Why Are the OTT Platforms Ruling the Media and Entertainment Industry?
Why Are the OTT Platforms Ruling the Media and Entertainment Industry?
When the global outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on other industries, the picture is exactly the opposite for the OTT platforms.
One of the industries that have seen massive growth in the past few years is that of the OTT platforms and the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been proved as a boon for it. While other industries have been adversely affected by the pandemic, the OTT platforms have walked the path otherwise. With social distancing being the new normal and the theatres and multiplexes being closed, people confined in their houses are left with very few options of entertainment. OTT platforms have played a major role in entertaining people amidst these critical times and have clearly taken over the other modes of entertainment. This blog will give you a detailed insight into this booming industry and the reasons for its popularity.
According to a survey conducted by the mobile marketing platform InMobi in April 2020, 46% of viewers are engrossed in watching online content. Added to this, experts also suggest that the popularity of these platforms could grow further in the future, as television channels may run out of content. According to Paritosh Joshi, Media Consultant and Principal, Provocateur Advisory, “As these channels have been unable to shoot due to the lockdown, they are running old content. In such a scenario, people will gravitate towards OTT to watch fresh content.”
Learn the History of the OTT Platforms
With the launch of BigFlix, by Reliance Entertainment in 2008, India witnessed the first dependent OTT Platform. In addition, Digivive launched the first mobile OTT app in India in 2010, called nexGTv, which offers access to both live TV and on-demand content. As soon as DittoTV by Zee and Sony Liv were released in the Indian market around 2013, OTT gained considerable momentum. DittoTV was a site for the aggregation of shows on all television platforms, including Star, Sony, Zee, etc.
Why Are the OTT Platforms Gaining Popularity Among the Viewers?
The growth of India’s OTT platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, Hotstar Disney, Voot, Sony LIV has not only helped the audience to watch diverse content from across the world but also to explore new genres. Unlike the silver screen, where investment plays a big role and innumerable factors determine the genre of the movie, OTT platforms are open for a lot more experimentation as it allows production in a much cheaper budget. Apart from that, the viewers are not restricted to watching only one genre but it provides content on various genres like crime, thriller, horror, and comedy.
Aparna Acharekar, Programming Head, ZEE5 India, says, “According to research, insights, and trends – crime, thriller, horror genres are popular and hence, you will see many such shows across video streaming platforms. The digital viewer who is mainly in the age group of 18-34 yrs has become used to the ‘binge-watch’ format which helps explore these genres in-depth through multiple episodes.” The OTT platforms are much more collective and inclusive, unlike commercial cinema, as it allows many new writers and directors to work on a series or film. This encourages additional experiences and talent for a single program or film to come together and create a more immersive and enriching viewing experience. Although filmmakers agree that this is a wonderful way to deliver quality content, they agree that OTT platforms also decide what content they choose to restrict the diversity on the site.
Does It Provide Content for All Age Groups?
Yes, it does. It’s an age-old myth that only younger people take interest in these streaming media as they provide content of their taste. Several surveys and research show that people between the age group of 25 years to 50 years are the loyal audience of the OTT platforms and they spend almost 70 minutes a day watching content on these platforms. As these platforms provide content in all regional languages and in various forms, it easily attracts people of all age group.
Is DTH Cable Losing Popularity?
With the increasing popularity of OTT Platforms, households are cutting down on DTH cable connections. People are rapidly moving from DTH cable to Firesticks, Chromecast, and SmartTVs only to easily access the OTT Platforms. However, studies reveal that subscriptions to a number of OTT Platforms are comparatively expensive than a single DTH connection, but audiences are not stepping back even after considering the price point as they feel that the quality of content these platforms provide is worth every penny. It seems people have realized that good things are expensive.
Top 6 OTT Platforms in India
Amazon Prime Video, by Amazon, launched in 2016, is one of the most popular video streaming services or OTT services in India. Apart from English, Prime Video is available in six different Indian languages. The popularity of the platform lies in its diverse library that features movies, short films as well as web series.
Another popular streaming service in India is Netflix. It offers three subscription plans including Basic, Standard HD, and Premium Ultra HD to its audience making it easy for people of all financial standards to take the subscription. However, Netflix faces tough competition with other OTT platforms such as Amazon Prime, Hotstar, and Voot as they offer subscription at a much lower rate compared to Netflix.
Originally Hotstar, owned by Star India is now Disney+ Hotstar, an OTT Platform owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney’s Star India. With two subscription plans, “VIP”, which focuses on domestic programs and sports content, and “Premium”, that features premium international films and television series, Disney+Hotstar is one of the most subscribed streaming platforms in India.
Voot is an advertising-led video-on-demand platform that has been launched in March 2016. Available only in India, Voot hosts video content that includes shows from channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, and Colors and other TV channels owned by Viacom 18. It also features content in multiple languages like Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, and Tamil. Apart from television content, Voot also hosts many Bollywood films as well as ‘Voot Original’ shows. In February 2020, Voot introduced a paid subscription service called Voot Select.
Run by Essel Group via its subsidiary Zee Entertainment Enterprises, ZEE5 is an Indian video-on-demand service that has been launched in India on 14 February 2018. It features content in 12 different Indian languages. Apart from the TV shows, this streaming service also features various movies that are accessible after subscribing to a particular plan.
Sony Liv is an Indian general entertainment, video-on-demand service that is owned by Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. Sony Liv archives consist of 18 years of content from the Sony Entertainment Network channels. Sony Liv is the first Indian OTT media service platform to produce music content for a Hollywood feature film.
What Are the Future Predictions for the OTT Platforms?
The Indian OTT industry is projected to rise by 45 percent to hit around 138 billion by the end of fiscal 2023, according to KPMG Media and Entertainment Report 2018. Also, a survey report by Ernst & Young reveals that the number of OTT users in the world will hit 500 million by 2020, making India the second-largest industry after the US.