Women, small-town India and older age groups big on digital for their content viewing choices on OTT and TV: BCG-Meta Report

80% of content-related research occurs online before content viewing with digital discovery and engagement playing significant role for both linear TV and OTT, the report says

The ‘Seeing the BIG Picture - Harnessing digital to drive M&E growth’ report by BCG and commissioned by Meta was done with over 2600 consumers across 15 towns and cities.
The ‘Seeing the BIG Picture – Harnessing digital to drive M&E growth’ report by BCG and commissioned by Meta was done with over 2600 consumers across 15 towns and cities.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Meta today announced the launch of a new report around the increasing influence of digital in driving media and entertainment consumption in India across over-the-top (OTT), linear TV (LTV), and movie studios.

With the meteoric growth in online content and on-demand streaming platforms in India, the media and entertainment landscape in the country has transformed dramatically over the last few years. The report unravels key consumer trends around how India is consuming content while busting prevailing myths and highlighting the growing digital influence that is increasingly driving people’s viewing preferences. Digital influence implies the role of digital in content discovery, sharing, and engagement both before and after viewing content.

The ‘Seeing the BIG Picture – Harnessing digital to drive M&E growth’ report by BCG and commissioned by Meta was done with over 2600 consumers across 15 towns and cities. The study also includes in-depth interviews with consumers and industry leaders from Linear TV (LTV), OTT platforms, and Movie Studios.

Speaking on the report, Shaveen Garg, managing director and partner, BCG said, “Consumers’ increasing time spent on digital video is well-known. But what was counter intuitive is how much digital is influencing their discovery of content, decision to watch and the engagement post watching. It is not limited to digital native mediums but across all content as a category. It is clearer than before that many media companies haven’t embraced this power to unlock potential.”

The report aims to bust some myths and mindsets in the market around digital influence being limited to metros, men and English content viewers. Among the most significant findings of the report is that contrary to industry perception women, small-town residents, and people over 35 years of age have significant digital influence, driving their content discovery and consumption choices. For instance, among OTT watchers, after consuming the content, 78% of the surveyed men said that they use digital to engage with the content. This number was equally high at 77% for women.

Similarly, before watching something on OTT, more people from smaller towns (81%) use digital for content discovery than people from large towns (74%). Moreover, contrary to popular belief, digital discovery is on the upswing, even for linear TV, with linear TV viewers increasingly seeking information and engagement online for the content they watch.

Shweta Bajpai, director and vertical head – Media, Finserv, Travel, Real Estate and Services for Meta in India, said, “The prevalent view presumes that consumer behaviour across small and large towns, across gender and age-groups is vastly distinct. While this may be true for some industries, when it comes to content consumption in India, there are more similarities than distinctions. The biggest similarity is that irrespective of where people consume content – OTT, TV or in movie theatres – they rely on digital to share, engage, and express themselves. 40%+ respondents discover content on digital via Word of mouth. This is a game changing insight for media companies and marketers in how they want to reach their customers.”

The study also showed that 60% consumers seek information about the content before deciding to watch. Up to 80% of this research occurs online across OTT, LTV, and Movies. The findings further revealed that higher digital engagement is correlated with higher watch time on both LTV and OTT.

The study also recommends that media and entertainment (M&E) companies need to evolve. With boundaries blurring between different formats in the consumers’ minds, the report suggests M&E companies to refrain from defining themselves as LTV/OTT/Movie Studios and reimagine themselves as content creators not chained to a delivery medium. The report also calls for diversifying digital activations including communities, influencers, personalized reach-outs and short videos to reach all kinds of consumers.

Lastly, the report advises brands to develop in-house muscle, build a content factory, leverage the user engagement flywheel, develop a robust measurement strategy and impact attribution.

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First published on: 29-03-2023 at 13:24 IST