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What does investment in Glance InMobi mean for Reliance?

Reliance may invest around $300 million in Glance InMobi


Ever since there was buzz that Reliance Industries was looking to purchase a stake in Glance InMobi Pte Ltd, experts have been trying to interpret what it will bring to the table for Reliance. Glance InMobi is backed by Alphabet Inc subsidiary Google Inc and there are reports that Reliance may invest around $300 million in the company. It has been largely seen as Reliance's aim to garner a stronghold in the short format video market. Of all the telecom Value Added Services, short video content has grown rapidly in India. According to a report by RedSeer Consulting, the short form space in India is set to be the second biggest segment in terms of time spent in one year, after Internet mammoths like Facebook and Google.

If one looks at Glance, it is not an app. It is a feature on an Android phone which pushes personalised content. “Personalisation is important for everything in the world now. And Reliance seems to have learnt it early, where they will understand user behaviour through Glance which claims to have 140 million users in the under Rs 20,000 market. This will also serve them more from a content perspective where they can get people hooked on to their service and help in creating better lifetime value (LTV),” said Sathya Pramod, CEO, Kayess Square Consulting Private Limited.

“Reliance with its investment seems to have hit the right segment with Glance, Roposo (short video service) and Shop101 (e-commerce). The war is just heating up,” Pramod said.

As per the RedSeer report, the monthly active users of the short form video segment are expected to grow more than 2 times to reach 650 million users by CY 2025 clocking the second spot after television. This significant growth is largely expected to be driven by the new 300 million Internet users that will be added by 2025. The report points out that the short form creators have grown 2 times (from the TikTok days, June 2020) and now stand at 40-45 million, mostly from smaller towns and cities.

The Indian short form apps have also surged ahead in terms of creator experience. Consequently, there is an increase in user base and engagement on these platforms. As per the report, short form content has been the biggest winner at an aggregate level, and is likely to overtake OTT video content in the coming year. Most of the platforms have ensured stringent content compliance standards (more than 95 per cent) and monetisation opportunities.

The report further observes that after the TikTok ban in June 2020, Indian short form apps have come a long way. With improved robust and technological upgrades, the apps improved its performance significantly on personalisation, real-time feed change, feed change by language, follower base and feed change by search.

“The short form video market is primarily driven by the rapid proliferation of smartphones and the sticky content that appeals to young users viewing habits. Jio's interest is to drive user engagement on its platform. Higher engagement can not only reduce churn but enhance ARPU,” pointed out Alok Shende of Ascentius Consulting.

Experts believe that video is the new normal in our lives. It may be entertainment, information, education, shopping and more. “All the mobile service providers are trying to climb the value chain by offering value added services to their customers and protecting their profit margins. Hence, this strategy of building capabilities in serving extremely relevant content on the mobile phone to a user is an inevitable step. If a service provider lags in this execution, they’d miss the boat,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, director and CEO of CIEL HR Services.


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