The sudden rise in the popularity of the OTT platforms is a great threat to the power and position television holds in the entertainment world. From Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan to Squid Game, the world has witnessed a huge seismic shift in the quality and quantity of the entertainment world.
A Consultancy.in report says that the OTT market in minutes of consumption in India has risen from 181 to 204 billion minutes in 2021. There is no doubt that OTT platforms have taken over and are slowly overthrowing the era of television.
Viewership of OTT platforms in India
The evolution of the digital world has impacted our lives in a major way. The pandemic was solely responsible for the great surge in the viewership of the OTT platforms in India and across the world alike. The consumption of OTT is the highest amongst the 15-35 age group. A report generated by MICAs CMES says that:
- By 2023, India will experience a huge increase in OTT consumers. It currently has 350 million users and is estimated to be 500 million by 2023.
- Disney+hotstar has 43 million subscribers followed by Amazon prime with 17 million and then Netflix with 5 million
- Hotstar has taken over the OTT platforms and holds 29% of overall viewership. The revenue of this platform was around 16 billion INR in 2020.
- 85% of India subscribers are estimated to be internet ready by 2023 end. The average age group of paid subscribers is between 35-44 years.
- 1 billion USD is being invested in the OTT industry by many venture capitalists and business tycoons.
- Male audience has increased twice the female audience and particularly men in the age group of 15-30 consume the most OTT content.
- Among women, the 25-35 age group has the most consumption but they contributed to less than 50% of the overall consumption when compared to men.
One of the major reasons for the proliferation of OTT on a global platform is the flexibility of use. All you need is a supporting device and good internet connection to use it. However, the rural areas were still behind as compared to the urban areas. The main contribution factors for spreading it were:
- Expansion of cell phones and their use in the digital world
- The facility of cheap and high speed internet services like Jio.
When smartphones reached out to the rural corners of the country, the adoption of OTT was apparent. Platform producers and developers started realizing the population potential and before Netflix, SonyLIV and Hotstar captured the people with their regional shows.
Impact on age groups
- Children have benefited from edutainment content available on different OTT platforms. The availability of such content has helped children learn and be entertained as well.
- The youth make up the largest audience of OTT. “Netflix and chill” has made its place in the daily routine of a person, especially in urban areas. Be it professionals or entrepreneurs, all are hooked to it
- The variety of content has attracted a lot of audience. You can view any content of your choice.
Urban vs Rural
The impact of OTT has been different on rural and urban areas. Ascent group India said that 65% users of OTT platforms are from rural areas with only 40% internet connection. This tells us a lot about the impact of the regional language content on the population. Content creators and developers have tapped into it by launching productions in regional and native languages. The offbeat narratives are high on demand and have therefore home grown talent to produce and bring the indie talent to the front.
A market as humongous as India requires fine tuning. The audience has a constant demand for new content. Global players like Netflix and Amazon prime have minimized their plans to INR 199 per month. This shows their motive to capture the rural population of India.
The expansion of OTT in various fields has furthermore solidified its future and the Indian audience now perceives it more than just entertainment. Though the lack of regulation has been a concern because children can now view 18+ content easily, efforts to make it more regularized are being undertaken. One thing’s for sure that OTT platforms will continue to transform society and will have even more significant impact on the society