The Indian entertainment industry is undergoing a massive transition in terms of operations and generating revenues.
It is one of the critical industries badly hit by the Covid-19 lockdown, with many releases, shoots, and more stalled for now.
Exactly at this juncture, the Over The Top (OTT) services came up for the rescue!
With theatres shut, the Indian film industry (all languages) is making moves to tap on the business that OTT platforms offer.
Some of the big releases happening on OTT include many Gulabo Sitabo, Mrs Serial Killer, Ponmangal Vandhal, Ponmangal Vandhal, Shakuntala Devi, among other movies.
There are also many web series and movie releases coming up from Tollywood.
This is naturally driving the number of user subscriptions to online streaming platforms.
Favored by this trend, overall India’s online video market is expected to be a USD 4 billion business by 2025.
Of this, subscription services are expected to account for more than USD 1.5 billion and advertisement services making up to USD 2.5 billion.
Disney+Hotstar is expected to hold 25 percent of the overall online video revenue share by 2025, next to YouTube.
An independent research and consultancy services firm Media Partners Asia (MPA) made these projections in its latest report titled ‘India Intelligence and Insights: Disney+ Hotstar: The Future of India’s Largest Premium Digital Video Platform’.
“In the current COVID-19 situation, audiences are spending more time online, and OTT platforms have almost doubled their viewership. This viewership trend is likely to continue at least for a few years,” says Anita Nayyar, Head, Customer Strategy and Relationships, ZEE5.
Nayyar was confident in saying that there will be a subsequent rise in ads on these services over the coming years, boosting the content consumption.
Another joint report by FICCI-EY on the media and entertainment industry concludes that TV advertising in India will be a USD 388 billion business by 2022.
“It would happen because the Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted OTT growth by some five years. Things that people would have expected to see in 2025 might happen now,” says Vishnu Mohta, co-founder of Bengali video streaming platform Hoichoi.
Working on quality content and pricing in the right manner will boost the paid economy for online content, Mohta adds.
D Girish, Vice-President, Strategy at DocuBay says the Subscription-based Video on Demand (SVoD) does not rely on ads from brands, which is among the first to get hit during the economic crisis.
He adds that the increasing digital adoption is giving a due boost to monetization from the Ad-based VoD (AVoD) services.
At least in the near term, the Covid-19 impact will result in revenue contraction in 2020 with the TV advertising market suffering the pressure.
Digital video will also feel the heat as many advertisement packages are already linked to the TV.
The surveys suggest the industry to think of more quality content creation and acquisition, and product innovation to drive more viewership.
And, this should ideally include more local and on-demand content.