While 2014 was a big year as the mobile operators embraced video to fuel data adoption and mobile video viewing went mainstream, here are a few trends that we anticipate for 2015.
With the Experience Generation’s clear preference for the mobile platform and increasing smartphone adoption, mobile video adoption will continue to witness explosive growth.
The ‘Experience Generation’, the young, savvy, always connected individuals on the move, has increasing purchasing power and is hooked on their mobile devices. This segment is quite active in India and is fuelling the adoption of mobile video in unprecedented ways. For them, ‘mobile’ is the natural one-stop destination for all entertainment, communication and social networking needs. This ‘here and now’ generation would rather enjoy ‘on demand’ content at their fingertips than going through the chore of watching their favourite TV show at the same time, on the same day, each week.
The other key reason for mobile video growth is the rapid adoption of low cost smartphones. India is already the world’s third largest smart phone market after China and the United States. According to IDC, India was the fastest growing Asia Pacific smartphone market in Q3 of 2014. While the smartphone penetration is increasing fast, the time spent on these devices is also steadily growing. According to an Ericsson report released in 2014, an average Indian consumer spends over 3 hours a day on their smart phone. The time spent on smartphones will only rise further with the dominance of the Experience Generation.
With the Experience Generation’s willingness to pay for a premium experience and high quality content on mobile, the subscription model will gain momentum
The Experience Generation clearly doesn’t mind paying for quality content, high quality viewing experience if offered a payment method that’s simple and convenient. Vuclip’s subscriber base rose to 5 million in Q3 of 2014 from 3 million in the previous quarter. In our recent survey, over 60 per cent respondents preferred paying via their mobile carrier. As this data indicates, subscription for premium content and payment through mobile carriers willsee growing adoption.
Leading brands will factor mobile as a key platform into their brand advertising strategy and plan for the year with allocations to mobile channels that can create an immersive brand experience
Because marketers' prime target audience is often youth, they need to go where this audience is spending their time. This is why marketers have started to carefully select mobile channels that deliver on the expectations of a youth audience - amazing quality video content, a fantastic viewing experience and easy payment through carrier billing.
Additionally, compared to static and intrusive banner ads, mobile video ads are more potent in creating immersive brand experience. Individuals are most likely to respond to the combination of sight and sound- creating a high brand recall. Discerning markets will increase their spends on platforms that offer unbuffered viewing experience as seamless as watching TV.
Amazing content will be at the center of a booming mobile video economy
All the stakeholders will rally around building a thriving mobile video economy as each of them stands to gain from the growth of mobile video. But content providers in particular will get an opportunity to monetize their premium content on the most ‘personal’ and ‘popular’ platform and reach a vibrant community of fans. As innovative models such as the Airtel Re. 1 Entertainment Store take hold, consumers are going to see that it’s easier to pay a small amount for fantastic content with an unbuffered viewing experience. Easier than pirating content in fact. This is the spark that will make the entire ecosystem benefit as each component contributes value to the consumer experience.
In summary, the thriving mobile video economy will spur new innovative models that will offer premium content at an affordable price. Mobile video platforms that have successfully built the right foundation, such as a seamless buffer free video experience, a large premium content library and deep billing relationships with mobile operators, will have a significant competitive advantage and are poised to emerge as winners.
The author is Nickhil Jakatdar, Founder & CEO, Vuclip