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50% Indian internet users upload video content – industry insiders disagree

by Asfaq Tapia

According to a Universal McCann report on social media, there are 17.8 million internet users in the age group of 16-54 in India as of March 2008. It also claims that 52.6% of these users upload content to websites such as YouTube. This means that 9.4 million Indian internet users are supposedly creating video content online. Is this really the case or are the findings grossly over-rated?

by Asfaq Tapia

According to a Universal McCann report on social media, there are 17.8 million internet users in the age group of 16-54 in India as of March 2008. It also claims that 52.6% of these users upload content to websites such as YouTube. This means that 9.4 million Indian internet users are supposedly creating video content online. Is this really the case or are the findings grossly over-rated?

According to a source inside Ibibo.com, the findings are quite untrue. He says that most of their usage patterns are similar to other Indian community websites where content consumers outnumber the content creators by a ratio of 15:85. On the other hand, Moksh Juneja, Social Media Catalyst, suggests that though the sample size may be skewed to urban population, the results are interesting. He argues that India has a large number of mobile handsets with the capability of recording videos and images. More and more websites are providing the feature of integrating mobile and internet. The user gets a platform and ready audience for original content and that is a sense of achievement.

“Close to 20% of active users upload content on minglebox”, says Kavita Iyer, CEO of minglebox. She goes on to add that being synonymous with college communities, minglebox sees a lot of user-generated content around activities in college campuses in different forms like college festival videos, performances by college bands videos on life in college hostels are shared in large numbers.

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi – Vice President Product Marketing, Rediff adds that in India very few people create original video or audio content. Users across all multimedia sites tend to capture and upload produced video content from either TV or movies. Typically, the ratio of produced content to original content is 60:40. iShare, a new service on Rediff, allows users to upload videos, ,music and images. According to him, “60% of all uploads are in the form of images, followed by videos (25%) and music (15%)”.

We found that most of the original content being created is very personal in nature, e.g. birthday parties, dance sequences, singing into webcam or a family outing. A handful of users in India are experimenting with original storylines and short story scripts. A large proportion of content creators do so by using existing raw content from movies and overlay songs, text and voice-overs to express their creativity.

Out of seven random internet users we queried, all had uploaded videos or photos on Orkut. Only three of them had uploaded videos on YouTube. However, all of them knew of YouTube and accessed it at least once a week. The total sample for the Universal McCann study was mentioned as 17,000 in 29 countries, which is on an average 500 per country. For a country like India, which is many times more diverse than the US, a sample of 500 to 1000 can’t be representative of the internet user population.

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