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How India Binge-watched in 2019 on OTT Video Platforms

Binge-watching is the new weekend plan, originals are the new movie date, and Netflix and chill is the new escape from a regular day. The increasing drift towards the consumption of content from over-the-top or OTT video streaming platforms such as Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other popular names by the youth of the country is plainly visible in India.
 
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in its report titled “Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023” predicted India’s video streaming industry to be valued at INR 11.97K Cr by 2023.
 
While the numbers show that the Indian OTT industry is still at its nascent growth stage, the entry of more than 30 streaming platforms in a span of barely three years speaks volumes about the massive potential this industry has. The rapid growth has not only provided a wide berth for content creators and owners but also advertisers and brands in the digital consumer market.
 
But the biggest issue in the Indian OTT market is the fact that Indians are not yet embracing paying for it wholeheartedly. Four out of five Indian users admitted to sharing their OTT log-in credentials with friends or family as per Vidooly’s “Indian OTT Landscape” report. 
 
The online video analytics and marketing company’s survey report summarises subscription behaviour, content and genre types, devices used, frequency and occasions of consumption, content library, consumption, revenue models and other important parameters.
 
While the rate at which subscriptions are rising in the Indian OTT industry is phenomenal, there’s still a large opportunity in terms of the addressable base that is still not paying for streaming subscriptions.
 
The survey further revealed that despite not having paid directly for subscriptions, 65% of the respondents still had access to subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms. It further stated that the audience is gaining access to OTT content through various sources of subscription such as tie-ups with telecom companies and pooled-in subscriptions.
 
Freeloading has become a cause of concern for OTT players in India. The casual password-sharing phenomenon is causing the platforms to lose several potential subscribers, also leading to discrepancies in user personas that help platforms tailor their services and catalogue. 
 
The survey showed that 67% of total respondents confessed that they borrowed passwords for Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other platforms from friends or family.
 
The Vidooly survey showed that the OTT platforms are dominated by the audience in the age group of 24-34 years, equally split between students and employed individuals. While the maximum share belongs to metro cities, respondents from non-metro formed the majority share amongst the non-subscribers.
 
Originals are the new trend in the OTT segment. Streaming platforms are betting on this emerging trend to capture the attention of the audience, said Vidooly. 
 
A whopping 85% of the audience voted for originals as compared to watching other shows. About 25% of the people who took the survey like to explore new content while about 32% of the respondents prefer watching content which has been popular for some time. As many as 43% of Indians enjoy watching new releases and trending shows the most.
 
Subscription fees play a major role in motivating users to subscribe or unsubscribe. Despite the proliferation of 30+ OTT Platforms in India, price continues to be a big factor. 69% of the respondents who subscribed to any video streaming platform said they wouldn’t hesitate to unsubscribe if there was a price hike. 
 
This price hike is driving consumers to opt for pooled-in subscriptions, which is justified by the 40% respondents who admitted that ‘friends pitching-in to take an OTT subscription’ is a major influencing factor.
 
What is India Binge-watching?

 
Vidooly states that documentaries capture the highest interest of the audience between 24 and 45 years. As the audience crosses the age of 34, their interest in the romance genre starts to fall with action and adventure fascinating the 45+ age group the most. The survey further found that older audience prefers movies while the younger audience shows a preference for TV shows.
 
Younger audiences between 24 – 34 years of age prefer the romance genre with 51% viewership. Preference for drama, crime & thriller and reality shows is consistent among all age groups.
 
Metro vs Non-Metro
 
Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hotstar are the most preferred OTT platforms. While the audience from metro cities show an inclination towards TV Shows, non-metro residents are more likely to watch movies.
 
News on OTT is also preferred more by users in non-metro cities. On the other hand, original shows and content, and documentaries are more preferred by the audience in metro cities. 
 
Contrary to the popular notion, a significant share of the audience in the metro cities consumes regional content. One out of four respondents living in metro cities said that they watch content in regional languages.
 
Demographics Playing A Role

 
The survey stated that men preferred watching sports content, news and live TV more than female users. On the other hand, women prefer watching music videos more than males. However, movies and TV shows are equally preferred by the male and female audience surveyed.
 
It further stated that with the increase in age, preference towards watching sports content increases. Younger age groups that do not have the disposable income to buy premium plans which could be one of the reasons for the low preference of Gen-Z towards sports content.
 
Where Are Indians Streaming?
 
Half of the audience that consumes streaming content every day chose mobile phones as their preferred device. 45% of the respondents who streamed only on weekends and holidays chose a laptop for the same. On the other hand, only 30% of the daily streamers chose laptop as their preferred streaming device. Interestingly, 64% of the respondents who streamed on television were daily streamers, which indicates that DTH viewing may be taking a backseat
 
YouTube, one of the top video-streaming platforms in India, derives 85% of its viewership through mobile phones. But when it comes to OTT platforms, the share of audience preferring mobile phones sharply declines to 50%.
 
The Most Popular OTT Platforms In India
 
Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hotstar bag the top three spots when it comes to monthly active users.

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