Kranti Gada from Shemaroo Entertainment shares some valuable trends from the OTT industry that will continue to rein and help pace-up the game for the industry in 2021.
When it comes to content streaming, this year has been a breakthrough for the entire industry. We saw some great developments and innovations in the OTT space. From direct-to-digital releases to increased consumption of regional content, this year was like the stepping stone in the growing popularity of OTT.
The increased data consumption and internet access in Rural India have further propelled the growth of OTT in India. It has also led to an increase in adoption across demographic segments including women and older generations. The latest report by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) showed that rural India, for the first time has more internet users than those in the urban parts of the country. Our OTT platform also witnessed immense engagement and participation amongst the target audience which was a welcoming change.
Observing the change in the viewing pattern, ShemarooMe inked a strategic partnership with BookMyShow (for ticket sales) where audiences got to enjoy unreleased movies in the comfort of their homes with ShemarooMe Box Office.
The OTT industry is a consumer-centric one, where the audience drives the trends as well as growth. According to me, below are some of the disruptive trends to look out for in the OTT space in 2021.
Diversification of content
We will see an upscaling and disruption in regional content. The demand for regional content has increased on the back of affordable data tariffs, increased mobile network penetration in the smaller regions, and the increased availability of affordable smartphones.
The internet revolution is touching the vast majority of the population across demography, geography, social and economic segments. Diversification of content and upping the game in regional content will be critical in staying relevant and building affinity while also offering the type of differentiated entertainment increasingly demanded by consumers.
Smart TV and OTT: A synergetic relationship
Smart TVs are seeing a huge rise in demand, as many consumers have gotten accustomed to accessing their favorite content on mediums other than their smartphones.
A rise in the middle-income population’s disposable income and ongoing digital transformation are encouraging people to shift from traditional TV sets to Smart TVs. While all top OTT platforms are already available to stream on Smart TVs, Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom companies across the country have also started to bundle OTT video platforms as part of their offerings to attract and engage their users. The seamless integration to make it more consumer-friendly is a space we can expect to see some great innovations.
Adoption of Technology
Technologies like Voice searches, voice navigation, and AI/Big Data for content discovery are very critical to the success of a platform. This will lead to better content discovery and enhance the overall user experience. Voice-assisted searches will further help bridge the urban-rural divide.
More and more platforms will offer bundled OTTs at discounted rates with a single sign-on. As SVOD revenues are set to rise, app aggregation will play an important role in expanding the market. It brings significant value to the consumer in terms of affordability, useability (single sign-on, single-window content discovery, etc.), and compatibility with his/her device (1 app instead 6 to 7).
App aggregation will help penetration and adoption of premium offerings and build a base for converting more and more subscribers into the pay bucket.
With cinemas temporarily shutting their doors, production companies are using OTT platforms to premiere new films and reaching their audiences.
The new releases are growing in numbers and will continue in the coming years, too. Even regional films are following the same trend to leverage the vast reach of the OTT platforms. Direct to digital/OTT releases are going to be trendsetters in the next foreseeable future.
This article piece is authored by Kranti Gada, COO, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd.