It’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping the future of media consumption across the globe, especially, in a high growth, potential market like India. Digital formats are rampantly taking over the traditional channels with their flexibility, mobility and capability to support varied content, most importantly, LIVE.
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are driving forces behind the meteoric rise in digital media consumption, with smartphones being the preferred space. Unprecedented growth in the global smartphone market in the last 5 years has resulted in almost every third person worldwide owning a smartphone with 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world today (2019)*. Internet has disrupted unexplored territories, impacting distribution and consumption channels for media.
Video and audio traffic dominates data consumption across the globe on the back of faster network, coverage and increased bandwidth. The United States has witnessed sharp rise in digital/ new media consumption over traditional media. The combined forces of OTT biggies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV, Roku etc. are challenging the status quo and supremacy of traditional TV media as the biggest entertainment segment. The ripple effect is beginning to show in growth markets, especially Asia & in particular, India.
Content viewing pattern in India is slowly but surely changing, rather evolving & maturing. In line with global trends, the Indian consumer is increasingly consuming content on digital platforms. New age global aggregators have found the winning formula to hit the right notes amongst Indian viewers. Global OTT giants- Netlix and Amazon Prime have taken the market by storm, bringing international shows in a new, fresh perspective while Indian biggies like Hotstar, Voot, Zee5, AltBalaji etc have started creating diverse content which are testing sensibilities of the smart Indian consumer.
Traditional providers, aggregators and distribution (Cable/Direct-to-home) platforms have formed the core of the content delivery ecosystem in India. With the new tariff order regime by TRAI empowering the consumers to choose content as per their choice and interest & pay accordingly, the pressure is mounting on the satellite channels as well as platforms to focus and invest on quality content that evoke interest across multiple strata of society.
While cable distribution platforms and DTH are in a fierce price war to meet the demands of this new regime, it’s the OTT players that have smelt blood and cashing in on the big opportunity to dig deep into the Indian market by introducing innovative models to increase reach through e-commerce, retail and OEMs partnerships. Shows like Game of Thrones, Sacred Games, Narcos, Mirzapur, Selection Day etc have become household names not only amongst the urban audiences but also the burgeoning middle class, thus, transcending barriers of culture, religion and language.
What’s even more interesting is that consumers have started realizing that OTT is far more lucrative & cost-effective than satellite channel subscription and are slowly fading away from cable/DTH packs. The power of personalized content and experiences in a language of choice is the real strength of OTT which is influencing Indian audiences to shift gears and embrace a whole new world of cutting-edge content. Creative experts are looking at newer avenues of storytelling. Not every story needs to be told on the big or small screen. OTT has given a new lease of life to budding storytellers, content experts and producers to find & engage with audiences, share their vision and most importantly, get the reach and monetize effectively.
Over 30 online streaming services exist in India today and as per a BCG report, digital OTT is poised to rake in revenue of Rs 22,500 crore by 2020*. This projection will most definitely ride on big ticket content. Gen X is already glued onto OTT and the day is not far when the entire household will be on a personalized device watching content. India is galloping towards an OTT future!
*Source: Statista, BCG
Surely my cup of tea now to view content. Love to hear your views!