Indians Spend More Time Watching Digital Content Than Global Average: Survey

Online content is gaining an edge over TV, with Indian viewers watching 8.5 hours of online content, far higher than the global average of 6.45 hours each week in 2018.


Indians are embracing digital content, spending more time watching videos online than on TV, and the time spent by them in front of digital devices is more than the global average, according to a new survey.

Indians spent an average of 8 hours 28 minutes each week watching online videos, while the global average was six hours and 45 minutes in 2018, a 58 percent increase from the 2016 figures, the “State of Online Video 2018” survey from Limelight Networks, a global digital content delivery platform, said.

The survey revealed that Indian viewers spend about 8 hours and 8 minutes each week in front of their television sets. “Through online channels, Indian viewers largely watch movies, followed by news, TV shows and sports, among others,” the survey said.

“Online media has provided unmatched flexibility and options to Indian consumers, who can now enjoy access to a myriad of media content from movies to sports, infotainment and TV series ’round-the-clock’ and ‘on-the-go’,” Jaheer Abbas, Senior Director, Southeast Asia and India, Limelight Networks, said. “Additionally, with decreasing data tariffs, we foresee that online video viewing will continue increasing in popularity in India.”

Among the countries surveyed, viewers in the Philippines spend the most time watching online content, at 8 hours and 46 minutes, followed closely by India. Germans spent the least time watching online videos, at 5 hours and two minutes.

The study surveyed 5,000 people in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Most Indian consumers have both cable/satellite TV connection and subscription to online video gateways, with 94 percent of Indian households having a cable TV connection, the highest in the world. Every four in 10 Indian respondents subscribe to two or more subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) services, the survey found. The average number of SVOD subscriptions in India was, however, 1.4.

While people in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom prefer computers as the primary viewing device, those in India, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States are inclined towards using smartphones. In the United States, the difference between smartphones, computers, and smart TVs isn’t much, the report said, adding that younger viewers have a clear preference for smartphones, while older people choose computers.

According to the study, age and gender preferences differ quite a bit. While people in the age group of 18-25 year prefer TV shows, the older generation prefers movies. Men liked watching movies while women watched more TV shows.

Binge-watching of online content is the most prevalent among younger millennials aged between 18 and 25 years, who spend almost three hours at a time, while those over 60 years old watch it for just over an hour. Women binge-watch online content longer than men, at an average of 2 hours 16 minutes, compared to just under two hours for men. More than 25 percent of men do not binge-watch online content.

Among the countries surveyed, on an average, viewers binge-watch for 2 hours and 7 minutes, and almost half of them watched for three hours or more hours at a stretch. While 14.6 percent Indians binge-watch for 3 to 5 hours continuously, 2 percent Indians said they have watched 7-10 hours video content at a stretch.

Video buffering was the main concern expressed by respondents in viewing online content. Seconds after a video starts buffering, nearly two-thirds of viewers stop watching.

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