The Xiaomi Patchwall 2020 Replay Report has just been released by the company, based on usage data collected from customers who have purchased Mi TV models. It showed us, among other things, that educational content had a huge increase in viewership in 2020. 2020 was a historic year for good and bad reasons (mainly the latter), but the television industry has benefited greatly from people spending more time at home.
Starting in March, when lockdowns were implemented and establishments closed, people of all ages had to stay at home more and turned to the old trusty TV for entertainment. As a result, even content delivery has seen a shift, with streaming services gaining immensely through big-budget movie releases such as ‘Laxmii’ released directly on streaming platforms.
While not a service in itself, Xiaomi’s PatchWall has gained popularity as a content aggregator through the success of television sales. While many buyers may choose Mi TVs for their competitive prices and features, PatchWall is generally a nice addition that many users prefer over the standard Android TV launcher, which is also available on most Mi TVs.
Patchwall allows users to play TV content from their DTH set-top boxes, as well as allowing you to run streaming apps like Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar, all from a single interface. In recent times, PatchWall has served more as a content aggregator, working as a user interface on top of Android TV on Mi TV models.
Thanks to Xiaomi’s position as the leading smart TV brand in India, PatchWall continues to serve as an important bridge between users and content. It now has over 25 content partners and claims to have served 14 billion user interactions since Xiaomi was present in the Indian market.
The PatchWall Replay 2020 report gives us some interesting insights into content segments and usage patterns. It also largely confirms something we’ve all suspected – 2020 has ensured that we’re all watching a lot of TV. Here are some of the key findings from the PatchWall Replay 2020 report.
Lullabies and education and entertainment content saw a considerable increase during the lockdown
With schools closing and many people moving to work from home, television has become an easy way to keep kids busy at home. PatchWall reports a 177% increase in views in the edutainment category, with nursery rhymes and DIY videos seeing a significant increase from March to August – the peak period of the lockdown. PatchWall’s Kid’s Mode feature was used over a million times during the same period.
The inevitable ‘Baby Shark’ earworm grew to anthemic status and was among the most sought after and watched children’s videos on PatchWall. Other popular children’s videos were ‘Show Yourself’ from the Frozen 2 soundtrack, classic lullaby ‘Wheels On The Bus’ and Indian videos like Tales of Akbar and Birbal and Bal Ganesha.
Clearly, while we all spend a lot more time on screens, for many parents of young children this wasn’t always a choice as their children took over screens.
The big screen experience becomes smart
With the pandemic and lockdown forcing theaters and multiplexes to close for months, movie release schedules in theaters have obviously been disrupted. Gulabo Sitabo was one of the first mainstream films to make the big decision to forgo theatrical release in favor of direct-to-streaming release and was released on Amazon Prime Video in June 2020 despite the industry furore.
This was followed by other big releases including Laxmii, Dil Bechara and Angrezi Medium which switched to a streaming strategy first. While things are getting back to normal and we can expect theatrical releases in 2021, this could trigger a long-term trend where many users prefer to watch even new movies at home. As a result, more big releases could come straight to streaming services.
The period from April to August 2020 saw significant growth in movie viewing on PatchWall, with trends largely following the month’s big releases. Two and a half times as many people watched movies during the week, and views increased by 97% in the overall movie category. Interestingly, for a Friday launch, PatchWall claims to generate the same traffic as a full launch on the first day of the first show across all 3,000+ multiplex chains in India.
Regional language content and news see big gains
While regional language content has typically been the domain of traditional cable TV channels, streaming services have done much to attract viewers with the increased availability of regional content. Many channels launched their own streaming services, all of which led to a 56% increase in views of regional language content on PatchWall. Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam and Kannada were the top regional languages on the platform based on user viewing trends.
Similarly, news streaming also saw a 161% increase, particularly from regional news outlets such as ABP News (Hindi and Marathi) and Sun News Tamil, as users naturally sought out up-to-date information on the pandemic and regulations in place across the country. Fitness and food videos and content also saw a surge in interest, with PatchWall reporting that weight loss, meditation and yoga were top trends for the former, while sarson da saag, chicken jeera and instant ice cream were top searches for the latter.
The top 10 movies and TV shows of 2020 on PatchWall totaled 48 million views, with Laxmii, Dil Bechara, Mirzapur and Scam 1992 among the most viewed content accessed through the UI.
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