Where the Indian OTT industry is headed in 2022

As we enter a brand new 12 months, we wished to grasp what to anticipate from the Over-the-top (OTT) industry in 2022.
In right now’s characteristic, we converse to industry specialists who share their ideas on what this 12 months has in retailer for us.
After 2020 we had hoped that 2021 would convey us some respite from the pandemic. However, issues have been difficult for a big a part of the 12 months. With many people caught inside the 4 partitions of our home for the most a part of the 12 months, OTT platforms typically grew to become the solely supply of leisure in our lives.
Not solely did 2021 see the launch of quite a lot of big-budget originals on numerous OTT platforms, quite a lot of motion pictures like Sardar Udham Singh, Mimi and Shershaah launched on these platforms. Content producing corporations put their greatest foot ahead and created award-winning exhibits that gained each industrial and demanding acclaim. There has been a visual improve in investments in content material manufacturing, a pattern that is right here to remain in 2022 as properly.
A current joint report by industry physique CII and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) acknowledged that the Indian OTT sector is presently in the scaling stage with sturdy subscription development and excessive funding in premium in addition to authentic content material. The Indian OTT sector is certainly one of the best amongst rising markets with over 40 gamers. While there have been debates about an increasing number of individuals transferring away from TV, Mandeep Kohli, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group India states that we’re nonetheless a while away from that occuring at a big scale in India. “The share of conventional media is slowly declining with elevated digital adoption however there is nonetheless excessive headroom for penetration with solely 54% of Indian households having a pay TV connection in comparison with greater than 70% in China. For many households, TV continues to be the middle of the residence and a major a part of household time,” stated Kohli, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group India.
The report additional acknowledged that the industry is at a scaling stage presently and has the potential to develop into a $13-15 billion industry by 2030.
To perceive what the new 12 months has in retailer for us, we spoke to some of the most essential voices from India’s OTT industry, together with a few of the largest content material manufacturing homes. Here is what they needed to say about what lies forward:
Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India

The already-growing on-line media and leisure enterprise obtained a significant increase with the black swan occasion that the Covid-19 pandemic was, setting a brand new development trajectory in the final 12 months. The viewers adopted a extra digitally superior manner of leisure, one thing that went past the typical mediums, resulting in mass adoption of OTT platforms which resulted in a surge in each viewership and watch-time. This pandemic-induced development in demand for high quality content material led to an elevated deal with storytelling throughout languages resulting in the creation of intensive and expansive content material libraries. People additionally grew to become extra open to sampling numerous content material from completely different languages and have been keener to go for the lounge expertise due to the elevated adoption of linked gadgets. This development of the linked gadgets ecosystem has made OTT a most well-liked alternative not just for private but in addition for household consumption. At ZEE5, we have now seen a 3X development in the viewership on linked gadgets. The rise in power-packed dynamic storytelling and the rise of linked gadgets has led to the introduction of the ‘Home Box Office’ which is a pattern that is right here to remain. While we grew 200% this 12 months at the again of an aggressive slate of content material line-up and hyper-personalization, we goal to make deeper inroads into Indian houses going into 2022.

Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment

I imagine the largest rising pattern for the streaming industry in 2022 and past is the growing flattening of the Earth, with each geographical borders and language obstacles breaking down as web connectivity reaches the remotest audiences. Our audiences, each native and world, have develop into smarter, extra perceptive and far more essential; this requires us as Content Creators and Distributors to considerably enhance the high quality of our storytelling, of our productions and of the client expertise we provide. Authentic, rooted tales which have a common enchantment can and can breakout to achieve audiences globally. The extra we collaborate with expertise from numerous cultures and geographies, the richer we are going to develop into as storytellers. The ‘One Planet One Species Shared Cultures’ is an thought whose time is really upon us.

Divya Dixit, SVP, Marketing & Revenue, ALTBalaji

With the conventional advertising and marketing budgets on a decline and digital and influencer advertising and marketing taking middle stage, there are lots of traits, nonetheless interrelated, that we are going to see rising in 2022. The digital audiovisual industry will explode; in response to Bain and Company, India’s on-line video consumer base has elevated to greater than 350 million individuals, rising 24% in the final three years. Influencer advertising and marketing will quickly transfer to incorporate micro-influencers and never simply be depending on Celebrity influencers, thereby additionally selling UGC. Video advertising and marketing, dwell streaming will give rise to Social commerce and tier 2 and three cities will declare the development chart curve. With all these interrelated occasions/traits triggering off, Users will count on customized experiences which will likely be offset by deeper integration of ML, which is able to give rise to AI utilization; nonetheless, the world of entrepreneurs can even see a extra centered rising curve in direction of Organic retention – CRM, surveys, retention instruments, suggestion cycles, web optimization, UI/UX as Google continues the stance of stopping third celebration cookies by finish of 2023.
Manjit Sachdev- Head – Originals, Voot and Voot Select, Viacom18 Digital Ventures

After an unprecedented 2020, with an acceleration in the development of OTT platforms, 2021 was a 12 months for creating milestones in curating distinctive and enthralling tales for the viewers. Now as we step into 2022 with hope and resilience, the OTT sector will witness a rise in the demand for customized and purpose-driven content material. Given the growing competitors in the OTT area, staying related and purposeful is most crucial. Considering the altering realities in right now’s occasions, having a purpose-driven story telling method is the solution to go. Content with function has the energy to journey past boundaries, unfold values, information and positivity and construct deeper engagement with subscribers. This pattern will act as a key differentiator in altering behaviours.
Megha Tata, Managing Director, South Asia, Discovery, Inc

