Understanding The Rise Of Ott In India
The OTT (Over-the-top) industry in India has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years. With the increasing availability of affordable smartphones and high-speed internet, more and more people are turning to digital content for their entertainment needs.
The OTT (or streaming) industry dominated news coverage in India throughout the two pandemic years (2020 and 2021). OTT emerged as the new and exciting destination for high-quality entertainment material when theatres were largely closed and television content remained static.
During this time, a number of movies were released straight online, and new platforms in various Indian languages were also introduced. New programs were released every week on well-known platforms including Disney+ Hotstar, Prime Video, Netflix, and others.
2022 was unique. Theaters and OTT media were the topics of debate. It was a successful year for the cinema industry with theatres reopening, with gross receipts in India surpassing Rs 10,000 crore for only the second time ever. (2019 holds the record, at Rs 10,948 crore).
The OTT industry in India is poised for significant growth in the coming years, driven by factors like increasing internet penetration, the popularity of regional content, and the growing demand for on-demand entertainment.
Some larger films from the south succeeded quite well, even in Hindi dubbed versions, whereas Hindi cinema did not succeed. The return of big-budget movies was aided by films like K.G.F: Chapter 2, RRR, Kantara, PS I, Brahmastra, and Vikram, even if the majority of minor films were still unable to gain any sort of audience.
In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of the OTT (Over-The-Top) industry in India, which has witnessed an incredible surge in recent years. OTT refers to the streaming of video content over the internet, bypassing traditional modes of content distribution such as cable and satellite TV. With the advent of high-speed internet and affordable data plans, the OTT industry in India has witnessed unprecedented growth in terms of both viewership and content creation. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the rise of OTT in India, its impact on the entertainment industry, and its future prospects.
COVID has affected many big industries around the world but if there’s one industry that has benefitted from the pandemic, it is the OTT industry. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the pandemic has fuelled the OTT business and helped it to increase its users. Reports suggest that during the past two years, OTT subscription has gone up by almost 50%. That’s a huge growth percentage by any standard. This was mostly made possible because of the lockdown that was implemented by governments all around the world. People, stuck inside their houses with nothing to do, headed to streaming platforms to kill boredom and to enjoy their free time, It became a primary source of entertainment.
OTT, which stands for Over-The-Top entertainment, is a relatively new industry for the Indian market but the rate at which it has grown and expanded is huge. Netflix, which was one of the first major streaming services to have set foot in India, has gained more than 3 million paid subscribers in the past year. While Netflix has a large number of subscribers, it's still lagging behind Disney+Hotstar which apparently holds more than 400 million active users, and Amazon Prime which has around 4.4 million paid subscribers in India. These are huge numbers and it only comments on the fact that OTT is the future.
What are OTT platforms?
OTT stands for "Over-The-Top," and it refers to the delivery of video, audio, and other media content over the Internet, without the involvement of traditional cable, satellite, or broadcast TV providers. In simpler terms, OTT platforms are online streaming services that allow users to watch movies, TV shows, and other video content on their internet-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs. Examples of popular OTT platforms include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Hulu, and YouTube TV. These platforms usually offer a wide range of content, including movies, TV series, documentaries, live sports, and news, and users can access the content on-demand or in real-time, depending on the platform's features.
Reasons Behind The OTT Rise
There are many reasons behind this huge growth in the OTT industry but the major one seems to be the lockdown and the harrowing boredom and anxiety it brought along with itself. This compelled many people to buy subscriptions to their favorite streaming services and indulge in movies and shows of their choice. Another major reason behind the boom in the OTT industry is the closing down of cinema halls. Cinema Halls had begun to face tough competition from OTT services even before the lockdown. The ease of watching shows and films from around the world in the comfort of your house is way more tempting than traveling to a cinema hall near you. The time and effort one saves from being stuck in traffic is the major reason why many people had begun to prefer OTT platforms over the traditional cinema hall experience. This was only fulled further by the lockdown when all the cinema halls around the country were shut down.
Another major reason why buying an OTT subscription makes sense to many people is the large variety of shows and films that are streaming online. Compared to the satellite broadcasting services such as Tata Sky, Dish TV, OTT platforms have a huge catalog of different shows and films. Netflix alone has more than 15,000 titles, shows, and films combined, and that too from different countries. This gives OTT platforms an edge over satellite television.
There's no denying that the OTT industry is going through a honeymoon period in India. This boom has further compelled other major media corporations to launch their own streaming platform. Sony Liv, Alt Balaji, Voot, Zee5, and many others have entered the market in a bid to capture the largest audience. India reportedly has more than 40+ streaming services and it looks like there's more to come. With such a cut-throat competition, it'd be interesting to see which streaming service comes out at the top. But one thing is certain, OTT has given a huge opportunity to many creators and producers to make interesting content. Shows such as Sacred Games, Delhi Crime, Paatal Lok, and Scam 1992 have become huge successes. These shows couldn't have seen the light of day had it not been for OTTs. With all this, it's safe to say that OTT will change the way we consume content.
