Reports > 2018 India Mobile Entertainment Content Consumption Report
2018 India Mobile Entertainment Content Consumption Report
author: Cheetah Lab Cheetah Lab & UC 2018-10-23

Recent developments for mobile screens have fundamentally impacted traditional media and entertainment within the Indian market, gradually changing viewing habits of people. With increasing popularity of smart devices and acceleration of network speeds, Indian users are gradually shifting from traditional media to digital media for content consumption.

The United States and China are dominants of the international entertainment industry and value the Indian market, so both countries tend to gain shares for their potential growth within the market. In the current entertainment market in India, companies from the United States mainly focus on production and dissemination of long videos, while companies from China hold an advantage on the news and short videos segment.

This report was jointly issued by Cheetah Lab and UC Media Lab from UCWeb, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group. With the exclusive big data from both parties, it looks to throw light on consumption habits of Indian mobile users, along with the status quo and trends of the mobile entertainment industry.

Note: The range of mobile entertainment for this report includes: Long videos, Short videos, Sports, News, and other products and contents excluding games.

Section 1


1. Entertainment is the largest category in consumption of mobile content, and the overall proportion of entertainment users has seen a rise.

According to the total rate of content consumption in UC News Feed Platform, entertainment is the largest category in mobile content consumption for Indian users, followed by Sports and Lifestyle.

According to Cheetah Data, Indian smartphone users spend 1.1 hours on an average on content related to entertainment every day.

In a range of categories for Apps in India, active penetration rate of Video Apps is second only to Tools and Communication categories, higher than Social Media Apps.

Relatively speaking, Indian users prefer to consume online entertainment products than users in China and in the United States.

As compared to previous year, penetration rate of Indian entertainment products among Indian smartphone users has increased, benefiting from the launch of Reliance Jio in 2016 and price competition of other network operators in India.

Price drop has brought significant contributions to online entertainment products that requires substantial traffic.

In the case of YouTube, India has become YouTube's fastest growing market over the years, with 225 million Indian monthly active users on mobile devices alone.

From the content form on UC News Feed Platform, articles(texts and images)are the majority, accounting for 88.26%; videos accounting for 11.24%, and the photo albums accounting for just 0.5%. Articles are still the main form of creation for Indian content producers.

In view of consumption, articles(texts and images) are still an important aspect in in-app consumption of UC, with overall consumption accounting for 83.95%; and video consumption for 16.41%.

2. Young men under the age of 30 are the main consumers of entertainment products

According to Cheetah Data, gender ratio of Indian entertainment users is identical to that of Indian Internet users, where men account for the majority with a ratio of67.89%. And 80.36% of all entertainment users are young people under the age of 30.

3. Post-dinner and before bed as peak consumption time for entertainment users

According to Cheetah Data, peak hours for Indian entertainment users are from 6 to 10 pm.

4. The rise in proportion of Indian entertainment users using large-screen mobile phones

In emerging mobile phone markets such as India and Nigeria, large-screen mobile phones are more popular among users. According to Cheetah Data, proportion of Indian entertainment products users using mobile phone with screens of 5 inches or above has increased significantly from January 2018 to September 2018, from which majority of users own a 5.5-inch mobile phone with 26.39%. People with mobile phones of 5.2 inches has increased from 12.67% to 14.32%.

5. Majority of consumers in the entertainment industry speak Hindi

With respect to consumers of entertainment industry, Hindi remains the main language, accounting for 69.2% of content; English content accounting only for 6.37%; and the remaining 24.61% are users of vernacular languages.

6. Shah Rukh Khan is the most popular male celebrity among Indian users followed by Ranbir Kapoor and Akshay Kumar

According to consumption data provided by UC News Feed Platform, King Khan ranks No. 1 on the male celebrity ranking, followed by Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh. The well-recognized Aamir Khan has ranked 5th in the popularity list. Priyanka Chopra, who recently got engaged to Nick Jonas, ranks first in the female celebrity popularity list.

Section 2

Online Videos

In India, more and more people are “isolating” from Television to mobile phones embracing online content. According to statistics, number of online video viewers in India has reached up to 250 million in 2017 alone, with a year-on-year increase of 64%. It is estimated that by 2020, 72% of mobile phone traffic consumption by Indian digital consumers will be used to watch online videos.

According to data from the survey company ComScore, top 15 new media have produced a total of 14 billion minutes of video in April 2017 alone.

Another research as conducted by Media Partners Asia shows that India's online video market is worth over $700 million and is expected to reach a market size of $2.4 billion by 2023.

At present, leading enterprises from China and the United States are optimistic towards the prospects of online video development in India.

1.Long videos: domination of local films, Amazon, Netflix works on content production

Movies and TV shows account for the majority of content consumption in long videos.

Digitalization has played an important role in the development of Indian film industry. A relevant data analysis illustrates that the Indian film industry will develop at a speed rate of 11.9% by 2020, and there will be more than 3,000 screens all over cinemas in India by 2019. This also provides rich content for online video products.

According to the consumption data of UC News Feed Platform, the movie 'Race 3' which was released in June earlier this year, has become the hottest movie in India so far. From the list, as illustrated below, top popular contents are Bollywood movies with local production, which is more relatable to the local culture and context.

