Haresh Yogesh Panchal
Studio Manager (Operational & Technical Head),
Eros International Media Ltd.

OTT Trends That Lead The Way in 2019

To say that OTT technologies have disrupted the Indian entertainment landscape would be making a major understatement. Subscription-based on-demand OTT platforms like Netflix, nexGTv, Alt, Eros Now, and Amazon Prime have risen in popularity over the past couple of years and are fast displacing traditional TV programming and originals as the preferred medium of entertainment for modern Indians. This shift in viewer sensibilities also reflects in the growth projections for the country’s OTT industry. As per study report, the Indian OTT market, is expected to reach and grow very sharply in coming years.

What new trends are expected to drive its continued growth? Here are some key market trends that will define the direction of the Indian OTT industry this year.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Cutting-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning will enable OTT players to gather, analyse, and generate insights from vast volumes of digital data pertaining to user viewing patterns. This will not only help players to streamline the way they curate and recommend content to their users, but also enable them to create original content which is in sync with the viewing preferences of different audience demographics.

Immersive, seamless, and high-quality viewing experience across multiple media formats

Interactive digital content allows a viewer to actively participate in the progression of the narrative, thus delivering an extra-immersive experience. OTT platforms are already making it possible for viewers to enjoy seamless digital entertainment across multiple media formats, be it through mobile apps or online websites. Top players in the domain are also leveraging seamless inter-connectivity to enable viewers to watch their choice of content on bigger screens, such as 4K and 8K, and smart TVs. Over the past couple of years, a boom in the sales of high-definition TVs has been observed, with features such as higher picture quality, more immersive viewing experience, and ultra-high resolution becoming increasingly popular. The shift clearly signals an inclination to have a big-screen HQ viewing experience, which OTT industry is readily providing them, in addition to that on handheld devices.

More of good quality original content

With OTT platforms readily providing distribution opportunities to India and regional filmmakers, there has been an explosive growth in the production of original content. These range from low-budget experimental features to those comparable with blockbuster series. 2019 will also see the launch of regional OTT apps targeting specific language natives in India and global diaspora at large facilitating a much-deserved viewership to content as diverse as there are languages in the country.

Blockchain-powered content protection

Blockchain adoption in the OTT domain can help content creators and distributors in storing, cataloguing, copyrighting, and distributing digital content. Blockchain’s immutable, decentralised public ledger will also enable OTT platforms to introduce more effective access policies and restrictions. This will help ensure that digital content remains seamlessly accessible to authorised users, while protecting it against copyright infringements and online piracy.

Way forward

In the past couple of years, there has been a collective shift in media consumption sensibilities, with people preferring over-the-top media services over the traditional media. Apart from providing a massive content diversity, the power of choice, and seamless accessibility, OTT makes for a more immersive and engaging medium of entertainment delivery and consumption. The trends will further enhance OTT’s appeal in the eyes of Indian viewers and will continue to drive the domain’s exponential market growth – all the while ushering in an unparalleled revolution in the larger entertainment ecosystem and beyond.

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