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Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Northeast Today

Online Streaming Platforms Trending in India

Online Streaming Platforms Trending in India
May 30
16:33 2019

Himashree Das

What is OTT?

Over the top (OTT) refers to content providers that distribute streaming media as a standalone product directly to viewers over the Internet, bypassing telecommunications, multichannel television, and broadcast television platforms that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.

Currently OTT services in India are running with having about 40 OTT players. In fiscal 2018, the OTT market stood at 2,150 crore. Presently the OTT market stands at ₹3,500 crore. According to a KPMG report, the average time spent by subscribers on various OTT platforms is 30- 50 minutes. The term is most synonymous with subscription-based video on demand services that offer access to film and television content including existing series acquired from other producers, as well as original content produced specifically for the service. These includes famous platforms like Amazon Video, Eros Now, Hotstar, Netflix, Jio TV, AltBalaji, Voot  ND Times Group owned MX Player that offer access to live streams of linear specialty channels similar to a traditional satellite or wireline television provider, but streamed over the public Internet, rather than a closed, private network with proprietary equipment such as set-top boxes.  We can access the over the top services typically accessed via websites on personal computers, as well as via apps on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, digital media players including video game consoles, or televisions with integrated smart TV platforms.

Trending OTT platforms

Steered by original content, the OTT industry is booming day by day in the Indian scenario. Some of the popular Indian OTT platforms are-

Prime Video, also referred to as Amazon Prime Video, is an Internet video on demand service that is developed, owned, and operated by Amazon. It offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and Prime Video, a selection of Amazon Studios original content and licensed acquisitions included in the Amazon’s Prime subscription. It was launched in India in 2016. The platform has 2,300 titles available including 2,000 movies and about 400 shows. It has announced that it will invest Rs 2,000 crores in creating original content in India. It is looking to launch 30 original shows in multiple languages in the coming days. Besides English, Prime Video is now available in six Indian languages.

Netflix entered India in January 2016. In April 2017, it was registered as a limited liability partnership (LLP) and it started commissioning content. It earned a net profit of Rs 20.2 lakh for fiscal year 2017. In fiscal year 2018, Netflix earned revenues of Rs 58 crore. According to researches mentioned that in July, Netflix had the highest watch time of more than 120 minutes but their viewer count was around 20 million. Netflix have 6 million subscribers and 5-6% of them are paid members. In July 2018, Netflix increased its subscription price by 13-18% in US and Latin America. This is the biggest increase by the company since its inception 12 years ago but India was not affected by this as it would to be too expensive to buy. Netflix has stated to invest 600 Crore producing Indian originals. In late 2018, Netflix bought 1.5 lakh sq ft office space in Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai to make head office.Netflix currently has more than 40 employees in India. Netflix is having tough competition with other OTT platforms in India such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Eros Now.

Hotstar is the top subscribed OTT platform of India, owned by Star India. In 2018, Hotstar gained the top spot among the OTT players having around 150 million active users with over 350 million number of downloads. In July 2018 Hotstar has nearly 120 minutes as watch time. Hotstar stated to invest Rs 120 crore in generating original content such as “Hotstar specials”. 80% of the viewership on Hotstar comes from drama, movies and sports.

Why ott is increasing in india?

As Indian users took to cheaper smartphones and faster and cheaper data, backed by a wave of internet proliferation of sorts triggered by Reliance Jio, the demand for video OTT platforms has also shot up. Local audiences, like their counterparts in the developed markets, are also opening their purse strings for video subscription services. A telling statistics is that over two dozen OTT services have sprung up only in the last 18 months. The ott service is increasing day by day and almost every person has got access to it. They are becoming a primary source for video consumption in India. Some of the perfect reasons are-

Immersive, seamless, and high-quality viewing experience across multiple media formats. With technology advancing by the day, the content consumption experience takes an exciting turn. This digital content gives the users to actively participate in the progression of the narrative, thus delivering an extra-immersive experience. OTT platforms are already making it possible for viewers to enjoy seamless digital entertainment across multiple media formats, be it through mobile apps or online websites. Some of the platforms provide its viewers with seamless interconnectivity to watch their choice of content on bigger screens, such as 4k and 8k, and smart TVs.  Secondly it provides with more of good quality original content. With OTT platforms readily providing distribution opportunities to indie and regional filmmakers, there has been an explosive growth in the production of original content. These range from low-budget experimental features to those comparable with blockbuster series, like, and more. Many ott platforms are planning to launch regional ott targeting the regional languages and producing content of some local taste.

