Gurjit Singh
Head-International Distribution of TV Channels,
Times Network & BCCL Worldwide

OTT Rising – Global And India Trends

Video streaming has surpassed all other media, in terms of the number of users globally. Streaming trends indicate that the technology has been reaching new heights across the globe. The convergence of new technologies, internet penetration, and increase in the number of mobile users are the driving forces behind this development, and taking the game to a different level.

Online global streaming trends indicate that video streaming still leads the pack and will make up 82 percent of internet traffic by the year 2022.

Over-the-top (OTT) media services are growing, with more than 182 million subscribers in the US alone. The popularity of these platforms stems from the fact that they offer subscribers limitless and instant access to original high-quality content of their choice, with comfort of watching their favorite content on the move.

The global demand for original programming has increased. Consumers belonging to younger age groups even use the provision of original content as the basis for choosing a streaming service. These trends have resulted in the rise of original and quality programming across all the OTT platforms globally.

Today OTT services are working day and night to find ways of providing original and high-quality content. The trick seems to work as consumers continue to migrate to online video platforms. Many OTT providers have also allied themselves with mobile operators to get a large slice of the pie. Companies are also looking into monetizing content, using alternative models, which include ad-based and subscription video on demand.

Coming back to India, in line with global trends the Indian consumer is increasingly consuming the content on digital platforms. This trend is observed for all types of content including news (text), music (audio), or video. Increasing internet penetration and mobile-device proliferation and convenience of consuming the content anytime, anywhere are the key drivers for this trend.

For the youth of the country, binge-watching is the new weekend plan and originals are the new movie dates. There is a swift move from consumption of content from the popular names in the OTT space than the traditional TV (which used to be a preferred choice few years back).

India provides a huge opportunity for online video providers. Apart from the traditional over-the-top (OTT) players in the market, major broadcasters in the country have also invested in this segment and launched their own OTT platforms.

However, the main hindrance to the OTT market in the country is the average price for cable and satellite subscriptions, which limits subscription revenues for the OTT players.

Three years ago, consulting firm PwC’s annual report on media and entertainment did not make a mention of OTT (over-the-top) video as a potential revenue stream in India. Its latest report, Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019–2023 estimates that the Indian OTT market will grow from Rs 4464 crore in 2018 to Rs 11,976 crore in 2023, a CAGR of 21.8 percent. During that period, India is also slated to be ranked among the top ten markets globally.

With lower-than-ever data tariffs and increasing smartphone penetration in the country, it is safe to assume that OTT market will be a significant beneficiary of these developments.

Let us see how soon we embrace paying for our OTT wholeheartedly than sharing the log-in credentials with our family and friends.

Till then, continue binge watching.

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