YouTube Brandcast 2021: Insights

Videos have become an indispensable part of people's lives with YouTube as the most used platform for watching online videos.

At Brandcast, YouTube's annual advertising event, the company shared significant shifts and emerging trends in user behavior.


Streaming platforms are now the primary way people access content - a shift that was already happening before the pandemic but accelerated significantly last year. More and more people are shifting away from linear TV to instead stream the content they want.

Essentially, co-viewing on large screens is increasingly becoming the norm. Since the pandemic forced people to spend more time at home, YouTube viewership on connected TV has grown to 20 million in India - over 45% growth since May last year.


YouTube’s growing use amongst both urban and rural audiences, has grown subscriber engagement at a rapid click. From 2500 channels last year, YouTube now has 4000 plus channels in India with more than a million subscribers. More than 140 channels have over 10 million subscribers.

As of July 2021, videos in YouTube's Shorts player are receiving over 15 billion daily views – essentially driving fan engagement and monetization opportunity for creators. YouTube Shorts Beta was launched in India exactly a year ago.

For a while now, regional language content has been one of the growth drivers for not just YouTube, but online content in India generally. According to the Video Landscape Research by Kantar, 93% of YouTube viewers prefer watching content in Indic languages.

According to the company, YouTube is the number one video content platform in terms of reach. A meta-analysis from earlier this year used data from over 50 brands and found that over 65% of the audience reached on YouTube was incremental to TV. This implies that every impression on YouTube is more effective than TV.

In a commissioned study, Nielsen found that YouTube in India is 4.8 times more effective and is much more efficient in driving sales (YouTube ROI was 1.92 as compared TV ROI of 1.16).

Learning platform

With 85 percent of video viewers coming to YouTube to learn or improve their skills and some of these channels garnering sizable subscription bases, YouTube is transforming into one of the largest learning communities in the country. Watch times of career videos have also grown by more than 60% in May 2021 when compared to the same time last year.

The platform is now experiencing the emergence and growth of several new verticals within learning such as farming, finance, food, and engineering while existing verticals like technology, beauty, and comedy are evolving to serve hyper-local content in regional languages.


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