OTT and Its Evolution in The Indian Market

OTT is a frequently used term amongst teens, young-adults, and grown-ups in today’s world. An “over-the-top” media platform is a digital content supplier that offers streaming media like an individual service. The terminology is generally accredited to video-on-request platforms. However, it also alludes to direct messaging services, audio and podcast streaming, or voice calling solutions based on the internet.

OTT services dodge usual media distribution channels, for example, telecommunications networks or digital TV suppliers. However, in case you are connected to the internet, either locally or via a mobile network, you are free to enjoy OTT services entirely at the comfort of your home. These OTT services are often financed by means of paid subscriptions. Still, there are exemptions. For instance, some OTT platforms may provide advertising or in-app purchases (Sodhi & Roy, 2021).

Even though OTT services predominantly takes into consideration video-on-demand, it encompasses a diverse range of online content like:

Audio: Audio streaming is a service empowered by OTT technologies. Some of the best instances incorporate internet radio broadcasts, web recordings, and podcasts.

Video: Video streaming is the most popular form of OTT services. Mainstream platforms incorporate paid storefronts like iTunes, membership platforms like Netflix, and advertisement-based services like YouTube (Sodhi & Roy, 2021).

VOIP: Voice calling platforms, for example, WeChat and Skype, that work by means of internet conventions are also viewed as OTT services. At times, these services coordinate with mobile networks for upgrading specific features.

Direct Messaging: OTT-based instant messaging services interface customers via internet connections directly. It can provide the facility bypassing mobile SMS networks as well. Some of the well-known brands offering different forms of these services are- Google, Skype, Facebook, and WeChat. Most are equipped for supplanting or incorporating mobile phone text messaging features (Sodhi & Roy, 2021).

How Do OTT services Offer Content to Its Customers?

As already mentioned above, OTT services are empowered by online delivery systems; these platforms can circumvent third-party networks, which used to manage online content previously. Today, to enjoy seamless streaming of OTT services, all you need is robust internet connectivity and compatible hardware tools. Personal Computers and mobile devices perform exceptionally well in providing OTT services; you can either download OTT applications from Play store/ App store or view online OTT content via web browsers (HEDA, 2021). Other compatible hardware devices include smart TVs and digital media players. These appliances often come with either pre-installed OTT applications or enable users to download them (McAdams, 2021).

The purpose of OTT in the contemporary media industry

With over half of North Americans keeping up Netflix subscriptions, consumers now admire OTT content to the fullest. Here are only a couple of reasons why OTT solutions are more engaging than other conventional options:

High-quality content at an economical rate: Streaming services are generally viewed as a smarter and cheaper alternative in contrast to conventional cable packages. A Netflix HD membership is $12.99 for 30 days. On the contrary, the non-HD plans cost $8.99. That is a rational expense regardless of whether you expect to view a portion of its accessible content (McAdams, 2021).

Unique content: As of late, OTT suppliers like Netflix and Amazon Prime have started creating unique content that can only be accessed over their facility. Platforms like HBO Go and Disney+ have special streaming permits as well for hitherto broadcasted content (McAdams, 2021).

Adaptability with various gadgets: For many years, watching cable TV needed a TV. Today, OTT content can be enjoyed from a wide range of devices. Any subscriber can have a similar OTT experience from a cell phone, gaming console, Personal Computer, Smart TV, or tablet (McAdams, 2021).

Evolution of OTT in the Indian Market

In India, the OTT space is arising out of the classic television system and creating a fan base of its own. The number of OTT subscribers has reached beyond 29.0 million within March and July 2020. Research anticipates that these numbers will go higher significantly in the coming months making India the world’s second-biggest online video content consumer following China. It is no longer a mere platform for catching up with short web-series. OTT players are concocting engaging, unique content that is becoming immensely popular gradually amongst Indian viewers (McAdams, 2021).

A recent study demonstrates that India’s OTT video market is starting to witness genuine traction with more contenders and new creative platforms, with cost-effective data packs. With 180.3 million dynamic online video watchers and approximately 4 million enrolled subscribers, the OTT video services market acquired over Rs 37 billion every 2017 and is relied upon to develop at a CAGR of 17.3 percent throughout the following five years (McAdams, 2021).

