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Netflix, Amazon Prime, ZEE5, ALTBalaji, Hotstar, and SonyLIV…
Did you know India has over 40 OTT service providers that distribute content over the Internet?
Who would have guessed that a trend that was initiated in India by Reliance Entertainment’s BigFlix in 2008, would become a huge part of not just our everyday lives but the digital advertising industry as well? More so, after the strike of Covid-19.
Nation-wide lockdown which was implemented in India in March has given all of us more downtown time together, giving us space and bandwidth to consume more, catch up on the movies we couldn’t watch in theatres or binge-watch those series that we heard our gang talk about. Not to mention, the potential of cost savings in not stepping in multiplexes.
Digital is the only way we communicate with the outside world
The beginning of 2020 saw a rise in the consumption of digital media and entertainment including over the top platforms, social news, social media and medium, and given the current pandemic, the numbers are expected to rise higher.
According to a study conducted by India Brand and Equity Foundation, the Indian media and entertainment industry is expected to reach a market size of INR 307K crores. Contributing majorly to this growth is the online medium which witnessed the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 13.3% in the year 2019, which is INR 163K crores.
The same report suggests that in the year 2020, the digital advertising industry is expected to contribute a CAGR of INR 18,986 crores. This number is definitely expected to change because none of us had then known that a pandemic was waiting to strike.
A rise in the number of apps installs post-COVID-19
Varied studies have suggested that the numbers and types of apps installed after the cases of Coronavirus increased in March have gone up. An increase of over 75% was observed in gaming apps installations after March 21, when the lockdown was imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Girish Menon, Media, and Entertainment Partner and Head at KPMG, said that gaming apps offer more engagement to the users, which serves as the key factor in customer acquisition. And the numbers are only expected to rise.
Not to forget the psychological impact the negative news and staying indoors has had on people.
An entertaining distraction for the great lockdown
While the economy and varied industries are thinking of ways to beat the lockdown woes, Bollywood is now taking the direct OTT route. Most of us have seen Angrezi Medium on Disney Hotstar+ and going by the news as shared on different entertainment channels, Vidya Balan’s Shankutala Devi will soon be hitting our indoor screens. This definitely disappointed the cinema giants like PVR and Inox, leading them to join hands and issue a statement that they are not happy with the shift in filmmakers’ mindset. Meanwhile, in the West, filmmakers have already started releasing their films online. Not to mention that international video playing platforms are thinking of ways to hit the Indian market.
According to a data analytics firm KalaGato, the daily active users across online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime video shot up by 122% and 72% respectively, since February 2020.
Founder of Hungama Digital Media shared in an interview with INC 42 that there was a 20% rise in their viewership. OTT platforms like ALTBalaji are actually encouraging the audience to watch their favourite movies and shows on the SD version so that the telecom providers do not feel the pressure.
Looking at this as the golden opportunity, e-commerce platform Snapdeal has entered a partnership with Hungama Play and it was not long ago that Flipkart launched Flipkart video. The OTT platforms are constantly renewing their homepages trying to curate content for their audience and this buzz has indeed forced the advertisers to re-look at how they spend on their ads.
SpotX, a global video playing platform revealed that an increase in OTT viewership has led to a 16% increase in OTT ad inventory. Brands are now re-allocating their offline ad budgets and are approaching platforms like MX Player and Voot to get traction. The Marketing and Revenue heads across these channels have shared data as to how the OTT platforms have seen the rise in the number of times a user logs in but is also spending a longer time online.
Publicis Group recently published a report titled Reboot To A New Normal, which states that this behaviour change is not transient and is expected to last long term. Analysing the audience’s behaviour post the lockdown was imposed in March, there is a shift towards essential, health, and hygiene-related products. The consumers who once bargained while standing in a street market are today looking at new offers online and waiting for platforms like Amazon and Flipkart to start delivery.
Meanwhile, the brands are now coming up with new messaging, business model and products to capitalise on the rise in media consumption.
Creating a digital influence
What has worked in the favour of the brands who had adapted to the digital-first ideology and OTT platforms, early on is a balanced revenue stream which has only increased post the advent of COVID 19 in India.
Clearly, over the top platforms, gaming, short video content, and anything and everything that is digital is getting the boost this lockdown season!
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