As SVOD continues to develop aggressively, we’re seeing an growing variety of audiences now prepared to pay for good content material. I imagine a proper mixture of compelling content material and pricing could be the key in attracting a much bigger share of shoppers into the SVOD world subsequent 12 months. Also, differentiated programming will add to a participant’s aggressive benefit in the midst of most mainstream gamers providing related content material. This is a pattern acquainted to what we noticed even broadcast channels undergo. I imagine some gamers will be capable to carve out a distinct segment for themselves, whereas most streaming catalogs will find yourself resembling one another.
Rishi Negi, COO, Banijay Asia

2020 was a recreation changer for the entire world, we strategized a clean transition to the streaming period and the 12 months 2021 was about sustaining the optimistic change and envisioning the prospects of development. With altering narratives and experimental content material taking a lead, together with the undeniable fact that the information & streaming expenses have dropped, has resulted in the content material reaching a a lot larger viewers. I anticipate the 12 months 2022 to be vibrant with authentic productions, compelling storytelling and a few path-breaking performances. Fighting the content material inflation with all kinds of remarkable chronicles intertwined with current catalog exhibits in this post-pandemic world, viewers are streaming greater than ever. With nominal information plan and streaming expenses, content material is reaching even the darkest nook of the world. Considering the tempo of content material transmission, at Banijay Asia, we have now develop into extra aggressive in direction of producing content material that delights the heartland of India. We see a hike in demand for tales that are untold, feminine centric and with CTV on the rise, we anticipate rising curiosity in regional unscripted content material in 2022. While we have now seen this pattern kickstart already with our Tamil unscripted present The Survivors because it obtained unparalleled response from the viewers and our hinterland drama Matsya Kaand lately crossed a 100M views on MX Player inside a month. These numbers affirm that the trendsmap that we’re following results in a sustainable future. Given these previous two years have been an actual tester, we have now pushed by way of each doable problem posed by the virus this 12 months and efficiently produced exhibits for the streaming giants and saved the present working. While we have now coated grounds with our scripted, non-scripted, worldwide format adaptation, guide variations, in the upcoming 12 months, we goal to maintain up with our tempo and maintain reinventing our methods. To sum it up, we’re completely trying ahead to 2022 to be a 12 months filled with thrilling and enthralling initiatives to maintain our audiences engaged and invested.

Rohit Jain, Managing Director, Lionsgate South Asia and Networks, Emerging Markets Asia

2022 is going to be an thrilling 12 months for OTT gamers as the content material pipeline will likely be stronger than ever. While the pandemic has leapfrogged development in phrases of viewers and subscription we count on 2022 to additional amplify the attain and can witness development not solely in the metros but in addition in tier II & tier III cities. Today’s viewers are always on the lookout for edgy and distinctive tales. We have all the time stated premium content material is the final winner. The OTT industry must focus on high quality content material over amount of content material.
Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media

The media and leisure industry has been making speedy strides in the inside of India. Regional markets have gotten the industry’s level of convergence as the digital infrastructure expands throughout the size and breadth of the nation. Content homes and creators are going vocal by way of native, thereby, making homegrown, high-quality content material out there at the click on of a button.
Going additional, consumption of leisure, in addition to audio and video, will likely be prolonged to different mediums, akin to gaming. As the Indian on-line gaming sector is witnessing large development in 2020 it units a tone that gaming will likely be the subsequent large factor. The industry will witness a speedy rise in the use of AI and ML to create a personalized and personalised expertise for audiences. This makes industry client pleasant; not simply that, it helps in large consumption and double client engagement.

Hiren Gada, CEO-Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd

With regional web penetration rising at a speedy tempo, localization of content material and OTT apps are going to be certainly one of the rising traits to look out for. Content that was earlier restricted to simply Bollywood and Hollywood is getting prolonged to different native languages and it is going to play a key function in attracting new shoppers and in supporting different industries akin to dubbing and subtitling that can additional increase the content material financial institution.
Other than localization, we can even see content material being provided throughout different segments that embrace devotional, and children’ classes. As we see new OTT apps being launched virtually each month with a number of paying fashions, the shoppers may have extra flexibility and energy to make their very own decisions.
With elevated smartphone adoption together with inexpensive information, cellular penetration of the OTT will see extra focus. Mobile-centric plans have been launched by most OTTs right now to cater to the Millennials and GenZs who’ve the starvation to devour content material however not the deep pockets to pay. This area will proceed to develop with the elevated bundling of OTT by telecos. Additionally, the arrival of 5G which is most definitely to take off this 12 months will likely be a game-changer not only for the OTTs but in addition for the shoppers. It will allow quicker connectivity, accessibility to content material and additional improve the viewing expertise with lowered buffering points, and an uninterrupted real-time streaming expertise.

Shailesh Kapoor, The Founder & CEO, Ormax Media

The final two years have been distinctive for the OTT market in India, aided in no small measure by the lockdowns. As issues start to get again to regular, the query that we are going to hear much more in 2022 is: Where is the subsequent stage of OTT development in India going to come back from?
The class has grown at an estimated 30-35% in its consumer base and greater than 50% in paid subscriptions over the final two years. But these development charges should not sustainable in the long term. Platforms must search for choices which might be each compelling and distinctive, to get new subscribers in a class that can proceed to develop, however at extra modest ranges of 15-20% every year.
Crossover content material, be it Indian (akin to Jai Bhim) or international (akin to Squid Game or Money Heist), will play an essential function in this regard. The language barrier has been damaged significantly by the OTT medium, and with dubbing and subtitles out there in many languages for all main exhibits and movies now, platforms can not persist with single-language, homogenous choices anymore. We can count on extra language-led experimentation, each in content material acquisition and presentation.”


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