India’s OTT video market is steadily turning into a standard entertainment terminus due to the quick ascent in the Internet client base and affordable smart devices that are readily accessible today all around the world (Sundaravel & Elangovan, 2020).

Different genres of OTT content like entertainment, sports, regional, and devotional are arising as fundamental areas of focus for OTT services. A large portion of these players are at the beginning phases of their development and zero in on quick customer gathering and stimulating viewerss engagement. From commencement till today, the chief growth factor for OTT has been the engaging and original fictions (HEDA, 2021).

The first Indian OTT stage was BIGFlix, introduced into the Indian Entertainment industry by Reliance Entertainment in 2008. In 2010, Digivive presented India’s first OTT mobile application, known to be nexGTv. It provided admittance to live TVs and on–request content. nexGTV was the pioneer to live–stream Indian Premier League (IPL) matches on mobile phones and streamed during 2013 and 2014.

OTT gained critical momentum in India around 2013 as both DittoTV (Zee), and Sony Liv were dispatched simultaneously. DittoTV contained shows across all media channels, including Sony, Star, Viacom, Colors, Zee, and so on (Sundaravel & Elangovan, 2020).

.Hotstar (presently Disney+Hotstar) is the popular OTT platform in India, claimed by Star India as of July 2020. It has around 300 million dynamic viewers.Also, it has approximately 350 million downloads. In 2019, Hotstar started putting ₹120 crores in making unique content, for example, “Hotstar Specials.” 80% of the subscriptions on Hotstar originates from dramatization, films, and sports contents.

Source- https://variety.com/2020/digital/asia/disney-plus-to-launch-india-hotstar-1203493375/

Netflix is basically American but joined India’s entertainment industry in January 2016. It was enlisted as a limited liability partnership in April 2017.In the financial year 2018, Netflix procured incomes of ₹580 million. As statistics reveal, in 2018, Netflix had 6,000,000 active subscribers, among which 5–6% were paid affiliates (Sundaravel & Elangovan, 2020).

Source- https://variety.com/2020/digital/asia/disney-plus-to-launch-india-hotstar-1203493375/

Eros Now, dispatched by Eros International, has the most significant amount of online content among India’s OTT suppliers. It is a hub of 12,000 films, 100,000 music albums and audio tracks, and 100 TV shows. It has 211.5 million registered customers and 36.2 million paying subscribers as of September 2020

Hoichoi is India’s first committed provincial language OTT service. It has dispatched 30 new shows and 12 unique movies in Bengali and has obtained around 200 Bengali films. It also broadcasts dubbed content from Arabic, Hindi, and English (Sundaravel & Elangovan, 2020).

Source- https://variety.com/2020/digital/asia/disney-plus-to-launch-india-hotstar-1203493375/

Conclusion

OTT media services have been with us for quite a long time. No matter you are subscribing to new platforms emerging in the market or sticking to Netflix, OTT speaks to the eventual fate of media. It is good to be a part of it.

Infographic

Source- Self made

References

McAdams, M. (2021). What Is OTT? – Understanding The Modern Media Streaming Landscape – tapjoy.com. Retrieved 18 April 2019, from https://www.tapjoy.com/resources/what-is-ott/

Sodhi, U., & Roy, N. (2021). Evolution in OTT space in India: Where next wave of growth will come from. Retrieved 7 January 2021, from https://www.adgully.com/evolution-in-ott-space-in-india-where-next-wave-of-growth-will-come-from-78727.html

Sundaravel, E. & N., Elangovan. (2020). Emergence and future of Over-the-top (OTT) video services in India: an analytical research. International Journal of Business Management and Social Research. 8. 489-499. 10.18801/ijbmsr.080220.50.

HEDA, S. (2021). Retrieved 7 January 2021, from https://cmds.ceu.edu/sites/cmcs.ceu.hu/files/attachment/article/1722/indiaottpaper.pdf

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