India’s digital video audience universe may stand at 353.2 million, but only 31% of it are paying subscribers, while the remaining (69%) are AVoD (advertising video-on-demand) audiences, according to a report by media consulting firm Ormax.
Titled The Ormax OTT Audience Report: 2022, the findings are based on research conducted across more than 6,000 SVoD and AVoD audiences in urban India, between November 2021 and March 2022. Viewer groups have been profiled on various aspects of their digital video consumption, such as viewing behaviour, languages, format and genre preference, subscription drivers and barriers, media habits, and so on.
The report says that the audience is watching content across multiple languages, because of the presence of dubbing and subtitling options that are widely available, especially on SVoD (subscription video-on-demand) platforms. An Indian SVoD viewer watches content in 4.6 languages on an average. A large share of audience consuming content in the four south Indian languages comes from outside their native state. For example, 88% Malayalam content viewers are from outside Kerala, while 82% Tamil content viewers are from outside Tamil Nadu. The AVoD outlook on language content is more conservative, primarily because of the low presence of multi-language dubbing on AVoD services, including YouTube, the report says.
Dubbing has also fuelled the growth of English and other foreign language content, including Korean. 65% SVoD audience and 43% AVoD audience in urban India watch English language content, though a sizeable section among them (more than half) prefer to watch it in an Indian language via dubbing. Average number of languages of content consumption among SVoD audiences are higher in the southern states, with Karnataka leading with an average of 5.7 languages. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh rank the lowest on this measure, at an average of less than four languages.
“Streaming is a fast-growing category in India, and hence, it is important for content creators and marketers to constantly upgrade their understanding of the audiences, their taste, their viewing habits, and their viewing triggers,” Shailesh Kapoor, founder and CEO, Ormax Media, said in a statement. A lot of AVoD content is being made in India today with an SVoD lens, Kapoor said, but the formats and genres preferred by the two audience segments are significantly different from each other. “Since streaming has come up in India only recently in a big way, a lot of content greenlighting in the category has happened on instinct so far, without any robust consumer data to aid the decision-making process,” Kapoor added. Live Mint