That the popularity of the OTT video streaming services or subscription video on demand (SVoD) is incontestable. As per media reports, various estimates predict that the Indian OTT video streaming market is pegged at $280 million. The subscription base in India is 100 million at the moment and the experts forecast the market to grow at 35% year-on-year.
Popular SVoD service Netflix in a way provides an endorsement of sort to that projection when it has announced recently that it has clocked 125 million paying users worldwide. No doubt, the development has brought cheers to the on-demand video streaming segment. However, one has to get under the skin of that trend to understand the evolving market dynamics better.
As per the recent report ‘Digital Media: The Subscription Prescription published by Deloitte Global, “by the end of 2018, 50% of adults in developed countries will have at least two online-only media subscriptions, and by the end of 2020, that average will have doubled to four. The cost of these subscriptions – spanning principally TV, movies, music, news and magazines – will typically be under $10 per month each in 2018.” Although the research was based on the developed markets, it surely finds a resonance with India as well, given the fact that the consumers in India are willing to shell out almost $10 per month to subscribe Netflix which is priced higher than other SVoD services. Consumers in India willing to pay to consume content online obviously signals their maturity – which is quite significant. So confident is Reed Hastings, cofounder and CEO of Netflix is of the Indian market that he expects the next 100 million Netflix customers to come from India.
As the Deloitte research points out that there is an “increased willingness among consumers to pay for content online rather than consume ad-funded content,” India can’t be an exception to that trend. With the growth in broadband penetration and increase in the number of smartphone screens, the landscape for the SVoD is increasing. At the same time, they are fast becoming more demanding and discerning. So, it up to the SVoD players to leverage that opportunity by offering quality content. After all, coming of age consumers need coming of age content.
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