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What India is watching during the lockdown


New Delhi, April 19 2020 - The lockdown period has led to a boom in the television and OTT markets all over the world, with Indians getting their dose of entertainment through fiction tales, historical pieces, mythological stories and supernatural thrills.

According to a recent report by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), TV consumption in India grew by 38 per cent over the pre-COVID period. People are now watching TV for all seven days with an increase of 47 per cent viwership.

The report also stated that the consumption of Hindi as a language has grown, with mythology driving the growth -- thanks to the re-runs of classic shows like "Ramayan" and "Mahabharat". This week, the Hindi GEC attained an all time high viewership of four billion since 2015 in HSM (Hindi Speaking Market) Urban.

Another trend which was spotted was the resurgence of English movies category. English movies has shown an 83 per cent growth in the lockdown period.

When it comes to OTT, the disruption caused by COVID-19 gave a big fillip to education apps, along with streaming services. The top content picked by the audience includes fiction, thriller, history, news, supernatural, and mythology.

The growth of TV and OTT was spotted by GlobalWebIndex Entertainment flagship report as well. It stated that in every age bracket, "internet users watch more broadcast TV than online TV, despite year-on-year drops in broadcast engagement".

"Online TV has captured more and more daily media time among internet users since 2012, climbing from the 45 minute per day mark to its current standing of 1 hour 17 minutes," it added.

According to the report the average time spent watching linear TV in India is 1 hour and 34 minutes, and online TV on a typical day is 1 hour and 31 minutes.

It is important to note that while Netflix and Amazon Prime Video might have found a strong ground in India, the report states that Indian market is not a smooth sail for foreign players.

Netflix engagement over the past year in India, increased by 14 per cent points to 58 per cent. It is further strengthening its position by widening its Indian slate, and getting Bollywood biggies like Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Anushka Sharma on board.

"India's streaming market is one of the biggest and fastest-growing in the world, and at the same time, one of the most resistant to penetration from global players," the report said.

That explains the recent growth of Indian OTT players, which include Voot, AltBalaji, Zee5, and MX Player.

"The country's video market is valued at over $700 million and is expected to grow to $2.4 billion in value by 2023, with the over-the-top (OTT) industry projected to be with the highest growth rate," it explained.


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