynamics to ascertain content that will work best for brands, influencer and government. We can definitely say that the world stage has been set to witness the new normal."

Genre-specific observations from the report indicate a 120% spike in the number of uploads in the ‘education’ category post lockdown. The ‘music’ genre, majorly short-form content, has seen a 9% decline in consumption during the lockdown period, which indicates a shift in consumer behaviour towards long-form content. An increase in time at a consumer’s disposal is cited as the reason for this shift. Certain genres that have seen a significant increase in viewership are food and recipe (52%), gaming (23%), and information (42%).

Please read the full report here.