Explained: The Digital Wave Caused by OTT Platforms in India

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Guide: How The Digital Wave Caused by OTT Platforms in India

Owing to the digital boom in India, there is no shortage of production of content during the last couple of years, Over-The-Top or the OTT platforms as they are called have taken the Indian media and entertainment industry by storm. India is witnessing an era of “Digital First,” where consumers get access to media on their television, smartphones ‘5+ inch’ device screens, both when offline and online mode. 

India has witnessed a massive growth in internet penetration and data consumption, and this is expected to compliment the “digital advertising” spends in the country at 30.8 % CAGR during the years 2016 and 2021. Platforms can also see a 40% growth in the digital media advertising spends aided by social media, and a 50.9% increase in mobile ad spends by the year 2021. 

Platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar, and Apple TV+ prove that the Indian OTT space is indeed in a boom. Both film and television content is now being provided to users’ on-the-go, offering convenience and intriguing audiences to consume content of their choice. Consumers can pick and choose from a wide variety of content across portals much like a marketplace for ‘video on demand.’ OTT is being recognized as a media streaming service that allows users to enjoy personalizing content and have complete control too.

OTT Platforms in India- Divergent India

As per a recent study, India has more than 200 million online video viewers, which is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next few years. The concept of getting more while paying less is something that will always catch attention of many people. 

The Hyper Competitive OTT Landscape

As per a report released by PwC, OTT is a booming market and is expected to grow at 22% to reach a market value of INR. 12,000 Crore in less than four years. This is what comes as good news to all those organizations that create content to race ahead of their competitors and emerge as a preferred platform. To obtain the “Market Leadership Position,” it is essential for content creators to work towards creating novelty through content, in this highly competitive market. The industry has increased multi-folds over the past few years, thanks to the advancements in digital infrastructure in the country.

The Key Enablers 

Key factors that punctuate the OTT landscape in India, as these play a significant role in determining the growth and success of OTT platforms. 

1. The Digital Infrastructure 

The massive launch of 4G in India by Reliance Jio and other incumbents was an inflection point in the data story of the country. Users who were once accessing content on OTT platforms using 3G or Wi-Fi gained access to high-speed data, which is now widely used to stream content on smartphones. 

Also, the Digital India initiative has increased the production of affordable smartphones, making them available for all income groups. This has further increased the use of the internet, with rural India being no exception. The digital infrastructure of India was further strengthened with the growth of digital payments, showing an impact on how the end-user consumes data.

2. Content Consumption

OTT platforms that were once committed to a specific niche have now evolved to reach global audience. Platforms that were earlier targeting English conversate audiences, with the introduction of new players like Zee5, and Airtel Xstream, are now targeting mass yet evolving audience, with a mix of long and shorter form of content. The rise in consumption can also be attributed to the factors like creation of original content, users love for large screen content being available at fingertips, the ease to stream videos from almost anywhere. Even live streaming is the main focus area for OTT creators, with sports and music genre being the most attractive. 

3. Distribution landscape

OTT is mostly dominated by its own or similar platform players leading to tie-ups and allowing access to content across individual players. Even YouTube and Facebook still enjoy major viewership, giving a tough competition to newly existing OTT platforms in India. With Telcom companies becoming infrastructure providers to back a seamless viewing experience at affordable rates, there is a lot more potential for such partnerships to lead to innovative collaboration amongst the players across these industries to unlock huge potential in the years to come.

Digital Transformation Pillars 

As digital media consumption continues to increase, content creators on OTT platforms are welcoming change and are trying new models to enhance the overall experience of video streaming. 

Key players of Indian OTT platforms are content creators, content aggregators, digital platforms, and consumers. 

Pillars of OTT platforms:
1. Content Strategy 

OTT platforms are now focusing on mass content than niche content and are implementing “original content strategy” to achieve success. Content creators too focus on regional and live content as it helps to reach area-specific audiences.

2. Distribution

It is important for OTT platforms to build their own platform and have a strong online presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Partnerships with leading telecom providers are also proving to be successful.

3. Monetization

OTT platforms need to be strategically advertised to reach a broad audience. Some of the ways to monetize are FREEmium, subscription-based, sponsored content and advertisement based.

The digital advertising spends have superseded television advertising spends and accounts for more than 37% of the total advertising spends globally. In India, digital advertising spends are said to contribute 20% of the total spending by 2021. It is expected to increase to INR 294 billion when compared to INR 76.92 billion in year 2016. As smartphones are the primary devices used for data consumption, mobile advertising spend is expected to reach INR 132 billion in 2021 when compared to INR 16.9 billion in 2016.

Advertisers today are using Social Media Channels like websites and blogs to reach their target audience. The digital ads displayed on social platforms like Facebook or Twitter have contributed to 28% of the global digital ad spends, and this phenomenon continues to rise. 

It is essential to define a strategy and digital vision for an organization to thoroughly understand consumer composition and to access the business design accurately. Following a holistic approach can help content creators design and implement the right business plan. The digital infrastructure continues to rise, and with decreasing data costs, consumption of content digitally is near to becoming the mainstream in no time. 

What is a real point of thought here, is after having access to pool content or owing multiple subscriptions to OTT platforms what exactly is audience going to eye at, while the providers seek volumes in these nascent times, the real challenge is to maintain the user base and their interest for the OTT platforms in India in such a frenemies economy…