Analysts predict India’s short form video market to have 650 million users by 2025

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Analysts predict India’s short form video market to have 650 million users by 2025
Moj is leading with the highest daily active users among the Indian SFV players.Moj
  • Latest data from Bain & Company predicts India’s short form video market to reach 650 million users by 2025.
  • Short form videos became popular last year with TikTok and in 2020 alone, more than 200 million Indians watched SFVs at least once.
  • At present, there are more than 200 million SFV users in India.
Short form videos are everywhere. From Instagram to YouTube and Facebook, the explosion is no secret and it’s very likely to grow even more in coming years. Popularised by TikTok, the short form videos gave birth to many similar platforms and even got added as a feature on almost every popular social media app, in fact, Instagram is on its way to becoming a video and entertainment platform with Reels - its version of short video - in focus.

The biggest players including Google and Facebook are banking on short form videos in India. The market is predicted to grow to 650 million users by 2025, according to a new report by Bain & Company.

In the report titled “India Online Videos - The Long and Short of It”, Bain & Company analysed the growth of short form videos in India, who are the key players and what does the future look like. Short form videos or SFV are categorised as videos with a duration of 15 seconds to 2 minutes.

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It’s safe to say that the pandemic has increased content consumption and SFV is one of the most successful byproducts of it. In India, the SFV user base grew 3.5 times and 12 times in total time spent by all users over the past two years. In 2020 alone, more than 200 million Indians watched SFVs at least once. And active users spent up to 45 minutes a day only on SFV platforms. There was a 60% increase in consumption of SFV during the lockdown period (April-June) as compared to January-March the same year. At present, there are more than 200 million SFV users in India.

India’s SFV user base has mostly been men (70%-75%) from tier 2 cities and smaller towns while women take up 25%-30%. In terms of age group, most of the users are below 25 years of age with 20%-25% between 25 and 35 years of age.

Analysts predict India’s short form video market to have 650 million users by 2025
Demographics of SFV users in India.Bain & Company

The key SFV players


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TikTok is attributed as the leader in SFV in India with 200 million users and 20 million content creators posting at least one video a month. The ban led to multiple clones and now there are more than 50 million users who have created and posted at least one video. The top five players in the market are Moj, MX TakaTak, Josh, Roposo and Zili, contributing 85% of the total user base in SFV.

Analysts predict India’s short form video market to have 650 million users by 2025
Growth of top five SFV players in India.Bain & Company

Moj is leading with the highest daily active users among the Indian SFV players. Bain also highlighted that other than having a large engaged user base these companies are also well-funded. ShareChat’s Moj for example has raised $1,203 million in funding and its key investors are China’s Tencent, Twitter, Tiger, Temasek and Snap. It has over 150 million downloads, 10-15 million creators, 17 minutes of average daily usage. Tencent is a key investor for MX TakaTak as well along with Times Group. This app has over 200 million downloads with 9-12 million creators and 17 average daily minutes.

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Dailyhunt’s Josh and Glance’s Roposo have over 150 million and 100 million downloads, respectively, and investors like Google, Microsoft and InMobi. An interesting player here is Xiaomi’s Zili that comes pre-installed on Xiaomi smartphones. It has over 100 million downloads.

Micro influencers and aspiring creators



The SFV platforms are giving rise to micro-influencers and aspiring creators coming from metros to tier 3 cities. This group of creators with followers between 10,000 and 100,000, take up 75% to 80% of the total creator base in SFV platforms. Creators are also not engaged in only one platform but have their presence on multiple platforms.

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Recently, Instagram announced its largest creator education and enablement programme in India. The programme will be free for all, and it will provide access to live masterclasses from experts in the field, the latest product updates and trends, and options to unlock monetary opportunities.

There are at least three SFV apps installed per user with one go-to app for most content. Over 100 videos are scrolled by a user and out of which 1 in 3 videos are watched in full. The average user spends 4-5 minutes per visit which is 4-5 visits a day. And 1 in 2 videos watched is either in Hindi or Tamil.

There’s still room for growth



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India is said to have the potential to beat the frontrunner China. With cheap internet data, easy-to-use platforms and vernacular language, the SFV market is only set to boost in India. Bain & Company predicts that by 2025 three in four internet users or 600 million to 650 million Indians will consume such videos with an average user spending 55 to 60 minutes per day on these platforms. The total time spent on short videos is also predicted to reach 80-90 billion hours from 12 billion hours.

Despite a booming market, Bain & Company says the SFV market in India is still in a nascent stage. Highlighting five major trends curated content and social-led engagement, monetisation, innovations to onboard the next wave of users, emergence of a robust creator ecosystem, and niche platforms within larger SFV ecosystems.

India is also expected to follow the footsteps of one of the top SFV markets - China or the US. China has two top SFV players - Douyin and Kuaishou, and multiple small platforms. The US on the other hand has its SFV market spread across multiple platforms like social media, long form video (YouTube) and TikTok (standalone SFV).

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