Indian OTT Service : A survey analysis

“Do you think Indian OTT platforms will gain popularity in the coming future and will compete with more popular players like Prime and Netflix?

This has been widely debated for sometime now. Last week, I and my friend Priyanshu Dhawan reached out to about 500 people in our network to understand the consumer perception of Indian OTT platforms in comparison to the existing foreign players, and the expected changes post COVID-19.

Here are the key insights from the survey analysis:

Clearly, consumers continue to prefer foreign players over the indigenous streaming platforms.

Established players like Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to have a stronghold over the Indian market with Disney+Hotstar giving them a reasonably good competition. But the rest of the platforms still seem to have their task cut out and seem to be far behind the other three.

The Indian OTT service Report Card:

  • Content tops the potential areas for improvement. We reached out to individual respondents to learn their perception of content in OTT platforms and following is what we found in conclusion:
  1. Originals : Netflix and Amazon originals are one of the prime reasons for their popularity, and Indian OTTs have a long way to go when it comes to original content.
  2. Notions : Respondents majorly relate Indian OTTs like ZEE5 and ALTBalaji to catch-up TV a.k.a the Indian daily soaps.
  3. Popular streaming: Blockbuster movies seldom partner the Indian OTT platforms, which sums up the popularity of other players.
  • Marketing and Branding: Majority of respondents prefer ‘Disney+Hotstar’ among all Indian OTT services, and the reasons are well known.
  1. Terrific branding and marketing by Star India
  2. Disney joining Star is an icing on the cake, and creates a brand identity like none.
  3. Live streaming of all major sports events, specifically Cricket is the biggest reason for its popularity. India being a cricket crazy nation has definitely helped Disney+Hostar grow immensely.

Quality of streaming and other factors follow next which at the very basic, can be worked on from the beginning.

An alternative to cinema halls?

We had a rather optimistic audience, and here are the possible reasons:

1. COVID-19: China saw theaters reopen but very few footfalls were seen; stressing further that Cinema is a habit, if you break that habit for a few months, a lot of people would be dissuaded from coming to cinemas, with apprehensions already in place.

2. Flexibility with online viewing: With the long-drawn lock-down, people have been accustomed to OTT platforms. The comfort of pausing, restarting and viewing at one’s own whim acts as an added incentive.

3. Latest Amazon decision to stream Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ and other movies: This has led to a rather positive outlook, and respondents say they are looking forward to more of such movie streaming in the future.

· It was observed that majority of the audience prefers long term cheap subscription plans over free 1 month trial offers.

· This again conforms to the fact that consumers are now increasingly aware of the fact that the value a brand assigns to a freebie is not necessarily what it is worth.

· With the lock-down in place, consumer behavior has certainly adapted to the long term format, and they certainly want to invest in choices which convey the same idea.

Way Forward:

  1. According to a report by The Boston Consulting Group, Indian OTT market could reach $5 billion by 2023.This growth is being driven by rising affluence, increase in penetration of data into rural markets and adoption across demographic segments including women and older generations.
  2. A big chunk of the revenue for the Indian based OTT platforms, especially of TVF, comes from sponsorship and advertising. With the growing market of OTT platforms, there is expected to be a continuous rise in the advertisement revenue of the OTT platforms.
  3. Indian content including music, Bollywood content and cricket have large following in the Indian diaspora. OTT Players with Indian content have potential to tap into this market too.

This was an elementary attempt at understanding the perception of OTT service in India, and how can Indian OTT platforms build on potential factors. We are grateful to everybody who participated in the survey :)

Aspiring marketer | Passionate Writer