How experimentation and diversity of content are driving the OTT success story
There was a time, not so long ago, when people used to diligently tune in to their television sets to watch their favourite daily soaps. From Saas-Bahu dramas like ‘Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ to ‘Anupama’, we have indeed come a long way.
Much like how satellite television revolutionised the broadcasting industry, OTT platforms have disrupted the traditional DTH television format. The COVID-19 pandemic period served as a catalyst for this transformation. During this time, OTT platforms have thrived, offering a wide range of diversified content.
“A good part of OTT in today’s time is that there is content for everyone. It is not the time when you had a single TV and whatever your mother put on you had to be subjected to it. Everyone has mobile phones, they pick up and play whatever they want,” noted Nivedita Basu, Vice President - Content & Business Alliances, Atrangi.
OTT platforms undeniably have a profound impact on the entertainment industry, reshaping viewer preferences and tastes. One prominent shift that has been observed is viewers’ newfound appreciation for content in various languages.
As per Statista’s survey on media consumption behaviour in India, 62% of the responses indicated that urban consumers aged between 25 and 34 years were most likely to drive up video streaming consumption during the year 2022.
Speaking about the content evolution, Karan Taurani, Senior Analyst Elara Capital, elaborated, “Competition in the industry is good, because there has been differentiated types of content. India as a market has got multiple languages. We have seen more than 40-plus OTT platforms operating today. Some are regional, some are telecom based, some are broadcasters, some are global giants – we have a diverse variety of OTT platforms. So, innovation wise, if you see in terms of content creation, it is more of experimentation currently. It has been almost seven to eight years that the industry has evolved, but we have still not seen what kind of content lasts. So, we are evolving over a period of time and we are getting there in terms of what content does well, what content does not, we have also seen a shift in terms of monetisation models.”
While highlighting the factors behind this revolution, Abhirup Datta, Head – AVOD Marketing- ZEE5, , said, “The popularity and prominence of OTT industry can be attributed to its revolutionary impact on content creation, distribution, and consumption since its inception. While factors such as the development of digital infrastructure, availability of affordable data, increased purchasing power, etc., have played pivotal roles, the OTT sector has truly transformed the entertainment landscape for viewers. It has made it accessible, aspirational, and affordable for a much larger audience base. The growth of OTT platforms reflects the unmet needs of underserved markets and the changing preferences of today’s evolved audiences. The OTT sector has broadened the horizons of storytelling in numerous ways. It has liberated the limitations of mainstream cinema, allowing talent from diverse age groups and linguistic backgrounds across different industries to collaborate and engage in creative partnerships. The sheer convenience of consuming content in one’s preferred medium has fuelled a demand for enhanced in-home viewing experiences.”
Affordable data plans and widespread smartphone penetration have played pivotal roles in the evolution of OTT platforms. A Hoi Choi spokesperson observed, “Affordable data plans and smartphone penetration have brought in a lot of new audiences. What this has done is that it made the streaming industry expand their content buckets. While the early adopters had embraced thrillers, the taste palette of the new audiences is diverse. At the same time, user experience has become of utmost importance when it comes to making the users stay on the app, and this has been fuelled by technology.”
The journey from traditional television to the digital age of OTT platforms has been nothing short of remarkable. OTT platforms have not only transformed the entertainment landscape, but have also empowered creators and audiences alike, promising an exciting future for the world of content consumption.