India government’s Digital India initiative, inaugurated on July 1, 2015, is considered a positive signal by the several OTT and video-on-demand (VOD) service providers. Here, we will discuss factors that ensure a bright future for OTT in India.
With nearly 500 million internet users, a figure that is growing at a rate of 8 percent, India is one of the largest drivers of digital innovation across the world. India’s potential as a market for global media and entertainment sector is unprecedented, and a liberal investment environment is helping foreign players to enter the Indian market easily.
The government’s Digital India initiative is helping even the most remote villages to stay connected. Indian culture values entertainment, and the growth potential for media houses and entertainment giants is enormous. OTT media services have already entered India, and services, such as Netflix, Alt Balaji, Hot Star, and Amazon Prime, have a growing number of users across the country. Surprisingly, OTT is growing popular even in smaller towns and villages where internet speed has been questionable, to say the least. More than 70 percent of revenue earned by the Indian music industry now comes from digital streaming. Affordable and high-speed internet connections have helped the music industry to make use of online platforms to offer music as OTT. Similarly, Indian movies and TV shows have a huge potential to reach the market via OTT. Most people in India have begun to replace their televisions with smartphones for media consumption. As smartphone usage tends to be an individual affair, as opposed to a family watching TV, individualization and personalization of music and movies will grow.
There is a potential market for larger-screen smartphones in India. Innovation in device manufacturing and accessories is an area that manufacturers and distributors should look at. Accessories, such as smart headphones, artificial intelligence, and IoT-based media consumption devices, and the like, have a promising future in India, thanks to OTT.
The combination of mobile internet and smartphones has already contributed significantly toward democratizing education all over the world. With any and every bit of information just a finger-tap away, learning is now not confined to classrooms alone. OTT services will help boost this revolution by further expanding the dimensions of a classroom. From being a mere physical part of a building, a classroom will soon become a metaphor for millions of people live-streaming lectures, across the globe and across time.
This shift from classroom-based education delivery to an online self-learning environment will be accompanied and bolstered by video lectures, live webinars, and interactive quizzes. OTT-based digital learning will also enable learners to pursue multidisciplinary education by taking up relevant online live or recorded courses, as per their requirements.
One of the biggest advantages OTT platforms have over Satellite TV is flexibility, which enables users to consume content anytime and anywhere. All that is required is a smartphone with adequate data, and they can enjoy their favorite show regardless of their location. This flexibility has given Indian consumers a sense of freedom from strict timelines of scheduled broadcasts. Additionally, OTT platforms are providing a rather smooth viewing experience in terms of mobility. Whether one is travelling or waiting in a queue for their food, these online streaming services ensure there is no obstacle in the way of consumption of content.
The future of VOD or OTT is very bright in India. Companies providing OTT services are betting on the above trends, and business prospects offered by them. Although the industry is flooded with various regional and global brand players, still India’s OTT subscribers are expected to grow to 105 million by 2020, according to a media report.