This is how COVID-19 has disrupted video consumption: A Mindshare-Vidooly report


Mindshare and Vidooly have jointly released a report, called ‘Covid-19: Impact on Video Consumption Trends’. The study analyses video consumption trends on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram platforms for the Indian geography. Facebook and YouTube platforms account for 70% and 69% penetration of 380 million active social media users in the country, respectively.

Consumption on YouTube (Q1 ’20)

YouTube garnered ~300 billion views in Q1 2020. The platform garnered 111 billion video views in January, 89 billion video views in February and 108 billion video views in February. High views in January 2020 is due to unusual peak observed in entertainment genre, which garnered ~45% of the overall views across genres in January, this was due to high consumption of GEC content published.

YT Viewership hit a steep rise in 2020, with Q1 ’20 recording a 13% growth over Q4 '19. Genres which attained the highest viewership growth across the two quarters were Infotainment, News & Politics, Entertainment and Comedy.

Percentage of subscribers gained continued to plummet in Q1 ’20. This trend can be credited to the genre News & Politics, as it was the only genre to record a Quarterly subscriber growth of 25%. In fact, 50% of these subscribers were gained exclusively during the Covid-19 phase, that is, in March 2020.

While people are enjoying watching more videos, they are now less likely to subscribe. Viewers don’t feel the need to subscribe to their favourite channels anymore, possibly because YouTube tends to push the customised relevant content on the homepage of the users.


91.4% of users consume YouTube content on their mobile devices. The rest of the consumption happens on desktop, TV and tablet in descending order of preference.

Millennials contribute to ~70% of the viewership on YouTube. The 18-34 age-group was found to be the most active on YouTube.

There are 74% male users, while the rest are female users. Male audiences watched a higher share of genres like News & Politics and Gaming. The 18-34 age-group of Males, in addition to the two genres, was also very keen in Comedy and Science & Technology. Female audience, on the other hand, were found to be inclined more towards Food & Recipe, Education and Infotainment genres.

Entertainment and Music were the top genres on YT and contributed 113.9 billion and 80.1 billion video views out of the total ~300 billion video views in Q1 ’20. News & Politics trailed behind at 29.1 billion video views.

In the Entertainment genre, audience engagement with movie content, which is the most viewed content, has declined over the quarter from 79% in January 2020 to 47% in March 2020. Most popular channels featuring this type of content are Goldmine Telefilms and Shemaroo.

GEC viewership on YT garnered a high viewership and gained a significant chunk of the Entertainment genre. Among the four major GECs, only Zee and Sony observed growth of 11% and 4%, respectively, while the rest saw a decline in the month of March when compared with February.

In the Music genre, top music videos were dominated by Bollywood and regional music content. Regional music has grown from 28% in January 2020 to 48% in March 2020. Music Videos of the Bollywood flick ‘Street Dancer 3D’ (Released in late January this year) accounted for 25% of the viewership on the analysed top videos of the quarter. The most popular music channels included T-Series, Aditya Music, Zee Music Co, and Speed Records.

8 out of the top 10 genres obtained a remarkable retention rate, when compared to the average retention gained by videos across all genres (~13%). Comedy succeeded in obtaining a retention rate as high as 52%. Retention rate of T-Series dropped significantly possibly because of increase in average video length from ~5 minutes to ~6 minutes from February to March 2020.

Gameplays and walkthroughs dominate ‘Gaming’ genre because of which this genre is having the highest video length, followed by Education which has learning videos, which by its nature are of long form. Both these genres failed miserably in terms of retention rate, having 1.2% and 6.4% retention, respectively, which means the content is not engaging to keep the user glued to the screens.

In the News genre, news videos displaying live telecast of some events are much longer lasting even for a number of hours. Many of the top live news videos are around Delhi Election 2020 results published by AajTak, ABP News, India TV, Zee News.

Genres like Comedy, Infotainment, Music & Entertainment have been successful in gaining attention of users for a longer duration, having high retention rate. Entertainment and News genres show a strange behaviour where videos that performed well were of longer duration than genre average.

The top videos were found to have an average duration of ~29 minutes, while the overall average duration of YT videos was ~14 minutes.

Consumption on YouTube (Feb-Mar ’20)

YouTube saw +22% video views, +26% subscribers and +1.4% between February and March 2020. Entertainment gained highest 38 billion views in March, with an increase of 19% from February, followed by Music which garnered 28 billion views. Around ~70% and ~10% views were garnered by Movies and TV serial related content, respectively.

News-Politics observed 70% and 95% increase in terms of Views and Subscribers, respectively, due to continuous monitoring of happenings around the globe amid the COVID-19 crisis. AajTak, ABP News and India TV were among the favourites.

Kids & Animation gained 9 billion views in March, with an increase of 26% from February, emerging out to be a promising genre. There was a decline in viewership (-3%) on Travel related content amidst the global shutdown. Travel seems to be worst hit genre.

COVID-19 – Content Analysis

Platforms covered – Instagram, YouTube, Facebook. Across these platforms, creators published 25.55K videos related to COVID-19, which delivered 2.79 billion views and generated 51.44 million impressions in terms of engagement.


