YouTube eyes 500mn Indian users by 2020

At the annual event Brandcast 2019, YouTube said the platform has more than 265 million monthly active users in India (as per ComScore). Following the positive response for its first Original, the platform plans to release more ad-supported YouTube Originals in the coming year

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YouTube eyes 500mn Indian users by 2020

Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube at YouTube Brandcast

Riding on India’s internet growth, YouTube aims to hit the mark of 500 million Indian online video users by 2020. The platform now witnesses 40 million new online users every year.

Celebrating 11 years in India, Susan Wojcicki CEO of YouTube shared details at the platform’s annual event, Brandcast 2019, about the exponential growth of the online video ecosystem. She announced that the platform has more than 265 million monthly active users in India (as per ComScore).

Looking back five years, Wojcicki said that there were only two channels with million subscribers whereas now India has 1,200 million channels that have surpassed the million-subscriber mark. YouTuber Bhuvan Bam’s official channel BB Ki Vines was the first channel to surpass the 10-million mark in India.

Recently, YouTube also launched its music streaming platform YouTube Music, which garnered positive response as it registered 3million users in the first week. Following the increase in demand for original content on the OTT platform, YouTube also launched its first Original series Arrived with AR Rahman in 2018. The second Original, Priyanka Chopra’s If I Could Tell You One Thing, was launched in March 2019. Going forward, the platform plans to release more YouTube Originals that are ad-supported.

Wojcicki said that in the last year, YouTube’s consumption on mobile has risen to 85% with 60% of the watch time coming from outside the six largest metros in India. “India is now both our biggest audience and one of our fastest growing audiences in the world. YouTube today has become the first stop for users to consume content, whether they’re looking for entertainment or information. It is this incredible variety of content combined with the growing reach that makes YouTube a perfect platform for brands to drive personalised engagement,” she added.

Highlighting how YouTube can be the secret weapon in every Indian marketer’s arsenal, Mark Patterson, CEO, GroupM Asia Pacific, said that the user behaviour has shifted massively to mobile video and therein lies the opportunity for marketers. Patterson added, “With the growth of YouTube in India, it is an amazing time to be a marketer; as you can do full-funnel growth, creative storytelling and cross-channel planning. It is no wonder GroupM is the largest buyer of YouTube in this market.”

Talking about how YouTube has become an integral channel for Bajaj to drive business results, Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto, said, “At Bajaj, we changed the way we looked at media and spent time experimenting to find new buyers, engage with existing ones, and take our brand purpose forward. With YouTube becoming one of the critical touchpoints in the auto user’s path to purchase, it was our go-to platform. With the rich understanding of audience that YouTube provides, we were able to reach the audience effectively, thus releasing a lot of marketing time to do more.”

In today’s ecosystem, advertising plays a major role and one of the problems that most advertisers face is how to connect with people on mobile devices. Underscoring the importance of creating for digital, Ben Jones, Global Head, Unskippable Labs, Google, stated that over 70% of a campaign’s success is influenced by creativity.

Giving an example of Hewlett Packard, Louis Vuitton, Amazon Fashion and Candyman, Jones said, “The more time people spend with your brand the more powerful your brand becomes. It is important to Re: Think advertising production for versatility across media to introducing creative intelligence partnership aimed at enabling the creative teams at agencies. At Google, we have been working over the years to enable the advertising ecosystem to make more engaging brand messages and for that we have extensively engaged with all the stakeholders in the creative ecosystem. We have equipped the partners with the tools and ability to recreate for digital.”

At the event, Google also announced its ‘Re: Think Council’, with people who have come together to drive this new way of creative storytelling, across the board. Members of the council include Sonal Dabral, CCO, Ogilvy South East and South Asia; Rashi Goel, VP Consumer Communications, Nestle India; Sneha Iype, Co-Founder Nirvana Films and Sunder Muthuraman, CEO-APAC, Kantar.

YouTube also unveiled its Creative Excellence Award winners -- Ads that are shaping creative excellence on YouTube in India. The winners include Samsung for Bixby Voice Assistant, Hyundai for 20 years in India, Milton for Thermosteel Flasks, Dove for #LetsBreakTheRulesOfBeauty, Bajaj Avenger for Independence Day celebration and Apple for Apple's big news in 108 seconds.

The top ads from July 2018 till December 2018 were rated by a panel of 10 representatives from creative agencies, ad film direction and media planning agencies compiled by Kantar IMRB. The ads were evaluated against the parameters like attention, brand-ad fit, memorability, uniqueness, relevance, comprehension, human insights and overall likeability.

YouTube Susan Wojcicki Brandcast 2019