OTT growth in India 2016; leaves no stone unturned in charming users

| Updated: Dec 29, 2016 23:39 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 29 (ANI): 2016 will be remembered as the year when the OTT industry came into its full bloom. From live cricket broadcasts to internet premiers of recently released movies; from the best of Hollywood shows and movies being available solely on OTT platforms to several startups and brands investing in creating original content, OTT industry left no stone unturned in charming their users. With active OTT users crossing 66 million and the industry accruing over 1.3 million subscribers, nimble and futuristic OTT players were successful in carving a niche for themselves in 2016. The same inspired foreign giants like Netflix to take the leap of faith and enter Indian subcontinent. Quite recently, we also witnessed the launch of Amazon Prime, and the ecommerce giant has the right marketing and customer acquisition strategy in mind to claim its share from the pie. The user base of OTT viewers is on a rise internet is now set to reach millions of households in rural India. Besides, it is getting cheaper than ever for ambitious users to own a smartphone, a trend witnessed in India's transition towards a mobile-first economy. In fact, post demonetization, there is now an increased emphasis on digital literacy, which would further bring new users on-board, possessing the right wherewithal to opt for OTT viewership. "With mobile phones fast becoming primary screens for entertainment consumption in the country, the digitally-oriented consumer base is migrating from televisions to smartphones for catching up on its preferred entertainment solutions. Meanwhile, given the rate at which digital adoption within the country is increasing, there is great scope for growth in the Indian OTT video content space which has been well tapped in 2016 and will continue to be explored in the coming year," said COO nexGTv, AbheshVerma. "The disruptive pricing announcements on unlimited data and aggressive internet plans for end users from key players in the market has undoubtedly benefitted the OTT industry," said CEO founder YuppTV Largest OTT player for South Asian Content, Uday Reddy. As per the predictions, active OTT and VOD subscribers are going to increase to 105 million by 2020. While the industry prepares itself to have a more successful run in 2017, let us now look into some of the trends that shall govern 2017. Need for Superior Customer Experience Even though the infrastructure promises to grow in times to come, one cannot deny the existing challenges posed by the same. Hence, it has fallen upon the OTT players to invest in technology to make the content delivery smoother and seamless. Global Content Available on Fingertips Hollywood shows, such as House of Card and Game of Thrones have found their audience in India. The shows, which are part of global rage and phenomenon, have their dedicated audiences in India as well. Moving forward, we shall witness more of popular Hollywood shows and movies being available in India. This is further reaffirmed with Amazon Prime and Netflix going head-on in the subcontinent. Demands for Regional Content Shall Rise Considering how the new user base is expected to grow from tier II and III cities and rural India, it is safe to assume a prolific increase in the demand for regional content. Besides, we need to also understand the fact that 2016 is not only the year when several foreign giants crossed over Indian territories but several homegrown OTT brands also went global in 2016. And global audiences, especially the South Asian expat community have a higher affinity towards regional content, one that helps them relive their childhood or connect back to their roots. With more than one taker for regional content, it is surely going to be one of the trendsetters of 2017. "2016 was the year when OTT went mainstream in India. The industry witnessed a number of OTT startups disrupting the industry, along with leading production houses taking the plunge with their respective OTT channels. Further validating the proliferation and massive opportunities lying in the OTT domain, we witnessed several key international players make their foray in India. The industry is brimming with innovation, creativity and originality. Further in 2017, we anticipate a close competition within the leading players of today, hence offering the maximum gains to the end viewers. Furthermore, while international players have made high quality Hollywood content accessible on the smart devices, OTT players will have to diversify and go regional, in order to ascertain their pan-India importance. Original content has already caught the fancy of the audiences and one should anticipate growth of the same in the coming years," said CEO and founder YuppTV, Uday Reddy. (ANI)