The report titled “India Online Video Report: Analysis of Consumption, Content & Investment Trends” by Media Partners Asia (MPA) leverages data from the AMPD-platform.
The term Premium VOD, commonly used in the report, refers to online video-on-demand platforms that curate premium long-form content for consumers with free and paid tiers (freemium) or solely paid tiers (SVOD). Premium VOD excludes UGC and/or social video platforms such as YouTube.
Speaking on the findings of the report, Mihir Shah, MPA India vice president said, “The next 6-12 months will remain critical for the OTT sector as platforms strive to balance monetization and profitability against content investment. The platform’s SVOD layer should ideally consolidate and anchor its offering to remaining sports rights, led by ICC Men’s cricket, popular Marvel content, and Disney family content.”
As per the report published today, total consumption across the online video sector reached 6.1 trillion minutes for the 15 months from January, 2022 to March, 2023. The Premium VOD category had a 12% share as compared to 10% in 2021 with YouTube remaining dominant with 88% share. The 12% number compares well with other emerging markets i.e. Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines where the norm for premium VOD share is below 10% but trails more developed markets such as 35% in Australia. Significantly, India is not too far behind markets such as Japan and Korea where the norm is 15-20%.
Disney+ Hotstar led premium VOD category viewership with a 38% share over the measured 2022-Q1 2023 period, driven by sports as well as the depth of its Hindi and regional entertainment, the report highlighted. Adding further, the combined Zee-Sony group had a 13% premium VOD category share in aggregate with their respective platforms, which are expected to operate separately fcor another year, benefiting from engagement across sports as well as regional, local and international content.
The measurement period in this report ended Q1 2023 before the launch of IPL on Jio Cinema. As a result, its share of the premium VOD category was limited to 2%. In April 2023, despite several tech glitches impacting user experience, the free live streaming of the men’s IPL cricket ensured that Jio Cinema consumption grew more than 20 times in April 2023.
“The free live streaming of the men’s IPL cricket ensured that Jio Cinema consumption grew substantially in April 2023 while its average daily engagement reached 50 minutes. However, sustained viewership levels will remain critical in the absence of IPL cricket during second half of 2023 especially as the platform has increased its investment in local content and premium international content, setting the stage for the growth of its premium tier,” said Shah.
Furthermore, Prime Video and Netflix had an aggregate 10% share of Premium VOD category minutes, according to the report. Prime Video also garnered almost a third of its viewership from regional Indian titles. In aggregate, more than 60% of Prime Video’s viewership was anchored to local content. This is to note that this is in contrast to Netflix where local content’s contribution to viewership was 24%. Netflix’s Indian originals have not been able to sustain their buzz for a long period. In contrast, various seasons of Netflix’s major US titles have achieved sustained viewership.
“We see continued momentum in the future for Amazon Prime Video, closing on 20 million paid subscribers. Its success is largely attributable to the launch of its mobile edition, a new ad tier, Prime Video Channels, and TVOD along with a deep bench of regional content and will continue to drive growth in 2023. Netflix will continue to grow at pace though with relatively low ARPUs while its cadence of local originals remains impressive but still contributes less than 30% to overall viewership on the platform. We expect fresh bets may have a larger impact in second half,” Shah added.
The report highlighted that the Indian content dominates premium VOD viewership. Content viewership on paid tiers was led by international content, which contributed 51% of total paid tier premium VOD consumption over 2022-23. US content remains the primary driver with a 36% share while Korean content is growing and reached a 6% share during the measured period. Local content contributed 49% overall to the paid tier with Indian originals contributing 26%.
Warner Bros., Netflix Studios and Disney’s Marvel Entertainment are the leading studios in terms of share of US content viewership. Applause, Endemol, The Viral Fever, D2R Films and Excel Entertainment were the key drivers of Indian original series viewership.