Despite all its flaws, 2020 has been a groundbreaking year for technology and internet advancements in India. Recent global developments have changed the landscape of connectivity, commerce and have given us a host of new trailblazing trends. The Indian online technology industry is scheduled to grow rapidly and become one of the world’s largest in a few years’ time, and this year has provided us with a sneak peek at a few of the trends that might drive this growth. In this article, we’ll take a look at five such trends that have taken India by storm in 2020.
Short-form Video Content
TikTok has emerged as the world’s most valuable unicorn startup, and its impact on India has been unparalleled. Though the app in itself was banned by the Indian government earlier in the year, the concept of short, portrait oriented videos has caught on like wildfire and spawned numerous, new TikTok alternatives. Some of these are new, homegrown competitors like Chingari and Josh that are looking to capitalize on the ban on TikTok, while others like Instagram Reels are established, behemoths simply planning to expand on their userbase. One of the reasons that short-form video content has boomed in India is because of how easy it is to create. Anyone can become a star in a matter of days through their creativity, without much cost. This means that content has become more democratized than ever before, and this is a massive factor for the people of India.
Growth of Online Casinos
This is perhaps the only development that is independent of the socioeconomic background of the country. The Indian online casino industry has also grown rapidly and many new international providers have entered the subcontinent in 2020. This has been on the horizon for a while, but as it turned out, 2020 was the year that the predictions finally realized. New casinos entering India have offered bespoke, country-specific bonuses and games due to the potential the market holds, and talks that the government is finally going to legalise the industry are gaining lots of traction. Over the course of the coming years, we will see more developments in the Indian online casino industry, particularly as technologies like VR and AR begin to make their way into the mainstream.
2020 has seen a drastic, forced shift into online education as schools in India have been shut since March. This has led a number of major companies to push their platforms and capitalize on the very large school going population that India is home to. Companies like Byju’s, Unacademy, upGrad have gone from being some popular ed-tech startups in India to becoming household names. These platforms have a large variety of offerings, that range from videos explaining academic topics, to live, 1-on-1 classes to aid students. It’s unclear whether this growth and hike will sustain, but given the current state of education in India, we can presume that these companies will become integral parts of the system.
Fantasy Sport Apps
India’s favourite pastime, by far, is sport. Combine that with the country’s insatiable appetite for competition, and you get fantasy sport apps. The concept of these apps is that you build a team of players for a real-life match that is about to happen, and if your team does well, you get rewarded. It’s a form of legal betting in essence, the cousin of sport betting apps. Due to the many high-profile sporting events that take place in India, gamers have tons of opportunities to partake and win in these competitions. Another factor which helps such apps is the ability to play in both free and paid competitions, which increases accessibility. Dream11, the largest fantasy sport company in India has emerged as one of the largest startups in the country, and others like MPL, My11 are trying to imitate the same path.
Indians found a new source of entertainment and income during the first half of the year in the form of online streaming. Streaming is almost synonymous to gaming and video content creation in other parts of the world, but it wasn’t as revered in India until 2020. Over the year, hundreds of new streamers and creators have found fame on Twitch, Youtube etc. Typically, these streamers broadcast them playing games or talking to the audience; the added sense of community and intimacy grips the viewer and propels the streamer to wealth and international fame.
It’s safe to say that 2020 has been one of the most exciting years for online trends in India, and we could see some of these trends carry on over into the future. Some of them could fizzle out or get replaced by newer ones, but the industry outlook is that these five in particular are here to stay.