SHAREit, a hugely popular key content sharing platform, began its India operations in 2015. According to the latest App Annie report, SHAREit has emerged as the most downloaded tool app in India. “Currently, the app has 200 million monthly active users and nearly 400 million installed users in India,” says Karam Malhotra, CEO, SHAREit India, as he decodes the rapid growth and the future of content sharing platforms in India, in an interview with Sudhir Chowdhary. Excerpts:
How has the SHAREit journey been in India?
SHAREit began its India operations in 2015. The initial spurt of the growth came from the tier-II and tier-III markets. Gradually, we also started making inroads into the metros and the tier-I markets. Currently, the app has 200 million monthly active users in India, nearly 400 million installed users in India.
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Given that almost two-third of the population resides in tier II/III cities, almost 65-70% of the user base of SHAREit comes from these cities. The brand started in tier 2 cities, Illuru, Trichi, Vellore, and Vishakhapatnam. Further breaking it, nearly 35% users come from South, about 30% users come from West, 20-25% users come from North and 15% users come from East.
The requirements of our user base in tier II/ III cities have changed with time. As they have better internet connection now after the Jio advent, they are not only looking to transfer files, but also to discover and consume content on their handheld devices. From this analysis, we are now building SHAREit as a digital content ecosystem where users can discover, consume, and share content on one platform.
Can you share details about the existing partners and collaborations?
It was only last year that we went from a content sharing platform to a content discovery, consumption and sharing platform. In this short tenure, we have managed to collaborate with many bonafide production houses such as Viacom, Hungama, Alt Balaji, Times Music, etc. We have also had a tie-up with Hotstar for our endeavours in cricket.
SHAREit has seen substantial growth in tier 2 and tier 3 markets. What has facilitated this growth?
One of the salient features of the app is its ability to share the content even without internet connectivity. Since proper internet connectivity and content is not very accessible in tier II/III markets, and languages is one common barrier observed in these areas, SHAREit has emerged as a preferred app for entertainment through video content consumption. A look at the kind of content being consumed will also ascertain another reason for the meteorical growth of SHAREit. Localisation of content plays a very important part in its consumption. Only 15% users are consuming content in English, 30-35% users in Hindi, 18% Telugu, 17% Tamil, 15% Kannada, Malayalam, rest counts for Bhojpuri, Marathi etc.
Moreover, SHAREit has the sharing speed of 50 Mbps as compared to internet’s sharing speed of 1-2 Mbps. This makes SHAREit a go-to app for sharing. About 25% of app installs in India take place through SHAREit.
How does SHAREit plan to keep the growth going?
Since the app has a variety of content around entertainment available for sharing, we now plan to provide professional content. On observing the increased usage of entertainment and content consumption through gaming, we aim to make online games available on the app from across the globe. Moving ahead, we are planning to aggregate games from countries like Korea, China, US, Europe and other western countries.
What do Indians typically transfer, anything that stands out?
India as a market consumes a lot of tool apps. Indian users usually have file explorer apps, photo editors, photo maker, video maker, phone cleaning apps, etc. While our interface has changed and we have moved from being a content sharing platform to a content discovery, consumption and sharing platform, a fair share of usage still comes from sharing large videos, games, apps, etc. Again, regional content makes the most of the market. A common content sharing pattern observed is the transfer of heavy tool-based applications, large files like audios, videos etc. Nearly 50-60% users will have some entertainment app like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.