iMedia Connection caught up with Meera Chopra, VP Advertising Sales Vuclip India who shares her thoughts on the company’s positioning in India as they’re a new entrant.
Why do you think mobile video is a big market for Vuclip?
Cell phone ownership has become near ubiquitous in India, with wireless subscriptions in 2014 expected to amount to more than 97 percent of the country’s population of 1.26 billion with1billion video capable handsets today.Mobile video usage already contributes 28%-40% of traffic today. Vuclip is the fastest growing mobile video service in the world because it works on any phone. Vuclip serves video on-the-fly, on any device, and in any country. The company dynamically transcodes, optimizes and delivers videos to mobile devices in real-time.
What makes Vuclip unique and different?
Vuclip reaches to 11 million unique users monthly in India, with 120 mn Video views and 350 mn page views. Our Technology enables compatibility in the mobile platform ecosystem by delivering videos seamlessly across devices.
We are different because we transcode, optimize and deliver videos to mobile devices in real-time, allowing consumers to search discover and share the kinds of clips that they like. We also provide mobile video services such as Starlight Cinema and Chinese HD Theater, which deliver specific genre clips to the consumer on a subscription or ad-supported basis. Vuclip has deep relationships with regional content providers to help consumers find local language content for their viewing pleasure.We have already served over 7 billion video views worldwide on more than 5400 different types of the most basic to the most advanced mobile handset models.
What content is available on Vuclip?
Each country has its own leading set of interest. We watch content crossing borders every day. In India, we see a lot of traffic being driven by Bollywood and cricket-related videos though news and regional content is also picking up fast and garnering a lot of user interest. Indians also enjoy devotional song and lifestyle clips and the universal interest in humor.
You have been growing rapidly in recent times. Which are the key geographies globally where you see most mobile video consumption?
Every day Vuclip delivers more than 21 million videos to consumers in over 200 countries with a particularly high viewership in India.When we started in India in January 2008, the mobile Internet growth story was yet to take off and we had just witnessed the growth in mobile videos. To provide some metrics, in October 2010, we were doing 48 million videos per month. Now in a year’s time, we have crossed 100 million videos per month.
Do you think mobile connectivity and internet speeds are a hurdle for mobile video viewing in India?
3G has yet to take off. I would say that what it brought was awareness. Users think – “I have a ton of bandwidth and what should I do with it?” Here, video becomes a use case. Watching a video is an impulse, what we call “snacking”. So now users watch 2-3 minutes of their favorite video on the go. The best thing about Vuclip is the fact that our videos are not dependent on 3G connectivity and even users that have basic 2.5G internet connectivity on mobile can enjoy the access and a great user experience.
What are your growth plans for India? How would 2012 shape up for Vuclip?
This year there will be a stronger move to mobile marketing and advertising by brand owners.Mobile advertising will mature and will no longer be the preserve of transactional network ads alone. Innovative ad units like the sponsored survey will add value to general advertising campaigns. Companies such as ESPN are taking mobile as their starting point for ad campaigns rather than being an add-on to other media. We also expect to play a role in the ‘connected home’. We will also be a ubiquitous part of the Indian consumer’s daily life, which will include even more social sharing.
You recently announced the launch of Starlight Cinema. Can you tell me more about it and what the response has been to date?
Vuclip is an audience-centric brand where we use our surveys to define content strategy on the site. We decided on Starlight Cinema as its gives our consumers what they want to watch on the site. We know that Indians are passionate about other kinds of content, and consider Starlight Cinema our starting point.‘Starlight Cinema’ is India’s first independent mobile movie portal, offering more than 9000 movie clips in 13 Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, Rajasthani, Kashmiri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. For the first time, Starlight Cinema will offer users the option of watching shortened feature films, movie clips, songs reviews and trailers from today's topmost films on even low-end feature phones without the need to download any application. It has received good response from the viewers so far.
Why is mobile video relevant to today’s marketers?
Savvy brand owners know that to maintain their market position they must stay relevant with their target audience, and that relevancy is optimized when there is brand exposure closest to the point of consumer engagement. In other words, follow the customer and these days their primary source of entertainment and information is mobile. It’s where they spend their time. However it’s only with the emergence of companies like Vuclip that advertisers can create engaging measurable and effective campaigns in the mobile space. Mobile video advertising is an innovative platform to advertise given its vast reach and availability. Also, video snacking on the mobile phones has seen a huge upswing of late, since it is an ‘on-the-go’ activity- available anytime, anywhere- a great way to fill the gaps.
Mobile video is part of a larger mobile ecosystem. This ecosystem is rapidly evolving with all the new avenues that the digital world promises for the advertisers, broadcasters, publishers, content aggregators, telecom and internet companies alike. Vuclip is participating at ad:tech New Delhi 2012, the world’s No. 1 digital marketing, media & advertising event, to contribute to the phenomenal growth of the digital industry to unveil what’s on the minds of India’s mobile consumer.
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