Convergence Plus
Monday, April 19, 2021


Digital India : Changing landscape of OTT Video industry

By Yash Menghani

Digital India : Changing landscape of OTT Video industryThe current Indian budget will prove to be a catalyst which allows broadband access to thousands of Indian villages and incentivizes digital payments. Demonetization was a major trigger to push digital payment industry. Companies involved in the digital payments have received tremendous growth, such as Paytm have witnessed growth up to 300% app downloads. The beneficiaries from the digital eco-system will not be limited to banking sector but also other industries such as broadcast & OTT will also reap enormous benefits in the future. Here is how digitization will impact every aspect of OTT industry in India.

User Perspective
There are about 66 million unique video users as reported by research firm Frost & Sullivan. The increasing numbers of OTT-enables devices and internet connections will provide access to quality and variety of content at competitive price. The competition in the segment is also increasing at alarming rate such as Amazon Prime offering annual packages from as low as 499 INR.

The success story of OTT lies in the low cost devices with varies content which provides accessibility to lower income group as the majority of Indian population lies in the segment.

Growing Smartphone eco-system
The mobile industry will continue to grow as more low-cost device manufacturers enter the market. 80 percent of Indians already have mobile phones, and this number will get a further boost as more users shift to digital payments. From an OTT perspective, this upward trend in smartphone penetration could trigger a rise in demand for OTT content, as more users ditch their older models for phones that have video-streaming capability.

Streaming apps such as Hotstar will also benefit as the smartphone industry expands, as could VOD platforms, because the number of downloads will likely increase, and users will spend more time streaming the content. Paid, ad-free content is still a luxury for majority of the viewers. Therefore, the challenge for companies seeking to generate revenue in the ecosystem will be to capture the attention of Indian consumers as they hunt for free content. OTT platforms need to think of more effective ways to monetize their content.

Revamping strategy with surge in users and targeting options
In many ways digitization could usher in a golden era for content producers. Unlike traditional TV, OTT platforms are not limited to a fixed number of channels. As digitization picks up, broadcasters would be able to spin off as many OTT channels as required to cater to the demands of specific audiences. In a market as diverse as India, this targeting effort could lead to rapid increase in revenues from OTT content monetization. Broadcasters that use cloud technology could expect an even better return on investment, because cloud technology makes the cost of repackaging content insignificant. Likewise, content owners can also benefit by making their content directly available on OTT platforms either as a linear feed or in an on-demand model, wherein they can maintain their entire broadcast infrastructure CAPEX-light on cloud, with ability to scale at will and still create a world-class playout experience for the viewers.

The increase in OTT video user-base could also benefit product brands, with an advantage of directly reaching out customer segments. This widening of user base could positively impact the start-up sector, with improved demand generation from otherwise previously inaccessible markets. For example, e-commerce ventures such as Big Basket could customize their offering for rural India, and promote it on OTT platforms to reach individual target customers. Likewise, businesses based in rural India can reach out to urban customers through OTT advertising, resulting in economic growth in non-urban areas.

Monetizing the content: OTT perspective
There are, however, some barriers that broadcasters and content owners must overcome before they can successfully monetize their content and make India an OTT-first country.

For one, people must be able to access the content in the first place, and that means ensuring the villages of India have sufficient cellphone-signal coverage and reliable internet connections. Unfortunately, that isn’t a problem broadcasters and content owners can solve on their own.

Another sticking point is the ability to understand the consumer mindset, which is the key to creating a sustainable business model for OTT. These remain some of the toughest challenges. How industry leaders and government policies tackle these challenges will have a significant impact on the growth of OTT consumption in India

« Back

convergence plus