Is India's OTT Market Witnessing A Rise In Paid Subscribers?

Over the last nine months, OTT video streaming platforms have had a good run. Several VoD providers have seen an increase in paying customers as well as increased usage and time spent on their apps. KPMG has already predicted the SVoD subscription base to drastically expand 2.8 times more in the coming two years.


These stats were stated in KPMG’s media and entertainment report for 2020. The report further outlines the OTT market in India to generate 4.8 times more revenue by the financial year 2022. Taking this into consideration, in this article, we will be discussing the best OTT platforms in India and a few factors that have led to an enormous rise in paid subscribers in India's OTT market.

Factors Leading To The Growth Of India’s OTT Market

According to new research by independent transaction consulting firm RBSA Advisors, India's over-the-top (OTT) streaming sector, which includes video and audio, has the potential to reach $15 billion in the next nine years. The video market would be worth $12.5 billion, while the audio industry would be worth $2.5 billion.

RBSA anticipates user penetration to rise from 25.8% to 32% by 2025. Over the same time span, OTT users are predicted to be 462.7 million. Taking this into consideration, let’s dive straight into the four primary factors that have led to an increase in paid subscribers for numerous OTT platforms in India.

Improved network and smartphones

According to the Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index (Mbit) 2021, the average monthly data usage per user in India climbed 20% year on year to 13.5 GB in December 2020, as consumers spend 4-5 hours per day on their smartphones. OTT services in India have drawn a growing number of customers as a result of improved networks, digital connections, and smartphones.

The fact that India has the world's second-highest per capita consumption of online video and the world's cheapest mobile data plays a crucial role in an increase in OTT subscriptions. Moreover, the rapid growth in rural internet penetration and the steep rise in smartphone users in India (estimated to be over 760 million in 2021) are other key factors that led to the growth of OTT paid subscribers in the country.

The Covid-19 Pandemic

We have noticed a sudden rise in paid subscribers for numerous OTT platforms in India primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since people are mostly working from home, OTT platforms are an entertainment platform for them where they can access both Hollywood and Bollywood content from the comforts of their home.

The Convenience Of Regional Language

Apart from overseas services like Disney+, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, there are a slew of local and regional OTT providers in the area, including SonyLIV, Voot, ZEE5, Eros Now, and ALTBalaji, to name a few. As per research, these OTT services' large investments in original and regional content will help subscriptions account for 93 percent of total OTT revenue in India.

India has about 22 official languages and initially, there weren’t many OTT platforms in the country that provided users to stream content in their regional language. People prefer to stream content in their regional language and OTT platforms like Jio Cinema, Disney Plus Hotstar and Voot, enable them to do so.

Movie Makers Have Partnered With OTT Platforms

Since visiting cinemas hasn’t been a safe option for quite a while now, movie makers have started to partner with different OTT platforms to release new films and increase engagement. This is quite convenient for many people as they can enjoy the latest movies from the comforts of their home while ensuring safety protocols.

Detailed Insights On Paid OTT subscriptions in India

The Ormax OTT Audience Report 2021 was released by the media consulting firm to help size the OTT universe in India. The study, which used a sample size of 12,000 people from both urban and rural India, took place from May to July 2021, according to a press release.

The total number of individuals watching OTT content in India is presently 353.2 million (or 35.32 crores). According to a new Ormax Media survey, this translates to a penetration rate of 25.3 percent, implying that one in every four Indians streamed content online at least once in the previous month.

According to the research, India presently has 96 million active paid OTT subscribers, with 40.7 million paying (SVOD) audiences, implying an average of 2.4 subscriptions per paying audience member. The male audience accounts for 66% of these paid subscriptions. The top six metro cities account for only 11% of the OTT universe in India, but 35% of total paid subscriptions.

With over eight million active paid subscriptions, Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai are the top three cities in this regard. The OTT audience universe in India is continually expanding, and an accurate market size estimation is a critical strategic component in a developing category.

Top 10 OTT platforms in India

Let’s shed some light on the top 10 OTT platforms in India for 2021.

  • Disney+ Hotstar
  • President: Sunil Rayan
  • NetWorth: $17.64 million
  • Annual Subscription: Rs. 499.
  • Subscribers: 34 million.
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Founder: Jeff Bezos
  • NetWorth: $3.31 million.
  • Yearly Subscription: Rs. 499
  • Subscribers: 200 million.
  • Netflix
  • Founders: Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings.
  • NetWorth: $228.60 billion
  • Monthly Subscription: Rs. 199 (starting price)
  • Subscribers: 209 million
  • Aha
  • CEO - Ajit Thakur
  • Net worth -$60 million
  • Monthly users: 1 million.
  • Voot
  • CEO: Sudhanshu Vats
  • NetWorth: $14.33 million
  • Annual Subscription: Rs. 299.
  • Subscribers: 1 million.
  • ALT Balaji
  • Founder: Ekta Kapoor
  • NetWorth: $4.71 million.
  • Monthly Subscription: Rs. 43.
  • Subscribers: 35 million.
  • Sony Liv
  • Founder: Danish Khan
  • NetWorth: $21.28 million.
  • Annual Subscription: Rs. 999.
  • Subscribers: 6.8 million.
  • Zee5
  • CEO- Tarun Katial
  • Net worth- $112.43 million
  • Monthly subscribers: 72.6 million
  • Sun NXT
  • CEO - K Vijaykumar
  • Net worth - $4.95 million
  • Eros Now
  • CEO: Kishore Lulla
  • Total subscribers: 224 million

The Future of OTT platforms in India

According to industry trends, OTT platforms in India have been attracting more subscribers on a daily basis as a result of improved networks, digital connections, and smartphones. The media and entertainment sector, like so much else that altered overnight during the global pandemic that hit 2020, reached a corner that it is unlikely to return to.

Over-the-top (OTT) platforms and smart TV adoption have already begun to change how the world consumes material, particularly entertainment, in recent years. The outbreak, as well as the subsequent lockdowns, expedited the process considerably. As a result of people being forced to stay at home for months, most OTT services saw a significant rise in subscribers.

Final Thoughts

In India, OTT platforms are edging out of the shadow cast by linear television and attracting their own set of subscribers. OTT platforms are working together with content creators to come up with interesting content of their own and are therefore gaining a lot of engagement from the viewers.

With the rapid growth of the Internet user base and the widespread availability of budget-friendly smartphones, India's OTT video market is increasingly becoming a mainstream entertainment destination. OTT platforms are increasingly focusing on genres such as entertainment, sports, and regional content.

The majority of these companies are still in their early stages of development, concentrating on rapid consumer engagement.

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