Video streaming is on the rise across the world with India leading the world in terms of time spent on streaming, according to the latest ‘State of Online Video 2020’ report commissioned by Limelight Networks, Inc.

According to the report, Indians outdo the global average in terms of viewing hours. On anaverage, Indians spent 10 hours 54 minutes weekly in viewing online video content on average as compared to the global average of 7 hours and 55 minutes. In comparison, Indians spent just over 8 hours in traditional broadcast viewing.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed consumer behaviour with respect to streaming video across all age groups,” the report said.

Lockdown effect

Stay-at-home orders following a lockdown have majorly driven streaming subscriptions.

As per the report, nearly 47 per cent of global respondents have subscribed to a new streaming service in the last six months, with Indians exceeding the global average at 70 per cent.

43 per cent of Indian participants have attributed subscriptions to spending more time at home due to Covid-19 as compared to 40 per cent globally). While 25 per cent of new subscriptions were based on the availability of new content.

Views for user-generated content have also surged.

“Watching user-generated content has doubled over the past year to an average of four hours per week,” the report said.

Globally, YouTube is the most preferred platform for watching user-generated content (65 per cent), followed by Facebook (16 per cent). It is the same for Indian users YouTube and Facebook usage standing at 72 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

"India supersedes the global average in all kinds of content viewing. Be it specialized content Disney + (3 hours), sports (2.7 hours), LIVE TV such as YouTube TV (4.3 hours), or broad content providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. (5.3 hours), Indian viewership is way higher than the global average by a significant margin in each case," the report said.

Price a deciding factor

As for what drives video subscriptions, price is one of the most important deciding factors for consumers, as per the report. 46 per cent of Indian viewers, part of 47 per cent of global average, said that they will cancel a streaming subscription due to high prices. 51 per cent of consumers in India admitted to sharing someone else’s account.

“The pandemic has accelerated the demand for high-quality streaming in India and across the globe,” said Ashwin Rao, Country Director, Limelight Networks India.

“People wish to be entertained, informed and communicate without latency issues. Our research indicates that video buffering challenges amount to discontentment, and service providers have an opportunity here to win customers over by improving the streaming and video quality. There is a need for reliable infrastructure to be set up, to match the increasing appetite for new and improved online experiences,” Rao added.

The report is based on responses from 5,000 consumers in France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the UK, and the US, ages 18 and older, who watch one hour or more of online video content each week.