Sanjeev Mulchandani
Zonal Sales Head,
Zee Unimedia Ltd.

OTT – The Rise Of Chota Beam

For starters, Chota Bheem, an animation series on Netflix, was watched in 27 million households outside India, resonating with our third instalment in OTT series, which shows the mighty power of once Chota Beaming platform OTT, storming all the way into the bylanes of Hindustan, beaming world-class content in comfort of your house, making OTT no longer the small/chota platform to beam content.

Out of five smartphone users, four consume OTT, which shows OTT penetration among smart mobile devices is as high as 80 percent. Digital video consumption in India has increased from 11 minutes average to 24 minutes, which means per capita consumption has more than doubled over 2 years. Welcome to the land of 1.3 billion people, who on the back of 4G accessibility, have made India one of the biggest markets for video consumption.

2019 saw OTT in news with Netflix announcing investment of more than Rs 3000 crore in content, while Amazon Prime Video decided to double its investment in content. OTT – the once Chota Beam (to transmit) for content in AV content landscape – will soon occupy the mighty share of video viewership as viewers continue to binge watch.

Quick stats

  • Global E&M will reach USD 2.6 trillion by 2023, digital would account for 60 percent share by 2023.
  • OTT will grow at faster pace in India at 23 percent compared to 14 percent across globe.
  • In video consumption, OTT will grow at 22 percent, TV subscription at 12 percent, and cinema at 8.5 percent.
  • By 2023, globally, internet advertising will command more than 50 percent but in India, it will be 22 percent, which means TV will continue to dominate advertising landscape.

Looking at the above stats, it is clear that globally OTT will dominate viewership but in India it will continue to be the second-most watched medium after TV. Some interesting finds about demographics show genres like sports, movies, and documentaries, are being watched by men, whereas shows and music videos are being predominantly watched by women. With OTT germinating well, other genres like music streaming services, online radio, etc., are catching up on subscriber base too.

Freemium and SVoD are two key ways to monetize. Let us do a quick time-travel to one of my previous writeups, which says: industry gets ready with EKAM by BARC, which measures total unduplicated audiences across all devices and platforms, measuring combined program impressions or advertisements regardless of where and how content or ad is being consumed. The intent of monitoring audience across media, including the internet and mobile with the launch of much-awaited EKAM, the viewership will be platform-agnostic. This will take OTT to next level from advertisers’ perspective.

In the past few months, we have seen massive interest shown by audiences in OTT, which has startled the brands and platform owners. Brands are keen to engage with viewers but to find way in an uncluttered environment like SVOD, the challenge continues to be finding right space for brands to feature. To quote one such case study of audience engagement with premium content is ONE Plus riding on the launch of Sacred Games associated with Netflix, wherein some posters and behind-the-scenes were shot on ONE Plus 7 Pro. Besides that, it invited the ONE Plus device owners to come and enjoy free airing of the show, a day prior to its official launch on Netflix.

Lastly, I want to touch upon the accessibility of OTT. Blessed by uninterrupted supply of cheaper 4G, OTT gets consumed on mobile, outpacing wired desktop. In the wake of such trends, some OTTs have launched mobile-only plans, for cheaper accessibility. With mobile-advertising revenue outpacing wired platform for first time and mobile data soaring with smartphone data consumption overtaking fixed broadband data in 2018, the trend to identify viewer persona and present him content as per like viewing habits, it is time to embrace the power of mobility and OTT, to engage with best offering to the customer/viewer and leave them with delight, by offering a buffet of entertainment, on the go!

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