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How OTT Platforms Are Winning Over the Indian Audience

By Sthitaprajnya Panigrahi

Renovating the Indian entertainment industry, Over-the-top media service is slowly becoming the new face of media and entertainment. From staying glued to the television sets in the 90s to currently staying glued to the smart-phone sets, the preference of Indian audiences are changing significantly. No longer dependent on DTH services and cable connections for entertainment, the Indian OTT audiences are rather talking about Netflix series rather than Star plus serials because of their uncensored, multi-cultural, and diversified content. Owing to the abundant availability of the internet, reaching out to the target audience has been quite easy. Taking advantage of this availability, Over-the-top Services (OTT) has come into the limelight by creating vast business opportunities. With a CAGR of approximately 22 percent, the OTT platforms in India are experiencing significant growth and the industry is expected to reach up to 21.5 percent by 2023.

With more than 30 OTT providers and over 90 million active users, the media and entertainment sector is experiencing a revolutionary transformation. The factors which are affecting the growth of OTT platforms in India making it a widely spread digital phenomenon across the length and width of the country are mentioned below:

  • Multiple Key Players: As the OTT market is thriving, it is also witnessing the arrival of many prominent players across the sector owing to its high-profit generation. Apart from foreign OTT platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix, many Indian platforms such as Hotstar, Sony LIV, and Voot are also marking their presence in the Indian market. In September 2019, the food delivery app Zomato also ventured into the OTT market along with its video streaming platform ‘Zomato Originals’.
  • Reaching to a Diversified Range of Audience: Starting from already telecasted old TV serials to animated movies and almost one original and innovative series every other day the OTT sector is certainly trying to reach out to the audiences belonging to a diversified age group. Some producers also prefer to launch the movies and serials in the OTT platforms itself instead of releasing it in movie halls which is again providing the audiences greater accessibility to the shows.
  • No Time Constraints: Unlike the TV serials and movies bounded by the limitations of a time period, an OTT user can watch and enjoy the videos as per his/her comfort. You can watch more than 10 episodes of a serial or pause it and watch it every now and then taking a break from work. A 24x7 entertainment platform, the OTT platforms are winning over the Indian audiences by ensuring a sense of flexibility among them.
  • Marketing and Advertising: With the augmentation of the OTT industry, investors are looking out for more innovative ways to make their names and brands reach the targeted customers. Video advertisements are the new genre that is short yet catchy to arrest the attention of the audience within a short time. Investors are also interested to invest in the video advertisements in OTT platforms as it will not only reach a maximum range of audiences but it is also cost-effective they only have to pay when the audiences watch it.
  • Lowest Pricing: One of the major factors that detect the presence of any products or services in the market is its price and OTT is certainly detecting the media and entertainment sector in this case. Providing availability of monthly or yearly subscription with nominal charges, OTT is slowly becoming a major source of entertainment in the Indian market.

With more than 500 million active internet users in India, the OTT platforms are emerging as a competitive as well as challenging industry attracting many investors. Soon with more penetration of internet and digitization into the people’s lives in the upcoming days, OTT platforms will be regarded as the key factors driving the Indian media and entertainment industry.

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