This post is by Rajiv Vaidya, CEO, Spuul India
In the last year, Indian OverTheTop (OTT) video content providers have gained considerable market share due to the boom in mobile data and broadband. The growth of 4G will only accelerate customers’ ability to receive and enjoy such video content. There is a steady growth in adoption of digital viewing not just globally but also in India. Entry of global players in Indian market will further boost the sector and get more people into a habit of paying to watch content online. According to IAMAI, India has more than 460 million Internet users with access to the cheapest data. The report emphasizes on the fact that 52% of internet users from rural areas access the internet for the prime purpose of entertainment, followed by 39% for social media and 37% for communication.
Furthermore, an increase in the number of Internet users, cheaper data and large-screen smartphones will fuel consumption of video content on the go, or at home, primarily through streaming on VOD platforms and the trend is likely to continue next year.
As per the Frost & Sullivan report, OTT video market was nearly USD 210 million in 2016, driven predominantly by advertising and the market is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 80 per cent till 2020. Currently, the challenge is technological infrastructure like broadband speeds which in India, are not enough to offer a smooth HD video streaming experience. However, with the likes of Reliance Jio and 4G coming in, consumption of video content is expected to go up from 3.5 hours per session to 5 hours per session, per day. 2016 was an interesting year for online video in India – both in terms of number of players arriving in this space as well as the user base and their time spent on digital video. India would easily be the fastest growing major market on digital video consumption today – especially given the growth in the last three months. With active OTT users crossing 66 million and the industry accruing over 1.3 million subscribers, OTT players were successful in carving a niche for themselves in 2016. The user base of OTT viewers is on a rise internet is now set to reach millions of households in rural India. India currently has around 340 million smartphones and is expected to touch more than 600 million by 2020. In fact, post demonetization, there is now an increased emphasis on digital literacy, which would further bring new users on-board, possessing the right wherewithal to opt for OTT viewership.
With mobile phones fast becoming primary screens for entertainment consumption in the country, the digitally-oriented consumer base is migrating from televisions to smartphones for catching up on its preferred entertainment solutions spewing a trend of cord-cutting. Active OTT and VOD subscribers are going to increase to 105 million by 2020. Even though the infrastructure promises to grow in times to come, one cannot deny the existing challenges posed by the same. Hence, it has fallen upon the OTT players to invest in technology to make the content delivery smoother and seamless.
Content will decide the success of the OTT players. India is quickly becoming a digital-first nation where the adoption levels towards new trends are much higher. Consumer attention these days is rapidly shifting and new, lucrative routes towards using digital are building up. In times like these where opportunities for digital success are in abundance, the need to constantly evolve or provide value has become vital for VOD players