Spends versus ROI: The tussle for OTT mediums

January 31, 2021 3:00 PM

A report by PwC indicates that India’s OTT video market is expected to grow at a 21.8% CAGR from Rs 4464 crore in 2018 to Rs 11976 crore in 2023

With the audience changing their entertainment destination to OTT, the platform has also received a major push in the brand advertising trafficWith the audience changing their entertainment destination to OTT, the platform has also received a major push in the brand advertising traffic

By Divya Dixit

The pandemic has significantly changed the way audiences consume entertainment. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that OTT (Over the top) platforms have become a staple for entertainment, especially for the millennial generation, with binge-watching being the new normal. A report by PwC indicates that India’s OTT video market is expected to grow at a 21.8% CAGR from Rs 4464 crore in 2018 to Rs 11976 crore in 2023. OTT is slowly becoming the favorite destination for content watchers for narratives that aren’t available elsewhere!

How 2020 impacted the OTT game?

Covid has been a tipping point for OTT adoption and has worked wonderfully for the streaming business. The consumer has started moving from linear TV to over-the-top platforms. With the audience changing their entertainment destination to OTT, the platform has also received a major push in the brand advertising traffic. What will truly determine the ROI for the advertisers is once their mindset also understands and appreciates that digital has a life time shelf value and the integration possibilities are multiple as well as targeting. Also, the penetration is immense considering the number of smartphone users in India is estimated to reach over 760 million in 2021, with the number of smartphone users worldwide forecasted to exceed to 3.8 billion users and the growth % of digital media in double digits YOY.

Content and audience attention are the ultimate decision-makers

Web Originals drive the order of the day, along with new movie releases, however latter being a bit transactional across the platforms. Rest of the content is library, for platforms to offer more choice opportunities for consumers and deeper engagement, consumer time spent for the platforms. While as per a latest KPMG report, the credibility of the medium has increased and the user base has jumped 10x across OTT platforms, it needs to evolve sensibly in terms of consumer offerings, narratives for a consumer to stay engaged and loyal.

Promising future or bubble burst?

According to the latest report published by KPMG India, we will have around 500 million online video subscribers by the financial year 2023, making the country the second-biggest online video market in the world after China. This has also given rise to 40 plus OTT platforms in India itself, forget global markets that has led to intense competition in the marketplace on one side and on the other side has helped grown OTT consumer base.

In this world of convenience, consumer hunger for new narratives and whenever wherever whatever syndrome, digital is set for scaled up growth, whether content, music, news, gaming, lifestyle or sports. The critical milestones are advertisers realizing the platform versatility, value as well as great content prodding the consumers to pay for SVOD. But since evolution is never easy nor kind, we will see many mergers, acquisitions, co-productions and even foldups as business models get explored.

Brand spends on OTT

Digital advantage is that it quantifies ad performance more specifically than any of the traditional mediums. Customarily, advertisers relied on limited demographics, guesswork, and anticipatory matching to draw lines between TV spots and audience behaviour. Through OTT, data has replaced everything. Advertisers can now use programmatic buying, real-time bidding, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track outcomes and enhance their ad spend in real-time.

The largest volume of views is indeed found within SVOD and AVOD business models. Having said that, each model has its unique strengths. AVOD guarantees big numbers when it comes to views, SVOD on the other hand offers plannable revenues and multiple opportunities for attracting binge watchers. Each marketer has his/her own agenda and digital provides a dreamland and candy shop variety options literally to choose from, the trick lies in ensuring that you do not lose a good opportunity in the desire to negotiate more. Smart brands take a slightly wider perspective to digital media plans from a brand and ROI point of view as well. Choosing the platforms prudently and maximizing better ROI to reach the right audience segment is the key to new-age digital media planning.

The author is SVP, marketing, analytics, and direct revenue at ALTBalaji

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