In terms of online video products, Cheetah Data shows that the usage of platforms for long videos on a daily basis are the longest of all online entertaining platforms. Among them, YouTube has a daily usage of more than one hour, and Hotstar of 55 minutes. Apart from video integration platform YouTube, which dominates the online video consumption, platforms with homemade content capabilities such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have also made India their key market, with number of Indian users gradually expanding since 2018.

According to Cheetah Data, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have seen a significant rate of increase in weekly active user penetration from September 2017 to September 2018, where Amazon Prime Video has tripled, and Netflix has increased by 6.8 times.

As similar to their "Big Brother" Hotstar in India, the rise of Netflix and Amazon in India is due to their correct pricing strategy and aggressive content production plans.

In the United States, monthly cable subscriptions may cost more than $100, but nearly 80% of Hotstar’s content is free for users to watch. For value-added services, it costs only 199 rupees per month (approx. $3); whereas the lowest price of monthly subscriptions for Netflix in India is 500 rupees (approx $7.30). The Amazon Prime membership subscription fee costs $119 p.a. in the US, and 129 rupees ($1.90) per month in India or 999 rupees ($14.50) p.a. Subscribed users can have access to Prime Video, Prime Music and are eligible to enjoy premium parcel delivery services.

In terms of content production, both Amazon and Netflix have aggressive plans toward India. Among them, Amazon went further: in December 2017, it announced 17 script proposals to support Indian creators, 8 of which have already been engaged in production. In the meantime, Prime Video has provided a larger range of movies and TV shows in not only Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali, but also the vernacular languages in India. Amazon is also working with some of India's largest film studios and promises to introduce Bollywood movies within a few weeks of its release.

2.Short Videos: Chinese publishers are heavily involved in the construction of the platform with sports content much sought after

2018 is a year where India's short videos products have massively appeared and flourished. According to Cheetah Data, there were only 5 short video Apps of an adequate scale in India last year, 17 of them with a market penetration rate of 0.1% and above this year. Majority of these App publishers are from China. The top four Apps, namely TikTok, Vigo, Vivavideo, and LIKE are Chinese distributors, and the fifth Clip has investment from China's ShunWei Capital. Others such as KuaiShou and UC's Vmate have also been developing well in India.

The reason why China's short video distributors have valued Indian market is that it is a major global trend to fill up leisure time. 2017 was the first year when short videos were a major trend in China. The outbreak of short video consumption has spawned significant developments within Apps, which has led to a hugely competitive environment. With the hidden potential in India's market of 1 billion dollars, there is an opportunity for investors to seize the market, providing opportunities and room for future development.

The rise of the short video content platform has also led to higher ranking of short video editing tools. Among them, five Apps including Vivavideo are short video tools, which means that UGC short video contents are gradually becoming more refined and professional.

In view of video content consumption, by referencing to the data provided by UC News Feed Platform, possibly due to male-dominated Indian netizens, cricket and sports-related content are at the forefront in terms of click-through rate; in which social events, music and cricket-related videos are all hot topics.

Section 3

News: Solely on Cricket

According to the data provided in the UC News Feed Platform, Indians still prefers to browse online news on cricket over any other categories.

Section 4

Sports: Cricket and Football

Cricket is India's most popular sport, which is reflected in the level of consumption of online cricket content. Amongst India's tier 1 sports Apps, 6 of them are related to cricket, from which Cricket live streaming and news product CricBuzz is the most popular. Football comes in second as being the most favoured sports in India.

Section 5


2018 has seen significant growth in online entertainment consumption in India, a trend that is even more pronounced within videos and music. The development of such positive trends are mainly due to the following reasons:

1.Soon after Prime Minister Modi took charge of the office, he vigorously promoted the "Digital India" strategy, making smartphones and Internet facilities rapidly popular in India;

2.The traffic war of operators initiated by Jio and followed up by Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. Telecom operators set off a price competition in India, where mobile Internet prices significantly dropped, and some services even offered for free. While online videos and music websites are the most consumed products on mobile phones, the decline in price for mobile phone traffic has spurred the potential of the market;

3.User portraits of online entertainment products illustrate that this round of online entertainment consumption is driven by millennials. Young people in India are more open to the concept of digital consumption, which gradually helps the development of digital content payment habits.

India’s growing middle class, large population of millennials, increased economic growth prospects, as well as the development of digitization are some of the factors leading this trend.

More importantly, India has a long history of culture, artistic tradition and rich experience in the production of entertainment content.

Notes about "Cheetah Data”:

1.Unless otherwise stated, the data marked "Cheetah Data" in this article are derived from the Cheetah Data's mobile data analytics platform (;

2.The ranking of all lists are based on the weekly active user penetration rate; which is only applicable to the Android platform;

3.The data is collected for the purposes of daily functions in Cheetah Mobile's products and complies with relevant laws and regulations;

4.The data is affected by the size and distribution of the users of the Cheetah Mobile's products;

5.The rankings in the article do not include the products of Cheetah Mobile and UC series.

Copyright Clarify

Copyright ownership of data, conclusions, images, graphics and other components in this report belongs to Cheetah Data.Any media, websites, individuals or organizations share not be uploaded, posted, modified, distributed, reproduced, or used in other ways without permission.

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