Future of OTT: It's bigger than you can stream.

Authored by Dippak Khurana, CEO & Co-founder, Vserv.

The earliest seeds of convenient content and the OTT (Over-the-top media) culture in India can be traced back to yesteryear’s popular pause/play, record and on-demand paid content facilities offered by DTH service providers. The earliest dependent OTT platform in India was Reliance Entertainment’s BIGFlix, launched back in 2008. This on-demand entertainment service paved the way for the present 40+ OTT players in today’s market

OTT delivers content with the added benefit of convenience. The convenience of watching whatever, whenever and whenever comes only through OTT platforms. In terms of content, OTT offers a degree of personalization through recommendations and variety which was earlier never possible.OTT has redefined the word ‘Binging’ and has made it the new normal for the content consumers of India. OTT platforms have constantly changed the game in the arena of entertainment by delivering original, fresh, out-of-the-box shows and movies.

Undoubtedly, OTT is the most booming platform of digital consumption. This statement holds as true with respect to marketers as it does for the entertainment consumers of the country. OTT enables marketers to seamlessly carry out mass personalisation of their advertisements with the help of highly specific content consumption behaviour insights.

India is the world’s fastest-growing OTT market in the world and estimates suggest that it would be one of the leading counties for revenue or valuation of digital and OTT media content by 2022. According to a report, the current Indian OTT market with its massive following of 29 million paid subscribers is slated to reach a market value of INR 237.86 billion by 2025. The better part of 2020 has made Indian consumers even more habitual of gobbling content through OTT, making the future of OTT extremely profitable.

One may ask what does the growth and flourishing future of OTT mean for marketers. Well, these traffic-heavy platforms make possible an in-depth audience reach, both mass and niche.

According to Hotstar, India’s largest OTT platform with over 300 million subscribers, their platform garners 2.5X of TV reach on marquee English shows. Widely popular MX Player with 200MN+ monthly active users boasts 150,000+ hours of streaming content along with originals across genres being consumed by 43% metro and 57% non-metro city consumers in India. Dialling up regional content focus and offering one-to-many digital video-on-demand platforms, Voot currently boasts 100MN MAUs with 43 minutes average user time spent across all sister platforms - Voot Select, Voot Studio, Voot Kids.

Similarly, Sony LIV - India’s other favourite OTT platform enjoys over 50MN monthly views with a 5X growth in ad impressions per day. Did you know, a staggering 3 out of 4 Zee5 subscribers when showcased an ad on the OTT platform are likely to buy the product online? The platform with streaming content in 12 regional languages currently is home to 76.4Mn MAUs, aka, entertainment seekers.

With the OTT market further diversifying into vernacular and genre-based platforms, marketers are presented with an even greater opportunity to reach their niche and relevant audience segments. With mass personalization at play, marketers can now tap into audiences from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala precisely as they consume content in their preferred regional language on emerging regional OTT platforms such as Hoichoi, Aha, SunNXT, Cityshor.in, Neestream, Koode, Heeroz, Watcho, Addatimes, Reeldrama, ManoramaMAX and many others from across vernacular regions. Exclusive kid’s OTT platforms such as MyToonz, Voot Kids also enable advertisers to promote specific products targeted at kids, young adults and parents.

Interestingly, what this also represents is while big OTT players are at the forefront of the on-demand content delivery at the national level, regional-language focussed OTT platforms are ramping up at a specific-market level becoming the new mainstream in these regions as well as the globally spread community. Another report has found ~90% of Indian consumers prefer watching video content in regional languages. So much so, these regional OTT platforms are already the new theatres for big regional movie and show releases. For instance, Planet Marathi is reportedly said to release 15 new web series and over 200 films. Hoichoi currently offers 75+ original shows and has a collection of over 650 movie titles from Bengali cinema.

The availability of diversified content, original shows, direct-to-digital releases and affordable subscription cost for multiple users or pocket users, creates a pull for content consumers throughout the country. The diverse nature of consumers (in terms of language, genre, content format, interests etc.) in India is the leading catalyst in the rise of a host of regional OTT platforms to cater to these niche consumer groups alongside the existing leading OTT platforms in India.

Simply put, OTT's 'Consumer is King' attitude along with a stark rise in video content consumption from 2020 onwards is bound to make it ‘the omnipresent media. Even in the short amount of time, you spent reading this blog a sizable amount of Indian consumers would have already subscribed to their favourite OTT platform to stream their favourite content.

Source: YourStory, Forbes, IBEF, ET, various reports

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and Adgully.com does not necessarily subscribe to it.


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