India’s OTT video subscriber base numbers 1.3MN | OTT | News | Rapid TV News
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Increased smartphone penetration and improved Internet speeds have encouraged about 66 million unique connected video viewers in India every month, according to the latest Frost & Sullivan report.

About 1.3 million customers now subscribe to video-on-demand (VOD) services provided by over-the-top (OTT) platforms in India - a figure expected to grow over the next five years.

“With an increase in the use of smart devices in India, content owners and aggregators are using non-TV platforms to improve reach and generate revenues through subscription and advertisement. However, it’s hard to woo the Indian consumer. Success in OTT video distribution will depend on the ability to offer variety of content, new content, at a reasonable price and impeccable user experience,” said Vidya S Nath, research director, Frost & Sullivan.

Broadcasters such as Star India and Zee Entertainment are currently driving both OTT services and viewers in India, however inadequate bandwidth speeds and the incumbency of YouTube in the market have provided challenges.

Nevertheless, the report’s author predicts that other broadcasters, as well as cable and direct-to-home (DTH) operators, will expand their OTT services in India over the next five years.

“India may have over 225 million Internet users, but for consuming video, one needs high speed broadband access and only about 35% of these users have access to it. OTT video subscription numbers fluctuate dramatically every month. We find that advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) is the most preferred mode of OTT video delivery in India currently,” said Nath.

Short duration video content is in high demand, attributable primarily to the average low Internet speeds and changing preferences of many Indian viewers, say Frost & Sullivan. Viewership rates peak during major sports events like the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, elections, or for breaking news.

With the recent introduction of Netflix in India, independent professional content production will continue to grow. A few aggregator OTT companies such as YuppTV and Spuul are also in the market, however publishers such as YouTube and Hotstar, BoxTV, Eros Now, and Ditto TV have been driving the sector to now, according to Frost & Sullivan.