The pandemic has allowed an increasing number of consumers to sample OTT platforms in India, while for the early adapters these have become a habit. Watch times and daily actives have soared as the streamers have penetrated down the population strata. AvoD services are continuing to see increased consumption, while SvoD services have found their level in terms of paying subscribers.
As compared to earlier, where streaming was primarily an individual activity, it has become a family activity with more and more consumers still homebound, and sales of connected TVs and devices going through the roof. Releases of premium originals continued at regular intervals, despite the pandemic and lockdown. Additionally, with theatres being shut, some film makers took the route of releasing films direct consumers via OTT platforms, which have been attempting to encourage transactional consumption amongst users.
Premium originals are no longer the domain of Netflix and Prime Video alone. A new breed of producers has emerged serving the needs of domestic platforms like Zee5, SonyLiv, MX player, Aha, Hotstar, AltBalaji, and ErosNow. The gap of creative talent to deliver on the shows has been plugged.
Challenges continue for the sector. A large part of the 20 million or so paying OTT subscribers have got their subscriptions through bundles with either broadband, device manufacturers, telephony providers and video distribution platforms like DTH and cable TV companies. Which means the OTT platforms are sharing revenues with limited amounts coming to their tables. ARPUs definitely have room to grow.
The threat of regulation continues to hang over the heads of the platforms with consumer complaints rising against edgier and risqué scenes in shows. The industry has put in place a mechanism to address the complaints, which is a step in the right direction.
What may hamper OTT platforms going into next year, is the lack of sufficient content in their pipelines, unless of course they can accelerate the productions in development. On the technology front, the streamers are looking at better ways to serve the needs of consumers who are more aware and experienced, whether it is through better UI and UX, AI and ML, and the use of analytics to ensure they optimize their costs. The domestic streamers have also been expanding their services to offer user generated content verticals – which have been set up to fill the gap created by the ban of TikTok.
What is the way forward for the major players: will advertisers and advertising step up? Will ARPUs rise? Where will the next set of users come from? Vidnet will bring together the major stakeholders of the ecosystem: tech, content, platforms, telcos, distribution platforms, to discuss the way forward.
Focus: West Asia
The leading OTT players of the middle eastern market give us a picture about how it is developing there.
How the Indian market has shaped up. An indiantelevision.com presentation over the past year. And the way forward.
A panel discussion on how the changing ecosystem is forcing changes on the Indian OTTs. What will they finally end up looking like?
A few players are trying to built platforms on which you can pay for what you watch via transactions. Will it work in India?
Are brands and agencies realizing the importance of OTT platforms? What kind of engagements are they looking for for AVOD platforms? How are they being served? /p>
Is India going to be a low ARPU market, just like in TV? Or can subscriptions rates be ramped up? Where will the new consumers come from? Will bundling be crucial?
There's a whole new breed of producers for OTT popped up. After the initial euphoria with well known film producers, OTT platforms are engaging with new kinds of producers. A peep into what's going on.
How do you serve the evolving Indian customer? Is it just on mobile? Or is it more in the home through various connected devices? What are the OTT platforms planning? Where are the challenges?Where are the opportunities?
With experience behind them, Indian OTTs are learning fast and quick the utility of various technical tools available to better serve D2C customers? What are some of the best practices?
What are the innovations one can expect in the coming year by the OTT platforms? How will these evolve over the next couple of years. Some ball crystal gazing..