India is all geared to outset western markets as a smartphone hub as the country is now largely attributed as a billion opportunity with over one billion people under its population size as potential user base for the devices. Investments are making way into India on the premise that there are huge growth opportunities in a country with 239 million households with internet penetration. In conversation with Digital Market Asia, Meera Chopra, Vice President & Global Head of Advertising Sales at Vuclip discusses the mobile video opportunities in the billion market.
Unlike its western counterparts, the Indian market continues to cater to the needs of two distinct sets of audience. “One of them seeks to serve the completely traditional audience and create content for audience on television and also run it on mobile for incremental reach. Here mobile is used just as an extension and complements the existing media plan,” Ms Chopra explained.
“But the day brands realise that you can only connect with people via television and build a relationship on mobile is when they will start creating dedicated content for mobile. However, there are evolved brands which are investing in creating content while some of them are engaged in ‘in-film’ branding. Going forward, even mobile will have ads which will have brands blended into them,” Ms Chopra continued.
Content creation for mobile
Increase in smartphone penetration has led to increase in the proliferation of devices for different screen sizes operating on different bandwidths. “You are not delivering content to a single device but multiple OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), multiple screen sizes and multiple bandwidths. Delivery of the product or video on device has to be as seamless as watching video on a television. On mobile, the biggest challenge is the diversity of the bandwidth, and diversity of the screen sizes which are available,” said Ms Chopra.
“The problem is that on a low-end phone you are trying to deliver HD quality video but the phone does not have the capability,” she added.
Transmigration is going to happen from television to mobile as a lot of ‘catch-up’ viewing happens on mobile, in the entertainment space, pointed Ms Chopra. But going forward, the opportunity will be in creating content that is specifically made for mobile.
“From the publishers’ standpoint, there has to be an effort made to create content that is meant for a particular audience. Video on mobile is the only device where you can discern behaviour or intent towards it,” Ms Chopra added.
Even with 19 per cent internet penetration, India has the third largest population with internet penetration, according to Ms Chopra. However the infrastructure is not keeping up with the surge in the internet opportunities in the country, she added.
Vuclip can be attributed as one of the pioneers of the offline feature in India, according to Ms Chopra. “We know that bandwidth is a massive issue in India and we need to do something in order to give seamless experience to the audience and an option to download the video,” she acknowledged.
“In the technology space, Vuclip gives adaptive viewing technology where the video is optimised according to the screen size and the bandwidth available,” Ms Chopra added.
“Our success in emerging markets has been phenomenal in the mobile advertising space. In India, we have three base solutions – browser solution, applications, and users,” Ms Chopra explained.
Mobile web became successful in India because of the ‘virality’ it carried. Also, the low-end smartphones cannot accommodate more than four-five applications. In such a scenario, Vuclip gives the mobile web feature which does not necessitate the user to download the application, she continued.
The advent of mobile in the entertainment industry has pushed for personalisation of content and Vuclip has also acknowledged its due importance. “A feature on Vuclip called Vuclip Selector has a mood selector that serves video based on the mood of the consumer,” pointed Ms Chopra.
“For further personalisation, it also tracks the browsing history of the consumer to deliver content based on his viewing earlier on the platform,” she added.
Vuclip has employed its own analytic feed to track the impact of the content that is consumed on its platform. The analytic feed will fetch the frequency, the number of videos viewed by the users in a session and time spent on the session. Ms Chopra added that such features will help in bring the personalisation feature a notch higher.
“After pre-rolls, mid-rolls, post-rolls, and banners we have graduated to offering content-led options to clients where the particular features of the brands are highlighted across content publishers. We are just not a reach platform but also function as a content platform,” she added explaining the advertising leg of the platform.
Ms Chopra pointed, “Our content play is going to be very important.” In the current scenario, the biggest challenge for the industry is not acquisition but retention of consumer. Rather than looking at fresh consumers, content publishers are forced to track the returning users as entertainment viewing is not evolved but still a ‘snacking viewing’. “The differentiator for us is going to be the technology and offering in terms of video that we run on the site,” Ms Chopra concluded emphasising on the core values of the platform.