2017 recorded 176 million OTT viewers in the country. Cheap broadband internet plans and high-speed wireless internet access has made the lives of several Indians living in Tier2 and Tier3 cities a breeze. Combine this with a proliferation of affordable Android devices; digital media consumption in India has grown exponentially. So much so that mobile phones have smoothly become the most preferred device for a majority of households over television today. To be able to watch online content whenever, wherever, at their own pace of their own personal choice has made video their go-to platform for entertainment and information. 90% of people today prefer watching on phones and that too through video platforms.
According to the Indian Media and Entertainment Report 2017 by KPMG India and FICCI, mobile video traffic in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 68 percent, while the number of video-capable devices and connections is expected to surpass 800 million between 2016 and 2021.
Next Billion Users
Today, small towns that are endowed with the Next Bullion User (NBU) segment, are the heart and soul of India’s thriving online video platform gambit. These very people play a major role in increasing the viewership of video platforms in India by consuming an exhaustive amount of content that includes fashion, wellness, nutrition, education, gaming, do-it-yourself and children’s content. In comparison to metro’s, smaller cities harbour the new data users who are no longer into watching short films with the fear of overusing their internet. The advent of cheaper and faster data services in rural India has given rise to viewership of television soaps to blockbuster films news, education and even sports, on their smartphone. Certain reports suggest that 96% of all usage focused on long-form video.
Language no bar
Moreover, availability of a regional interface as well as vernacular content is offering better engagement to all. Youtube claims that growth of regional viewership has tripled over the past two years. Apart from Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam other languages include Haryanvi, Marathi and Bengali. High-quality vernacular videos, localised content and new consumer segments are all facilitators in surging the viewership, popularity and subscription of video platforms.
Videos are something we are easily able to interact with. Not only can we watch them, but also share it with near and dear ones, along with liking and saving it for future viewing. For example, at Flickstree maximum traction is in the personalised video feed. We take this opportunity as an advantage by sending them recommendations for feeds that would interest them. This enables the user to consume new content daily with so much data at hand, which in turn increases user traffic and viewership for online video platforms.
There is no denying that Indians love watching live streaming events; especially if it is cricket. It was quite evident when the fight for streaming rights for 2017 IPL amongst Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Reliance Jio, and Star Networks’ Hotstar was more like a battlefield. Eventually, Star India’s video streaming platform Hotstar walked away with it. This not only created significant results for the latter but if telecom operators (offer high-speed Internet at a low cost) and OTT platforms (offer relevant content) collaborate to offer regular streaming services to consumers, it could be a very lucrative opportunity for both. This not only generates a value-added advantage that garners eye-balls but also helps video platform players enhance their content offering. Many platforms have already partnered with smartphones to embed their apps in order to enhance customer experience.
It is no surprise that 80% of all web traffic in India is derived from the mobile (which is second highest in the world, after Nigeria.) The biggest myth that Internet in India remains predominantly English has undoubtedly been busted; as entertainment through video content is driving Internet consumption in the rural areas of the country. Data costs are no longer a constraint either in growing digital consumption. Be it reliance Jio or the advent of new players, cheap internet prices are going to augment viewership for various video platforms in India.