Rise of OTTP Streaming Services in India

Rise of OTTP Streaming Services in India

Netflix, Hotstar+ Disney, Prime Video, JioTV, SonyLIV are all the OTTP (Over The Top Platforms) are on a significant rise in India and have replaced satellite services, increasingly pushing movie-makers to release their projects on these platforms as well. There are approximately more than 40 OTT providers in India and are increasing day-by-day. What makes this trend so popular in India?

The last decade has seen tremendous growth in streaming services in India including subscription channels that have their own OTTP like SonyLIV, ZEE5, ALTBalaji, VOOT, Hotstar etc. Hotstar gains a major spot as it has rights to stream Cricket matches. In addition to cricket, commercial TV shows are also streamed on these platforms and the convenience of it all is a win-win for the viewer and the production houses.

A major role in this development is played by the availability of internet facilities across India and access to these apps as most of the viewer count is via app downloads on phones. Reliance JIO network, 3G and 4G networks, sale of smartphones have all contributed to this shift. The TVs in homes are being replaced by screens otherwise; laptops, tablets, smartphones and these OTTPs are experiencing a surge in membership even more during the Lockdown 2020 on account of COVID19 regulations. Investors were quick to realise the popularity and potential of the digital sector in India thus leading to various regional options for the public to choose from. Not to mention, the subscription charges of said services are more or less, feasible to the Indian market.

Indian viewership has, in fact, gone over a major change in the last decade as viewers like having the options of content as opposed to mainstream shows and movies. Cinema-goers may be loyal to their movies and stars but it certainly isn't long before the same movies are released on the streaming apps and benefit of convenience and HD quality is preferred more in this case. This also allows smaller projects of substance to share the space with biggies like mainstream movies. The business of content has incapsulated the Indian market and more creative and real-life projects are given importance along with the growth of maturity of the masses. This has adversely affected the cinema business as well as fancy projects and larger-than-life movies and saas-bahu content is replaced by authentic, web-series, short films and documentaries. Sacred Games, The Family Man, Made in Heaven, Permanent Roommates, Little Things, Ghoul, Breathe, Delhi Crime, Typewriter, Mirzapur, Inside Edge, Yeh Meri Family, TVF Pitchers, Bard of Blood, Four More Shots Please, the list is ENDLESS and this is only a fraction of the content on OTTPs.

The Indian viewer spends 70 minutes a day on streaming services, having access to more than 2 OTTP at a time. A major chunk of the content is preferred in regional languages which led to regional services like Hoichoi, Sun NXT, Aha, AddaTimes, ALTBalaji and SO many more. Since OTTP can be accessed from anywhere in the world, regional content has acquired appreciation from viewers that do not speak any Indian languages, moreover, the option of audio settings or subtitles has factored to their popularity.

To quote Rishika Lulla Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Eros Digital, said, �India is one of the fastest-growing entertainment and media market globally and is expected to keep that momentum. As data and digital infrastructure has become exceedingly accessible even in small cities of India, the market for OTT has widened enormously.�

Netflix may have been one of the pioneers of online streaming, but Hotstar and Prime Video have surpassed digital consumption in India quite largely. According to a survey conducted by Times of India, Hotstar leads by 29% in market penetration in India, followed by JioTv at 23%, 10% Prime Video and 5% Netflix. A whopping 33% is dominated by other services that are made available to the public regionally. All of 40+ OTTP services are focused on creating content aimed at originality, creativity and brilliance. Digital India has realised the potential of movie-makers from all levels. The authority of mainstream cinema and TV industry has been contested strongly based on quality finally. Small-time actors, producers, scripts are showcased and materialised respectively, to a great extent and they all have the advantage of options of OTTP services to approach. Video-on-Demand (VoD) dominates the projects being rolled out today and every project has an audience.

In conclusion, a recent report by Deloitte affirms budget close to Rs. 33,000 crore has been reserved for OTTP content and PWC states that Indian OTT Market will lead by the year 2022. This also puts India on the map of digitalisation and demand for better internet connectivity and recognition as a consumer.

Maryam Syed