The onset of OTT platforms has powered a new era of television and is highly influencing the consumer’s content consumption pattern. Firstly, let’s understand what OTT is. OTT stands for “Over-the-top” which refers to the streaming of content, mostly in the form of videos which is over and above the traditional delivery methods like a cable box. The very famous OTT platforms include Netflix, amazon prime, Hulu among many others. These platforms offer streaming media as a standalone product – all we need is to get a subscription and an internet connection to be able to view the content anytime and anywhere. OTT content is highly accessible and can be viewed on mobiles, smart TV or personal computers. Another advantage of OTT content is that it is ads-free. The customer is here in the driver’s seat as he can choose what and when he wants to view anything from the pool of the content offered on the platform.
In addition to this, the pandemic did open the doorway for many more OTT platforms to enter the market and because of the unprecedented boom, the viewership in India is at an all-time high. As of 2020, the number of internet users in India was 696 million and it is expected to increase to around 920 million by 2024. Thus in line with the global trends, the consumption of media and content is expected to grow and increase more in the upcoming years along with the increased penetration of internet users in the country. This has made the future of OTT services in India fairly bright. The market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.6% over the next four years. With that, the popularity of OTT platforms has been increasing with the Indian platforms like Zee 5, Alt Balaji, Voot, etc. as these are giving direct competition to the global players like Netflix, Disney, and prime. This is so because of the regional content and shows that these platforms provide. The current pandemic situation acted as a catalyst for the OTT platform’s success and made these platforms the number-one entertainment source for the viewers. Convenience and at-home-presence played an important role in the immense boom. This has, in turn, has proved to be beneficial for both the actors and audiences, because movies during this time have no longer been on theatres, but on OTT platforms. Many big films chose to get released on these platforms as an alternate method of release because of the lockdown.
With more people having access to mobile phones and the internet, everyone is getting drawn towards having the world at their fingertips. “Anytime, anywhere” is what all the consumers want and OTT platforms are being successful in delivering that. The future of OTT platforms in India is thus very bright and many new platforms are all set to join the bandwagon because of its growth opportunity. Currently, there are about 40 OTT media services providers, and with the current rate of its growth, it will be interesting to see where it reaches in the next few years.