1. The COVID tailwind drove up time spent on short-form video apps, especially among youngsters

High penetration of internet and smartphones in SEA (Southeast Asia) has resulted in region’s population spending relatively much more time on watching videos over smartphones. Countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines are heavy consumers of video content and mobile internet. This trend makes them well placed for consumption of short-form video content which in the recent years has been gaining steam.

Average time spent vs Online Content Consumption, FY20-21

The fertile digital consumer base coupled with impact of Covid-19, has led to substantial increase in short form video consumption especially among the young population.

Growth in time spent on various digital services in SEA, CY19-20, 18-24 years age group, N=101

2. The short duration format of content makes it easy to consume, acting as the strongest driver for adoption among consumers…

The “Short-Form” format itself is what has made these platforms gain acceptance among crowds. Average time spent per session of about 25 minutes is half of the time spent per session on long form content apps and therefore users can consume content on the go.

3. These platforms provide a shot at fame for small time content creators and are an effective channel for brands to reach the large young sub-urban/tier2+ consumer cohort

TikTok is the category creator here and is the runaway market leader at present. The segment has witnessed influx of various players such as Kwai which is another popular platform with a massive userbase of >450 Mn. Seeing the strong traction and love that this genre has received, legacy video apps like Youtube have also jumped on the bandwagon and started to roll-out “Shorts” a short video feature, while Instagram on the other hand launched “Reels”.

Key Short Form Video Apps in SEA

Note: Video duration is the maximum length of video that can be uploaded on the platform

The short duration format helps content creators to quickly create impactful videos, further aided by the in-built features such as filters, editing tools etc. Moreover, the growing popularity of these apps among youth allows brands to catch the audience young and target this cohort for efficient marketing at a fraction of production cost.

Comparison of Short-Form and Long-Form Video Apps

4. Going forward, we believe that users and influencers will feed each other’s growth

With the increasing popularity of these apps in SEA, we believe that users and influencers will drive each other’s growth. As witnessed in India where MX Taka Tak recently roped in a popular sports personality, platforms in SEA will also onboard high-profile celebrities to accelerate growth in users and influencers.

5. These Apps can further integrate with eCommerce platforms to drive growth, but will need to ensure that the core value proposition is not impacted

The ability to effectively reach the younger audience makes these apps well placed for partnerships with e-Commerce platforms. Tik Tok has already made some strides in this direction with its partnership with Walmart.

However it is important to note that with expansion into eCommerce, these platforms must remain true to their core proposition which is entertainment through “short-form videos”.