On YouTube, News was the most viewed and engaged COVID-19 content, which comprised of 77% of uploaded media. It delivered 78% of the views. This was followed by General Trivia, Prevention/ Awareness, Treatment, Symptoms, and Corona Virus Explained videos. While the presence of influencers in videos around Coronavirus did not significantly impact the average viewership, the average engagement was found to multiply by 4x.

Lockdown and Janta Curfew were the most talked about videos and gained an average viewership of 243K. Daily updates on Corona virus stats turned out to be the most redundant videos, attaining average views of 70K compared to 130K average garnered by News category. AajTak, ABP News, BBC News Hindi, DLS News, and India Today were the most popular creators. Dhruv Rathee, Madan Gowri, and Dr Rajesh Kumar were the most popular influencers.


Facebook followed the same consumption trend as YouTube. However, Prevention/ Awareness led the charts in terms of average viewership with 108K views. Influencers from various fraternities such as Bollywood, Sports, Politics stepped up on Facebook to spread awareness around the epidemic.

The most popular creators include OTVNews, Public TV, Zee24Ghanta, PKesariOnline, and Dinamalar Daily. The most popular influencers include Swami Ramdev, Mohanlal and Shashi Tharoor.


Popular creators on Instagram include RVCJ Media, Filter Copy, POPxo Daily, AajTak, and NDTV. Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and Karthik Aryan emerged as the top influencers.

COVID-19 – Content published by brands

There were 253 pieces of branded content that delivered 12.15 million views and garnered 200.55K impressions in terms of engagement.


Health, Fitness, Personal Care are the industries which published content around COVID-19 on YouTube. ~75% of the viewership was on content related to COVID-19 Explanation, Impact & Awareness. Most visible brands included Apollo Hospitals, Patanjali Ayurved, Tata Motors, 1mg, and Motilal Oswal. Madhuri Dixit and Kajol were the most visible celebrities. These two celebrities were seen in the advertisements of the personal hygiene brands like Dettol and Lifebuoy.


Healthcare, IPL Teams, Personal Care, and BFSI were most active brand categories on Facebook. Awareness on COVID-19 dominated the content type on Facebook on all the key performance indicators (KPIs).

Godrej, Bajaj Alliance, Tupperware India, Max Healthcare and World Bank India were the popular brands. Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta were the prominent celebrities. Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta, along with other cricketers from IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings X1 Punjab, were active on Facebook promoting awareness around the topic.


‘Product Promotion’ content type garnered 47% views, followed by General Content, Awareness Related, DIY and campaign & tentpole.

Popular brands include MX Player, Tripoto Community, Bajaj Alliance, KXIP Official, and MyNykaa. Prominent celebrities include Ajinkya Rahane and Preity Zinta.

COVID-19 – Content published by Government of India

The Government of India published 315 videos that delivered 37.69 million video views and generated 614.10K impressions in terms of engagement.


YouTube outperformed Facebook and Instagram on all KPIs. COVID-19 awareness is the most viewed category on overall level followed by PM Narendra Modi’s address, Explanation and Trivia, News/Updates, and Others/General.

The Government is publishing lot of news related content on YouTube, but that failed to gain traction, that is, 52% of the uploads garnered only 5% of the category viewership.

Popular Government pages include Narendra Modi, Doordarshan, Ministry of Health, Press Information Bureau, Rajya Sabha TV, PMO, and My Govt.


‘Press releases’ is the most popular type of content on FB, garnering 75% of the overall views both on cumulatively basis as well as on views/ upload. Awareness related videos didn’t perform well garnering 16% views on 54% uploads.

Popular Government pages include AAPKaArvind, PIB India, Doordarshan National, My Gov India, and Inbministry. Amitabh Bachchan was a prominent celebrity spokesperson for the Government.


COVID-19 awareness is the most viewed category on Instagram. The Government is trying very hard to spread awareness on COVID-19 so as to limit its spread effectively. News related content gained 42% out of the overall views on Instagram.

Popular Government pages include DD National, PIB India, Gujarat Tourism, DD News Official, and BSNL Corporate. Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan were the most prominent celebrity voices on the platform.

Impact of Lockdown on YouTube consumption (Pre-Lockdown: 1st Mar ’20 to 21th Mar ’20 Post-Lockdown: 22nd Mar ’20 to 10th Apr ’20)

YouTube shows an 8.4% rise in viewership across a span of just 30 days. Almost the same genres continue to dominate the Top-10 charts. The genres that grew the most were News & Politics (72%), Food & Recipe (52%), Information (42%) and Gaming (23%). On the other hand, the viewership on Music Videos has declined by 9%.

AajTak and ABP News were the favourites among the audience during both pre- & post-lockdown, whereas post-lockdown, IndiaTV climbed up 2 ranks to reach the 3rd spot with ~90% of growth in views. These three channels saw an average growth of 95% in subscribers and 72% in video views. Food channels ‘Village Cooking Channel’ and ‘Cook with Parul’ also saw a massive increase in subscribers (92%) and video views (52%). Gaming saw 35% increase in subscribers and 23% increase in views. Family and Parenting videos saw a 68% increase in views and 16% increase in video uploads.

Education category saw a 120% increase in uploads, indicating demand for online education content. Business and Finance, Travel and Leisure and Music categories saw the highest degrowth in video views.


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