This week Sameer Pitalwalla, Director of Interactive at the Walt Disney Company India, visits the VideoMind offices to discuss Indian cinema (hint: it's more than just Bollywood) and the rise of mobile video in India.
Sameer sees how online media is impacting Indian audiences everyday. Online video in India has exploded in recent years, and most of the viewers are watching online on mobile devices, not PCs. Unlike in the U.S. and Europe, where Android and iOS devices battle for supremacy, most Indians are logging on with JAVA and Symbian phones to watch online video. A lot of video is also watched on Blackberries. (Who knew?)
Roughly a third of the 3.5 billion monthly video views come from mobile devices in India. And (perhaps not surprisingly) YouTube has a strong foothold in the India market, accounting for half of all the online videos watched. Facebook is also a leading player, with roughly 700 million views per month.
Sameer also notes the transition from short- to long-form content -- and the huge potential that exists to tap a relatively small but rapidly growing online audience. There is strong demand for Hulu-type services in India, featuring premium streaming Indian films and shows, but effectively monetizing that content remains a challenge.
Finally, Sameer points out that the rise of mobile video in India represents a great opportunity for publishers to achieve higher RPMs via targeted and/or personalized ad delivery. The game is the same, then: give your viewers personalized content with highly targeted ads and you'll make more money and please consumers.
Thanks to Sameer for stopping by and sharing his insights with us. Not only is he knowledgeable about mobile video and interactive media, he's got a lot to teach the unititiated, like me, about Bollywood (and how to properly pronounce his last name...).