The Indian video subscription ecosystem has evolved with over 30 video OTT platforms in India. The rise of the OTT industry can be attributed to cheap data plans and increase in smartphone penetration in India.
The OTT industry mainly functions on exclusive content (original or acquired), forming loyal audiences basis quality content that isn’t available on any other platform.
Indian OTT players are spread far and wide, with focus on various genres. Eros Now for instance, has a vast film library, Zee5 offers regional content, SonyLiv and Hotstar, repurpose their television content, and VOOT has a focus on kids’ content.
Basis the FICC-EY report ‘Re-imagining India’s M&E sector’ Social Samosa spots a few OTT trends that shaped up in 2017.
1 Global expansion
OTT players stand at the brink of a global opportunity as global consumers spending on SVOD is slated to total US$18.7 billion in 2017, a 28 per cent rise from 2016. Apart from the worldwide launch of Zee5, Zee launched Weyyak, its Arabic language OTT platform.
Also Read: 6 OTT trends that will lead the way in 2018
Hotstar launched SVOD service in US and Canada at a monthly charge of US$9.99 and C$12.99. Eros Now has entered the South African market through a partnership with telecom provider, Telecel Global, allowing its consumers’ access to Eros Now’s library.
ALT Digital has a partnership with Lemon Advisors to strengthen its international distribution through alliances with telecom operators, internet service providers, and OEMs.
Viacom’s VOOT is set to make an international debut this year. B4U too is expected to launch an OTT platform, catering only to international audiences.
2 Partnerships became pivotal
Both global and local players have been focussed on exclusive content to drive subscriptions, resulting in content and distribution partnerships. Many OTT players have also been setting up their own studios to create differentiated content.
The report suggests that Neflix is considering setting up studio facilities in India for production of shows.
3 Original Content
Original content has been the main distinguisher in the now crowded OTT space. Netflix will be launching 100 hours of content catering to the Indian market, why Big Synergy is slated to create six to seven web shows for platforms such as ALTBalaji, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vuclip, Applause Entertainment and Voot.
4 Production houses expanded in scope
The battle for original quality content has resulted in an impetus of scope for production houses. Digital content creators now include SaReGaMa, Golden Karavan, Applause Entertainment, Vishesh Films, Balaji, Shemaroo, Endemol, OML, and more.
5 Regional content investment grew
It is estimated that 75 per cent of Indian internet users will be from rural India and 75 per cent of these users will consume content in local languages. OTT players such as ALTBalaji, SonyLiv, and Hotstar have been offering content in various regional languages including, Tamil, Telgu, Bengali, and Punjabi.
Amazon Prime has partnered with Bengali cinema’s Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF) to expand its Bengali content. SVF on the other hand has a subscription led OTT platform, Hoichoi offering vast Bengali content.
6 New avenues of revenues merged
OTT players are increasingly looking towards new revenue options such as brand association and advertising. Arre Original generates 75 per cent of its revenues through brand associations, 10 per cent through advertising and the rest from syndication to platforms.
7 Distribution through telecom players
Players such as Reliance Jio, Vodafone, and Airtel have launched their own OTT services to grab a share of the pie. Vodafone has Vodafone Play, Airtel launched Wynk music while Jio has Jio Movies. BSNL partnered with Eros Now to bundle and launch, Eros’s offerings across existing and new data users of BSNL in association with SpeedPay, its multi purpose wallet.
BSNL and Idea have also partnered with Zeel’s Ditto TV, whereby the OTT service will be available their internet users.
The article has been collated from FICC-EY report ‘Re-imagining India’s M&E sector’,