In Perspective By Milind Pathak: It’s all about mobile video

Published: September 1, 2015 12:22 AM

In today’s world, one's relationship with one's mobile has become sacrosanct; it is more interpersonal than any other relationship in one's life.

In today’s world, one’s relationship with one’s mobile has become sacrosanct; it is more interpersonal than any other relationship in one’s life. Today, being solo doesn’t mean being solitary; a mobile follows you everywhere and a life without a mobile cannot be imagined. It’s about constantly keeping in touch and exploring new content; and what can be more entertaining than video? With 95% of new internet users coming online via mobile, today it’s all about mobile video. Here are three case points for all marketers to bet their money on mobile video.

Mobile video opportunity in India

In addition to adding up to 4.7 million new mobile internet users every month, India watches 5 billion videos a month which is almost five times the population of India. Indian online users watch 30-40% of YouTube videos on their mobile phones while 56% of urban internet users and 60% of rural internet users watch videos on mobile daily.

Video constituted 36% (source: Cisco VNI) of all mobile data traffic in India in 2014 and it is estimated that video traffic on mobile in India will increase 24-fold by 2019. There are a number of factors behind this:
* Entry level smartphones will be available at a lower price point and will sport better video capability and larger screens;
* Videos are appearing in every social/news/advertisement feed, with instant plays that will automatically hold customer attention;
* 3G and 4G will aid in better browsing experience thereby increasing the consumer time spent on video;
* Improved technology for video compressions will aid  improved video experience even in 2G-2.5G networks.

The ‘anytime primetime, always connected’ model

Content will play a significant role in the mobile video adoption space. Gone are the days when you had to make an 8:30 pm appointment with your TV to watch your favourite daily soap. With mobile you can access content anytime and anywhere as per your need. With the vast pool of content available online, mobile has become an ‘on demand medium’ for the internet user in India.

While YouTube does garner a massive market share, many new players such as Hotstar have taken the mobile video market in India by storm. Hotstar saw 10 million downloads in the first month of its release; additionally, a Hotstar consumer is already spending 30 minutes (average) on the app everyday. Advent of such new players will create more arenas to explore around mobile video marketing.

Efficiency versus effectiveness

Brand managers and marketers will always fight the battle of efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency is about doing the right thing, however it’s not enough. What is needed is to go a step further and aim for effectiveness, i.e., doing the thing right. For mobile video to excel as a channel much more, sophisticated pricing models are needed that go beyond Click Through Rate (CTR) with mobile video ad models that add lifetime value like CPCV (Cost Per Completed View). I believe that the industry will be betting big on programmatic video ad spend to boost mobile video ROI (return on investment).

The author is COO of Madhouse

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