Facts and figures Of OTT platforms
Over-the-top (OTT) platforms have seen a significant rise in India over the past few years, with the pandemic accelerating the growth even further. Let's take a look at some of the latest facts and figures:
According to a report by FICCI and EY, the Indian OTT market is expected to reach $12.5 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 28.6% from 2021 to 2030.
As of January 2022, India had around 448 million OTT video viewers, making it the second-largest market for OTT platforms in the world, after China.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar are the top three OTT players in India, with around 60-70% market share.
The pandemic had a significant impact on the growth of OTT platforms in India, with a 30% increase in subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms' revenue in 2020.
Regional content is a significant growth driver for OTT platforms in India. According to a KPMG report, Hindi and regional language content account for around 70-75% of total content consumption in India.
The average time spent by Indian viewers on OTT platforms increased from 3.5 hours per week in 2019 to 4.2 hours per week in 2020.
According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, the Indian OTT industry is expected to create around 500,000 jobs by 2025, with the majority of them being in content creation and production.
India has the world's second-largest internet user base, with over 750 million users, and the number is expected to grow to 974 million by 2025. This presents a massive opportunity for the OTT industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the growth of the OTT industry in India, as more people are staying at home and consuming digital content. According to a report by BARC India and Nielsen, the average time spent on OTT platforms in India increased by 30% during the lockdown period.
There are currently over 40 OTT platforms in India, with the top players being Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and ZEE5.
Regional content is a significant driver of growth for the OTT industry in India, with users increasingly looking for content in their local languages. According to a report by KPMG, the share of regional content on OTT platforms in India is expected to increase from 30% in 2020 to 45% by 2023.
The Indian government recently announced new guidelines for OTT platforms, which require them to self-classify their content into five categories based on age-appropriateness. This move is expected to bring in more transparency and accountability to the industry.
Reasons Behind The OTT Rise in India
The rise of OTT platforms in India has been phenomenal over the past few years. Several factors have contributed to this growth. Let's take a look at some of the key reasons behind the OTT rise in India:
Internet Penetration: With the advent of affordable smartphones and high-speed internet connectivity, the number of internet users in India has grown significantly. This has resulted in a surge in the number of OTT users in India. According to a report by Statista, the number of internet users in India is expected to reach 974.24 million by 2025.
Affordable Data Plans: The availability of affordable data plans has made it easier for people to access OTT platforms on their smartphones. This has resulted in a shift from traditional TV viewing to OTT platforms.
Increase in Local Content: The rise of OTT platforms in India has led to a surge in local content production. The availability of regional language content has helped the OTT platforms to cater to the diverse audience in India. According to a KPMG report, regional language content accounts for around 70-75% of total content consumption in India.
Original Content: The OTT platforms in India have been creating a significant amount of original content in recent years. This has resulted in an increase in the demand for OTT platforms, as people are looking for fresh and original content.
Cost-Effective: The cost-effectiveness of OTT platforms has played a significant role in their growth. The subscription plans for OTT platforms are affordable, and viewers have the option to choose from a variety of plans depending on their needs.
Convenience: OTT platforms offer convenience to viewers, as they can watch their favorite shows and movies anytime, anywhere. This has resulted in a shift from traditional TV viewing to OTT platforms.
Also Read: The 5 Best Entertainment Business Ideas
Top OTT Platforms in India
India's OTT market is rapidly growing, and there are several platforms that are competing for a share of the market. Here are some of the top OTT platforms in India:
Netflix is a global streaming giant that offers a vast library of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and original content. It is one of the most popular OTT platforms in India, with a wide range of regional language content and multiple subscription plans.
2. Amazon Prime Video:
Amazon Prime Video is another popular OTT platform in India that offers a mix of regional and global content, including movies, TV shows, and original content. It is part of the Amazon Prime subscription service, which also includes benefits like free delivery and access to music streaming.
3. Disney+ Hotstar:
Disney+ Hotstar is a popular OTT platform in India that offers a mix of global and regional content, including TV shows, movies, sports, and news. It also offers a range of subscription plans, including a free plan with limited content and a premium plan with access to all content.
Zee5 is an Indian OTT platform that offers a mix of original and regional language content, including TV shows, movies, and live TV channels. It also offers a range of subscription plans, including a free plan with limited content and a premium plan with access to all content.
SonyLIV is an Indian OTT platform that offers a mix of original and regional language content, including TV shows, movies, and live sports. It also offers a range of subscription plans, including a free plan with limited content and a premium plan with access to all content.
Voot is an Indian OTT platform that offers a mix of original and regional language content, including TV shows, movies, and live TV channels. It also offers a range of subscription plans, including a free plan with limited content and a premium plan with access to all content.
These are just a few of the popular OTT platforms in India, and there are several other platforms that are gaining popularity, including Alt Balaji, MX Player, and Eros Now.
The rise of OTT platforms in India can be attributed to several factors, including internet penetration, affordable data plans, increase in local content, original content, cost-effectiveness, and convenience. As the number of internet users in India continues to grow, and with the rise of local content and affordable data plans, the demand for OTT platforms is expected to grow in the years to come.