Despite of all the comfort and hectic situations, one thing that gained popularity and made its place in our life within short period of time is OTT that is over the top media services. In this COVID19 situation OTT platforms almost doubled their viewership as people are spending more time online, which proves during this period of lockdown over the top media services kept us entertained from comfort of our home. Mainstream films that were due on their release date used the OTT platform to release their film and they made considerable profit too. The main reason behind this is the popularity of OTT amongst the younger generation.
OTT provides TV content via high-speed Internet connection despite cable operator or broadcast. Nowadays many people are detaching from traditional cable services and showing their interest in OTT as it has many advantages. Common OTT platforms in India are Amazon prime, Netflix, Voot, Hotstar, ALTBalaji, HULU, etc.
Services provided by the OTT platforms
In the beginning companies used to follow the video on demand (VOD) business model. This allows viewers to watch their choice of movie anytime unlike Cineplex’s where movies are played according to a specific schedule. The three VOD models that users can adapt to are SVOD, AVOD, and TVOD.
In SVOD, which is Subscription Video on Demand service users get access to the entire video library after paying a certain amount of money which may be charged daily, weekly, monthly or annually depending upon user choice and company’s policies. It is commonly provided by Netflix, HULU, HBO, Amazon prime. Along with YouTube these OTT platforms account for 79% of total time spent by viewers in US. Out of 4, 3 households in US have SVOD subscription.
TVOD that is Transactional Video on Demand service allows users to buy content on a pay-per-view basis. In this user cannot gain access to the entire library as in case of SVOD. By renting TVOD viewers can watch movies and T.V series before their release on TV. Google Play and iTunes are the best working examples of TVOD.
AVOD that is ad-based video on demand uses advertisements that are placed at the beginning, middle and end of the video in order to balance the production and hosting cost as it is free of cost. The best example of this is YouTube.
Over the top media services provide immense features to users as viewers can watch it from anywhere and anytime. It has also received massive support from 5G, CDNs, mobile features, reason why OTT gained so much popularity in such a short period of time.
In 2008 Reliance entertainment launched the first OTT platform in India. nexGTv was the first app to live stream Indian Premier League matches on mobile phones. In 2013 both ditto TV and Sony LIV were launched in the Indian market. Ditto TV covered shows across all media channels including Star, Sony, Viacom, Zee, etc.
Popularity of Over the top media services
According to KPMG report, Indian subscribers spent around 20 to 50 minutes on various OTT platforms. Currently there are 40 OTT providers in India. In the year 2018 OTT platform gained profit of ₹21.5 billion which increased to ₹35 billion in the following year. It is expected that by the end of 2023 the profit made by OTT market will reach to ₹138 billion. Number of OTT users will reach around 500 million by 2020, making India second biggest market after US.
As per the survey, highest number of subscribers are there on Hotstar, followed by Amazon’s Prime Video, Sony LIV, Netflix, Voot, Zee5, ALTBalaji, and Eros Now. Despite of the absence of popular IPL tournament Hotstar, currently known as Disney + is gained immense popularity because of the quality of content provided. Sports, local originals, Hollywood entertainment etc. are the strength of this app. It is said that Disney+ could reach 93 million paying subscribers by the end of 2025.
More than one third viewers of OTT media prefer free content available on the app and most used device for OTT video consumption is smart phone, as it gives the user privacy. Viewers prefer to watch the content in Hindi or English. Action and comedy are the most preferred genres by the users.
People prefer OTT media not only because of its content but also for many other reasons. Users don’t have to pay huge bills every month like in case of cable or satellite TV. Also, the media streaming on television is much before available on OTT media players. OTT gained popularity amongst the younger generation because users can watch television and movie content on multiple devices. Cable or satellite TV can hardly replace OTT media platforms due to its convenience and affordability.
OTT and Bollywood
Not all Bollywood actors got their dues on big screen and thus OTT platform turned out to be the best way for them to show case their talent. Not only Bollywood actors but also actors from small screen use OTT as a great platform to show off their talent. The best thing with OTT media streaming is least chance of nepotism which is a biggest problem for newcomers therefore, OTT media streaming service is like a blessing for those who want to make their career in the field of acting.