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Video subscribers up over 80% since last year; YouTube outperforms peers

If you think Indians don’t pay for media, think again. In 2021, no less than 102 million people subscribed to streaming video services — up from 56 million last year. And though Netflix has the smallest share of paying subscribers at 5 per cent, it has the highest share of revenues at 29 per cent of the Rs 6,000 crore that subscription-driven video-on-demand, or SvoD, earned in 2021. On the other hand, advertising-driven video-on-demand services earned Rs 8,100 crore. Of this, global platforms such as YouTube got three-fourth, while broadcaster-owned and other OTTs like MX Player or Disney Star got a fourth.

The streaming world continues to grow and drive changes across all parts of the estimated Rs 90,000 crore video consumption universe including TV, films and OTT. That is the first of the three big things that stands out from Media Partners Asia’s (MPA) research presented at its recently concluded APOS. The event is one of the biggest regional gatherings of firms, investors et al in the telecom, media and entertainment ecosystem. “India has entered an era of digital renaissance, aided by low-cost but high-speed broadband connectivity, seamless and secure payment infrastructure,” says Mihir Shah, vice president, MPA.

That is the second thing that stands out. It seems somewhat obvious but look at the growth in broadband users, data and the fall in prices as a continuum from 2013 to 2021 and the numbers are startling. From 194 million broadband subscribers in 2016 when Jio launched, India now stands at 680 million. Over the same period, data consumption jumped from one to 15 gigabytes per user per month as prices crashed. Much of this growth is driven by video.

The third, and arguably the most interesting insight, will make advertisers happy. “Advertisers had lost premium homes that watched English channels since most went behind a paywall. Now, connected TV is giving advertisers a route back into these,” says Shah. A connected TV is used to watch both online video and linear TV and is, therefore, a hybrid of sorts. Think of it as a Smart TV plus DTH/cable connection. According to MPA data, there are currently five million daily active users of connected TV. The figure will go to about 33 million over five years, it estimates. The premium on the landing page or what the screen switches on with is rising, says Shah. Business Standard

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