With India under lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Google-owned YouTube has seen a 20.5 per cent surge in subscribers’ base in the country, a new report said on Tuesday. As a primary video sharing platform, YouTube alone garnered over 300 billion views in the first quarter of this year – 13 per cent more than the fourth quarter of 2019 and 11 per cent more than Q1 2019, according to the report by Mindshare India and online video intelligence and analytics platform Vidooly. Also Read - Facebook Gaming app launched, to compete with Twitch and YouTube
The companies studied the video platforms of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. The 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. According to the study, COVID-related content has seen a surge of 98 per cent in terms of views and 19 per cent in terms of engagement. Also Read - YouTube India starts showing video view count in 'Lakh' and 'Crore'
In order to garner better engagement, brands are indulging into thorough marketing through Facebook and Instagram and the Indian government’s efforts in spreading awareness has gained mileage over YouTube, said the report. “The worldwide lockdown has resulted in significant shifts in audience behaviour, specifically in terms of online content consumption. In such a scenario, retention rate and watch time of videos will be the key metrics to filter and identify the best performing channels,” Subrat Kar, CEO, Co-founder Vidooly, said in a statement. Also Read - Netflix released 10 documentary films and series on YouTube for free
The report revealed that the millennials remain the most active group on YouTube in India, with 70 per cent of viewership coming from the age group 18-34. Over 90 per cent of the views on YouTube were through mobile devices. YouTube has also changed view count metrics on videos in India. It now displays view count numbering format as ‘Lakh’ and ‘Crore’, instead of Millions and Billions. A lot of users from India have reported the change, but it doesn’t seem to be showing for everyone yet. Also, there isn’t any official statement from the company as yet.