Internet penetration in the country is at an abysmal low of 13% but mobile content consumption is on the rise. The growth of smartphones has led to 70% of internet page views in India originating from mobile devices but the infrastructure is still in a sorry state. India continues to have the slowest average Internet speed among countries in the APAC region, however, users continue to access the internet through their mobile devices.
Activities include entertainment, mainly video viewing and social networking on mobile. However, most video viewing on mobile devices in India is driven by memory card transfer, rather than via internet streaming. One way to tackle this is offline video consumption.
With over 40% of YouTube traffic in India coming from mobile devices, the video sharing network saw an opportunity to cater to these mobile-first users. Towards the end of last year, YouTube began rolling out ‘YouTube Offline’ – a viewing feature to users of its YouTube Android and iOS app in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The feature lets users to temporarily store videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no internet connectivity. For videos where this feature is available, users can choose to add the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon located under the video frame.
Videos can be played back without an internet connection for 48 hours once taken offline. Popular YouTube content in India is available for users to view offline, including video content from T-Series, Saregama and Yashraj Films.
For the promotions of YouTube Offline, the network has launched a hilarious film on YouTube, that will also figure prominently on television.
Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas & Partners, the film takes a jibe at buffering, the most annoying thing one is forced to encounter, before being served their video. In the ad film, video viewers with absolutely no facial expression, are seen spinning their head, much like the buffering sign. Lyrics are a fun mixture of Hindi and English and make for a enjoyable watch: “Ruk ruk khaaye jhatke. Why does this thing atke?
YouTube is promoting its video on its own network as well as other social networks. The YouTube India Twitter handle has been sharing videos one can watch using the offline feature. There is the Brothers trailer video available on offline.
— YouTube India (@YouTubeIndia) June 10, 2015
— Google India (@googleindia) June 10, 2015
The headspin on ‘buffering’ is a great take on slow internet speeds in the country. Besides, YouTube Offline provides a good way for brands to find a wider audience for their video content.