OTT has attracted a new audience: Sameer Nair
The OTT streaming market is not for the delicate-hearted or those with small pockets, said Applause Entertainment founder-CEO Sameer Nair. He was speaking on the changing streaming industry at the CII Big Picture Summit.
While there is potential for success in the industry, it is crucial to guarantee that it achieves a critical mass of subscribers. "And to do that, you have to invest," Nair remarked.
Television had previously been the driving force behind investments in original content in India, as it catered to a large audience. It was dominated by celebrity-driven reality shows and daytime dramas, and viewers had been watching them for decades. However, because OTT caters to a wide range of niches, it has attracted a new audience. "Let's assume 10% of the country like crime fiction; that's the size of a tiny European country," he explained.
When it comes to paying for streaming services, however, customers opt for the provider that provides the best value for their money. "In terms of developing original Indian content for a digitally-savvy audience, we never had HBO or Showtime in India." The creative ecology was geared for television and cinema. He also emphasized that "we need to establish a new ecosystem with content on numerous platforms."
Nair explained that, like any other algorithm, the more you utilise it, the more you get out of it when it comes to recommendation engines on OTT platforms. “To state that the recommendation engine is shepherding me and limiting my options isn't a fair comparison. Everyone understands that a consumer's content viewing preferences are split between new and familiar. That's why Netflix has a function called 'Play Something," he explained.
Lastly, he added, the lockdown has been a consistent experience for practically everyone on the planet. We used to assume that television was our window to the world, but it's really just a view into your neighborhood. "The internet is the world's window," he remarked. The consumer has become accustomed to the fact that there is a lot more content to view as a result of this.