OTT Players putting TV on ventilator.

OTT players are rising & TV is dying, as we witness a huge shift in India, they are going thru very exciting time and putting Television on ventilator and our age old friend TV is dying.

The stone age (before rise of OTT players)

We are living in very interesting time, India is growing fast, it is becoming digital. Till 2003-04 not many had emails ids.

Thanks to “Jio”, Now smart phone users in India are increasing at very fast pace. Currently we have 340m users in India and expect to touch 470m by 2021 that’s almost 30% growth in 4 years.

With increase in number of smart phone users, A new trend has emerged i.e. consuming content on handheld devices on OTT platforms. Current generation doesn’t have the patience to wait for a show or movie to air on a linear platform like television. They want everything instantly –  spicy – On-demand – No censorship and their personal space.

Much before giants like Amazon, Netflix entered in India, our home-grown platforms from Zee, Sony, Star, Viacom, even Balaji telefilms (now) Understood ths and launched their own apps like Hotstar, Ozee, Sonyliv, Voot, Alt etc.

Current situation (2017)

Back in 2015 this was a distant dream, Like Sonyliv was there but it was not that popular and users were not thinking about it. Our main source of these videos was YouTube only. When Star launched “HOTSTAR” it was rightly mixed with great Technology & very good Marketing backed by multimillion dollar promotions. But these platforms were considered too costly due to its hunger for Data, which was almost Rs. 250 per GB at that point of time.

Circa September 2016, “Reliance Jio” was launched, which got into the mainstream offering dirt cheap hi-speed 4G internet, and within months of its launch, the subscriber base crossed over 70 million users, which created the demand for net consumption among every smart phone user and opened the floodgates for OTT players.

These OTT players started adding new subscribers and increase time spent on the platforms. With bandwidth availability, the key factors remain compelling content and seamless user experience, On which all OTT players are now focusing.

Content was never a problem for these media moguls, as they are providing their linear content on their OTT platforms for free, and Exclusive services/content with subscription fee. Star experimented with few of its shows and made them available even before it aired on Television taking it to next level.

With year on year growth of 35% in OTT market, everybody is working on its strategies and pumping more money in the business for marketing, copyrights, and busy buying or creating exclusive content. Technology is becoming more sophisticated and cheaper, but as always content will be the king.

OTT Players
OTT Infographic showing how TV is dying
Eyeing huge potential in India, International Giants like Netflix and Amazon entered India with their OTT offerings. These companies with deep pockets tried getting most of the content and muscle out the competition. They are pumping money to acquire content at unrealistic prices, to become the biggest player in future.

Price war has already started e.g. Amazon annual prime membership is at INR 499/- Whereas Netflix is demanding 599/- per month. Currently local players are offering most of its content for free but they have started their premium memberships at afford (see info graphic)

Now the big question is how can we predict that TV is dyeing or it is on ventilator.

To understand this: With so much happening at OTT level, People working 24×7 they don’t have the time to wait and watch their favorite programmes on TV. My parents (Both retired and in their mid-60s) never wanted to miss any of their favorite programme on TV, No matter what.

BUT….. from Oct 16, onward I introduced them with JIO TV on a TAB. Now they don’t panic (yes it happens) on missing an episode; because they can watch it anytime on their handheld device. This small example shows us  – How India is changing and How we the people of India are consuming entertainment on mobile devices.

Predicting the future, BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) has launched a new service called – EKAM (Sanskrit for ‘ONE’) to monitor digital content on OTT.

Describing the need to launch EKAM Mr. Partho Dasgupta – CEO, BARC India said “We are happy to announce the launch of the EKAM, our digital offering. The ecosystem needs Measurement of both Video Ads and Content, whatever the pipe and device maybe. As the brand name suggests, BARC India is working towards its goal of integrating TV and Digital measurement. Our EKAM suite of products will be rolled out over the next 18-24 months. It will provide the industry with independent third party measurement, verification of audience and eventually viewability of video ads and content,”

According to him, The last couple of years have seen a boom in the OTT space. While initially there were, independent players acting as content curators, today broadcasters have their own digital platform to cater to the internet-savvy audience. There is no doubt that Platform is being aggressively marketed, be it in the form on TV ads, hoardings or free subscription offered to subscribers”

There are other factors which supports the fact that TV is on ventilator, Sale of Smart TV is on sharp rise, OTT subscriber base is growing by 35% (YoY) which is HUUUGGGEEEE. Gadgets like Apple TV, Google chromcast, Amazon fire stick TV is fueling this growth.

Smart phone demand is all time high and it will touch 500million soon. All big media house are launching their apps / OTT platforms to stay in the list. Even DTH provider like TATASKY are asking its viewers to download & watch TV thru its OTT app.

Once JIO launches its FTTH (their fiber base broadband plans) OTT players along with Smart TV sales will gain more and linear TV subscriptions will get a big hit. Come 2030 and this IDIOT box (TV) will die…… well …… almost.

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