According to its estimation, nearly 50 percent of internet users in India, by 2020, will be from rural India and rural internet penetration could grow to as much as 35 percent.
There was a time when the primary source of entertainment for Indian households was the television. A single television set meant household entertainment getting restricted to either daily soaps or sports. However, the scenario is now changing, courtesy growing digital content.
In the last 22 months, the OTT (over the top) market has brought a paradigm shift, vis-a-vis daily entertainment consumption patterns in India. The second screen has become an important source of entertainment. And to our surprise, this shift is not restricted to cities alone, since consumption is seen to rise in rural areas as well.
A BCG (Boston Consulting Group) report suggests that an estimated 16 percent of media consumption in India is already digital. When it comes to the country’s youth, 25 percent consume digital media.
According to the BCG report, around 81 percent of consumers have up to three video/OTT apps on their smartphones. Also, in less than a year, time spent on video has jumped 11 percent. This means that OTT players have a major opportunity in India.
In addition, data prices coming down has perpetuated a sharp growth in the consumption of online content. With data prices coming down, the consumers rely heavily on digital content without worrying about the cost so much. This unabashed and aggressive consumption of digital media wouldn't have been possible two years ago when streaming videos online was an expensive affair.
The Indian OTT space has become very competitive, particularly with giants in the broadcasting space coming up with their own OTT platforms. This has resulted in broadcasters putting their extensive content libraries online. Plus, these players also enjoy a strong brand name and consumer awareness driven by their strong TV brands.
Global OTTs, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, have proved to be a game changer in the Indian OTT space. In fact, India is the cheapest place to get the subscription of Amazon Prime, said a research study by Comparitech, a pro-consumer website. According to the study, the subscription fee in India, available at a cost of $1.76 (Rs 125) per month, is $11.23 or Rs 800 cheaper than the US or UK.
In addition, even the telcos are building aggregator models – aggregating content across multiple platforms and providing a payment interface. They are also leveraging access to other OTTs as a differentiating factor to drive consumer retention and acquisition.
The OTT players are not just relying on their repository, but also investing big bucks in producing their own content. The BCG report says that the cost of tent-pole properties built for OTTs is 3-4 times more than the cost of traditional TV content. A Tent-pole production is a big-budget movie whose earnings are expected to compensate the studio for its less profitable movies.
In the growth story of the online video platforms, it is the rural angle that calls for the most attention. The report claims there is a strong possibility that rural India may be an OTT first market. According to its estimation, nearly 50 percent of internet users in India, by 2020, will be from rural India and rural internet penetration could grow to as much as 35 percent.
Meanwhile, on the international front, the picture for Indian OTTs is rosy. The markets abroad hold a significant opportunity for players in India. The innate demand for consuming Indian content on apps is already high as there is a 30 million+ Indian diaspora which is already consuming Indian content and is more attuned to OTT usage and paying for content, the BCG report said.The report further added that over 50 percent of international viewers pay for Indian content in some form or the other, with 15 percent paying over $20 monthly (Rs 1,425 approximately) to access Indian content.
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