YouTube has created a large, vibrant ecosystem: Rajan Anandan

YouTube hosted the fourth edition of Brandcast India in Mumbai on March 24. The event brought together top advertisers, agencies, and partners from all across the country to discuss and celebrate YouTube – the destination where Indians choose to watch video. Talking about the growing appetite among Indian consumers to watch videos online, YouTube shared that as per App Annie, over 180 million Indians are watching YouTube every month on mobile. Further, watch time in India has grown 400 per cent year on year and 80 per cent of watch time in India comes from mobile. From entertainment to education, from news to beauty – Indians are turning to YouTube for every aspect of their lives. 

Improved connectivity, affordable data plans and huge variety of content available has led to over 400 million Indians online and 300 smartphone users today. In the mobile video era, viewers can watch what they want, where they want and when they want - and this greater choice for viewers also means greater opportunities for marketers. In today’s media environment, while there is plentiful reach, it’s harder to attract viewers’ attention.With more Indians coming online in Tier 2 cities, YouTube is seeing huge appetite for fresh and new content in India propelling online creators to hit new milestones in India, the company stressed. 

Addressing the audience at the introductory session of ‘India: The Mobile Video Nation’, Rajan Anandan, Vice President, Google India and South-East Asia, said, “This era is a digital era where incredible data revolution is happening. Starting with Reliance Jio, now other telecom carriers have also joined the race to provide free data to the customers. Data is driving incredible growth in online video consumption, which has also proved as an accelerator for YouTube. It is not just the large number of people, but the amount of time spent on the internet devices. As per recent data, 9 out of 10 Indians watch YouTube every single day in NCCS A-B. YouTube today has created large and massively vibrant ecosystem.” 

He added, “When we look at brand integrations, brand safety is extremely critical. We are committed to doing better. The three key points to keep in mind while doing this – first is to drive sales, both online and offline. Secondly, drive brand perceptions and third, being able to innovate and engage in a way to drive engagement.” 

Elaborating on how ‘attentive reach’ has become the new currency for the advertisers, Sapna Chadha, Head of Marketing, Google India and South-East Asia, said, “According to a survey we conducted with Majestic Research, using eye-tracking technology we discovered, the first ad in an TV ad break is watched actively by 50 per cent of people while the last one is watched actively by only 13 per cent of viewers. Reach is necessary, but isn’t sufficient. Attention has always been inherent to advertising. But, capturing and keeping attention has never been harder for advertisers. People are consuming a lot inherent advertising and content today. Content production has exploded and so has opened a new breed of content creators. About 80 per cent of all watch time is coming from mobile devices.” 

Addressing the audience, she asked them to change how they bought and planned media for attentive reach. She also shared that over the years, YouTube had captured audience attention by delivering 95 per cent audibility and 93 per cent viewability. Visibility (where the ad can be seen – front or central), combined with audibility (ensuring that the ad can be heard) and watch time makes for a good attention factor. Attention is a limited commodity. Prioritising attention metrics and challenging the team for better reach are considered as the keys for the advertisers to have the desired brand recall and consideration. 

Speaking on how to make advertising more effective online, Jonah Goodhart, CEO, MOAT, said, “Everywhere in the world, consumption patterns are changing, making ‘attentive reach’ the foundation of any digital campaign. Measurability is the key to understand the efficacy of any brandengagement and we are thrilled to be the first company to independently measure viewability on YouTube.” He also noted that India’s retail spend stands at 96 per cent offline and only 4 per cent online, forming a measurement gap here. 168.5 billion dollars were invested on digital advertising globally.” 

According to Goodhart, TV works and has been a universal idea of building brands. Digital has foundational challenges – viewability and branding online among them. He also mentioned that human attention span is falling from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. Precision, accuracy and trust matter for measurement. Audible time and on-screen time in videos have impact ad recall. 

Sanjeev Handa, VP and Head of Marketing, Maruti Suzuki, also addressed the audience and said, “When you combine a format like video and you want to reach out to a billion+ Indians, the answer comes naturally and that is YouTube. YouTube allows us to tell the right brand stories to the right audiences helping us capture their attention. Case in point is the launch of the IGNIS, which was done simultaneously through the physical as well as digital medium to engage with the millennials and, the results were astounding. On YouTube, the launch was viewed over 10 million times, and 20 per cent pre-launch bookings came from digital in the first 10 days.” He further added, “For advertisers to leverage digital effectively, one needs to have deep insights into your consumers, look to target their interests and effectively measure the viewability of the ad.” 

Elaborating on his experience of working with brands, Kurt Hugo Schneider, who has over 8 million subscribers on YouTube and has collaborated with over 40 global brands, said, “Concept integration and not product integration is key to making a brand video authentic and earning people’s attention. With technological innovation, brands today have the opportunity to interact more closely with their audience and get a feel of their preferences. Interactive content combined with new technology integrated in brand messaging helps.” 

Ajay Vidyasagar, Regional Director, YouTube Partnerships, put the spotlight on the soon-to-be-launched ‘YouTube Solution - Audience Stories’ in India, which is targeted at three important segments – mothers, millennials and business professionals. Audience stories - customised app to app solutions - incorporates best of user insight for better perceptivity for ads and create acceptability. 

Attended by over 800 marketers, advertisers and creators, YouTube Brandcast 2017 also saw YouTube Leaderboard Awards, where top 10 advertisers with the most creative ads were felicitated. The award celebrated the brands that performed best through a combination of popularity and promotion.


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