Highly competitive pricing for services in the Indian mobile market may be a headache for operators but it has apparently benefited online video sharing.
It seems that, with an estimated 265 million active monthly users, India has now passed the US to provide YouTube’s largest audience – much of it on mobile phones. Speaking at a recent YouTube Broadcast event in Mumbai, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that India is not only its biggest consumer market by volume but also the fastest growing. In fact at this rate of growth (consumption of videos has increased by 85 per cent in the last year), the number of YouTube users from India could pass 500 million as early as next year.
Wojcicki also told her audience that the number of channels with over a million subscribers has crossed 1,200, up from a mere 15 five years ago.
Alongside universally accessed topics like entertainment, food and fitness, e-learning and education are proving very popular. In addition most videos are watched in regional languages. More important for the country’s operators perhaps is Wojcicki’s news that, in the last year, YouTube’s consumption on mobile devices has increased to 85 per cent.
All of which probably has more than a little to do with the fact that India has some of the cheapest 4G data plans in the world – and the related surge in the adoption of smartphones. It will be interesting to see whether and how competitive pressures further affect pricing, but it’s certainly good news for YouTube and other video-sharing services.