Advent of ott in india

The marketplace in the India is becoming increasingly fragmented and it is creating even more competition for high-quality content to keep viewers hooked with everyone following up the streaming TV bandwagon. The future of ott is very bright in India. According to PwC report, revenue from India alone is pegged at `2019 crore in 2017 and is expected to reach `5595 crore by 2022. An additional boost is given from the governments side by introducing the Digital India initiative which is helping even the remotest village in the country to stay connected to internet. The development of a digital ecosystem is taking place in our country and is in sync with the advent of OTT. The viewing trends in india plays a important role in its expansion. Around 93 percent of the time Indians spend on viewing content online, is spent watching Hindi and regional language content. Indian viewers value good content, which paves the way for the growth of OTT industry and entertainment giants to offer more high-quality, original, exclusive, and home-grown content. Even international players like Amazon and Netflix have a special focus on the Indian market. They have not only come up with English centric content, but are also focusing on Hindi and Regional content. The expansion of the ott is due to growth on the back of increase in device penetration, lower internet prices, consumer content demand, and portability preferences. OTT undoubtedly is the fastest growing medium of digital consumption and everyone from traditional media to new age and even telecoms are becoming a part on this increasing trend in India. The OTT platforms owned by major broadcasters in India mostly offer a major portion of their library for free with a mix of premium and ad-free content on a subscription model. At the same time, international platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime are fully paid services.

The development of the ott platforms





Netflix’s programming is based on “taste communities. The Indian streaming market grew 116% in 2017 in terms of the number of subscribers, says Tim Westcott, IHS-Markit’s research director of channels and programming. But Netflix isn’t even close to leading that growth even after more than two years since it has entered the field in India maybe because of its high subscription fee. India accounted for only about a percent of the 23.78 million members Netflix added worldwide in 2017, according to IHS-Markit. Despite being the number 5 player in the Indian streaming market by viewership, behind Hotstar, Alt Balaji, Eros Now, and Amazon Prime Video, Netflix still rakes in the most revenue, according to iOS App Store and Google Play. In India, it’s hard for Netflix to flourish until they break down pricing, but Netflix’s vendor has decided that the company will not have differential pricing across different regions. Even half a million paying active subscribers every year, which is set to increase at 10% is not necessarily a bad strategy for them,” as revealed by sources. Netflix subscriptions start from Rs 500 a month for a basic plan, and go up Rs 800 per month for a premium plan. Netflix recently added nearly 9 million new paying subscribers during the final three months of 2018.


Amazon prime video


Amazon Prime membership in India has grown almost five times since the beginning of this year, making the country the fastest-growing among such subscribers for the ecommerce company globally. “More Prime members joined in India than any other country in the first year,” as said by Greg Greeley, the vice president of Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime was offered at an introductory price of Rs 499 when it started in India last July and the subscription will be increased to the original level of Rs 999 in a matter of days. Talking about its Amazon’s Prime subscription service, it India




Leading the pack in the space is Hotstar, which is generally considered to be the most popular streaming app in the country. It has reached the pinnacle of success in the space, with its marketing-first approach and providing more options to consumers. Hotstar ensures that it has a wide reach across various content circles in the country. It has about 75 million of users streaming. With a mix of free and paid content, Hotstar and others are reaching deeper to the Indian consumer.


Some of the popular shows of ott industry

Mirzapur – Amazon prime video


Mirzapur is an Indian crime thriller web television series on Amazon Prime Video produced by Excel Entertainment.  The series is primarily shot in Mirzapur, with some shots in Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Lucknow and Gorakhpur. It revolves around drugs, guns and lawlessness. It depicts the putrescence, governance and rule of mafia dons and the rivalry and crime prevailing in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh. The series is Amazon Prime Video’s third fiction Indian Original after Inside Edge and Breathe. It has received mix reviews from critics.

Sacred games- Netflix


Sacred Games is an Indian web television thriller series based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name. The first Netflix original series in India, it is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, who produced it under their banner Phantom Films. It is about a troubled police officer in Mumbai who receives a phone call from gangster Ganesh, who tells him to save the city within 25 days.

Game of thrones- Hotstar premium


Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.  It is an adaptation of a Song of Ice and Fire. The show was adopted by Hotstar for streaming in India.

Another successful show of Hotstar original is Mayanagari- City of Dreams. It is an Indian series by Nagesh Kukunoor which is available on Hotstar on its new label Hotstar Specials from 3 May 2019. It is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor starring Atul Kulkarni, Priya Bapat, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Eijaz Khan and Siddharth Chandekar.



Among all this, India continues to be one of the fastest growing entertainment and media markets globally. With a potential target audience of over 300 million smartphone users, it is the second largest smartphone market in the world and is expected to reach 500 million very quickly leading to the growth of the ott industry. This increase is actually helping india to digitalize in a very fast pace.



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