India’s subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) market is estimated to reach $1.5 billion by 2023 from a projected $0.5 billion in the current year, according to a recent report by CII-BCG (Boston Consulting Group).
Diverse content along with the convenience of on-the-go entertainment are pushing consumers to increasingly take to consumption of digital video content, a consumer survey done by analysts at BCG showed.
From nine players in 2012, the number of players in the video over-the-top (OTT) market increased to 32 in 2018, a BCG report released earlier said. With access to abundant and cheap data, India has the highest per capita consumption of data at 9.8 GB per month and a growing young population which prefers viewing content on mobile phones is an increasingly lucrative market for OTT players, experts note.
Of three billion smartphones across the world currently, the Indian market accounts for over 450 million.
“Digital video consumption has increased from 11 minutes per day to 24 minutes per day over the past two years. Internet penetration, along with growing affluence and smartphone penetration are expected to rise in the future, further driving growth in digital,” analysts noted in the report.
India’s video OTT market is divided among global players like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and domestic players like Hotstar, Zee5, AltBalaji, SonyLiv, among others. Competition in the space is gruelling as firms scramble to grab eyeballs in a market where about 550 million consumers are estimated to take to online video viewing by FY2023, according to a recent KPMG-Eros Now report. The latest entrant in the sector is Apple TV+, priced at Rs. 99 per month.
Hotstar is the top app in terms of downloads and monthly active users (MAU). It had 300 million MAU (monthly active users) in June 2019, a RedSeer Consulting report showed. Experts say Hotstar’s sports content is a big draw — customer acquisition for the firm becomes easier.
To drive customer engagement, platforms are investing heavily in original content.
According to the CII-BCG report, over Rs. 2,000 crore was spent on originals across four leading OTT platforms.
Hotstar, which introduced premium content on its platform in April 2016, invested around $300 million on original content in 2017, higher than Netflix’s investment of $70-80 million and Amazon Prime’s $70 million spend.
To woo Indian consumers, Netflix has launched a cheaper mobile-only plan. The firm has been building on its India library — currently comprising over 10 regional languages (including Hindi) while also ramping up its slate of originals.