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The future of OTT growth depends on these two mindsets

Cheaper data costs, availability of affordable range of smartphones and a growing propensity towards video content consumption are fuelling the growth of the OTT industry, with PwC pegging India’s OTT video market at Rs 11,976 crore by 2023, growing a 21.8 per cent CAGR from Rs 4,464 crore in 2018. Zenith sees the use of mobile internet this year at an average of 800 hours, which is expected to rise to 930 hours by 2021.

Adgully has been initiating frequent conversations with leading experts in the digital and OTT industry to gauge the growth trends, the challenges, opportunities, major players that are changing the game in the Indian ecosystem.

In continuation of this conversation, Adgully engaged with Divya Dixit, Senior Vice President & Head – Marketing, ALTBalaji, in a #TwitterChat on the co-existence of OTT players in the Indian ecosystem. The #TwitterChat took place yesterday (Mau 11, 2019) between 3 pm and 4 pm and also opened up to public questions soon after.

Read more: Deciphering the battle of the OTT platforms in the Indian market

Growth of OTT

Today, the OTT space in India has as many as 30 players competing in the market. Divya Dixit noted, “The space has exploded. However, it still is all about storytelling.” While global players like Netflix are dominant players when it comes to international content, vernacular content is where Indian OTT players see the greatest potential. “The Google report clearly states that 9 out of 10 people are looking for vernacular content and that growth is coming from Tier 2 and 3 towns. One million people every month are being added to the Internet in India,” Dixit pointed out.

The main factor that has caused this development, according to her, is data being available cheaply since the Jio revolution as well as smartphone proliferation in the Indian market.

Game of Content

Here, Twitter user @PriyankaMehra12 posed a pertinent question, “What is the cornerstone of good content?”

Dixit replied that contents needs to be tailored to the taste of the audience, “There is no blanket rule for good content, it needs to be varied for different cohorts. However, basic principles are that it should be entertaining, engaging, non-preachy, non-offensive, and leave a consumer with the satisfaction of time well invested.”

Elaborating further, she said, “In the segmentation of the viewership, what we realise is that men prefer thriller, action and comedy content, while women prefer romance and drama.”

She stressed that it was not just good content, but platform credibility, too, that drove strong user engagement. “While content leads the way, platform credibility in terms of user experience and brand ethos is a must. The brand is an entity beyond content. Else each content failure would mean the end of the brand,” she emphasised.

Twitter user @KanikaKukreja7 shared a similar opinion.

At the same time, Dixit highlighted that the quality of content could not be compromised on.

How does one control the quality of content when the sheer mass of content produced on digital formats is soon expected to exceed all other platforms? To this, Dixit replied, “There will always be an ocean of content, however, the trick is to make your content stand out and marketing it for easy of discoverability. If content is king, then discovery is the queen.”

Twitter user @miteshkothari went as far as to say.

A key ingredient to build loyalty on platforms is ultimately good storytelling.

Twitter user @Oishee26 joined the discussion with the question, “How important is the shift to OTT platforms from TV?” Dixit responded saying that the true battle was between good content and stale content that could be screen agnostic.

@KanikaKukreja7 followed up with the question, “Does content on OTT platforms have a shorter life span than content on TV?’ Contrary to this belief, Dixit said, “In fact, it has a longer shelf life on OTT as it is perpetually available for audience viewership.That is why brands should consider investing on integration on OTT.”

Amplifying Content

Dixit opened up a question to the audience, saying, “What do you believe will allow the platform to grow or scale up in future – brand analytics or content?”

To this, Twitter user @gandhi_shrenik responded:

Adding to that, Twitter user @AJSarkarworld said, “Content acts as the life blood that keeps the platform intact and running. To ensure that the content reached the right audience segment is where brand analytics steps in. No platform can scale up (successfully) if either is left loose.”

Twitter user @miteshkothari asked, “Do you think changing consumption pattern will especially in our country will keep pushing OTT platforms to innovate with content types, languages, etc., to find the right audience fit and also to keep growing revenue?”

Dixit replied, “You need to keep pace with cohorts and trends and simply reach out to multiple segments with content tailormade for them. That’s the beauty of digital – innovate and create on-the-go.”

Following this, @miteshkothari opined, “From movie to OTT, content that does not fit the audience it is being marketed to will fail despite marketing efforts. With so many options user loyalty cannot be guaranteed.”

To tackle this problem, Dixit believes it is important to have two key mindsets, especially when working in the digital space – Adaptation and Agility.

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