The 3 Os Of OTT Platforms- Origin, Owners & Overview

There was a time when watching TV or going to the movies was the only method to consume visual material. In the previous few years, India has experienced a considerable increase in the consumption of video material on various internet platforms.


The primary cause for this exponential development is frequently attributed to increased internet penetration and rising smartphone usage. There are several articles on OTT platforms nowadays that explain why such platforms are superior to cable TV. The cost of an OTT (over-the-top) platform membership is reasonable, and the convenience of accessing such platforms at any time and from any location is appealing.

Essentially, OTT platforms offer a variety of online content. Some of the most famous OTTs include Netflix, Amazon Prime, as well as ALT Balaji. Moreover, the imminent rise of these platforms needs to be credited to the OTT owners who had the vision to dream big!. In fact, Reed Hastings, Netflix’s owner’s net worth is a whopping $5.8 billion!

With several streaming services to pick from these days, selecting the best one could be challenging and time-consuming. Hence, in this blog, we’ll provide all relevant information about these platforms, right from the content they provide and the OTT owners, which will help you make an informed decision.

However, before we delve into the analysis of each platform, let’s first understand why OTT platforms have risen to popularity so quickly and what lies ahead.

An Overview of The Top OTT Platforms In India

Platform Name Owner Launch Date Active Users In India Plans
Netflix Reed Hastings January 2016 3 Million Starts at Rs 199/Month
Amazon Prime Video Amazon (Jeff Bezos) September 2013 38 Million Starts at Rs 329 for 3 Months
Disney+Hotstar Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited November 2019 25 Million Starts at Rs 399/Year
SonyLIV Sony Pictures Networks India 22 January 2013 80 Million Starts at Rs 99/Month
Voot Viacom 18 26 March 2016 100 Million Starts at Rs 99/Month
Zee5 Zee Entertainment Enterprises (Essel Group) 14 February 2018 100 Million Starts at Rs 42/month
Alt Balaji Balaji Telefilms (Ekta Kapoor) 16 April 2017 76 Million Starts at Rs 100 for 3 Months
MX Player Karan Bedi 20 February 2019 148.8 Million Rs 370/monthly
JioCinema Reliance Industries Limited 5 September 2016 100 Million Free for Jio users
Eros Now ErosSTX 2012 148 Million Starts at Rs 49 per month
Airtel XStream Bharti Airtel September 7, 2020 10.07 Million Rs 49/Month
Viu Nickhil Jakatdar October 2015 5 Million Starts at Rs 99/Month
TVF Player Arunabh Kumar June 2015 9.8 Million Free

The Amazing Stories of Evolution

We now begin a journey to learn the evolution of the top OTT platforms in our country. These inspiring stories which are part of the entertainment industry have always captured the attention of subscribers.

Disney+ Hotstar - The Emerging Winner

Disney+ was anticipated to attract about 20 million users by October 2020, according to research company MoffettNathanson, but after collecting in 10 million customers on its first day, the streaming channel maintained its rapid ascent through the new year and the epidemic. Hotstar was acquired by Disney when it obtained 21st Century Fox in 2019.

Hotstar has been renamed Disney+ since April 2020. Hotstar's subscribers were counted among Disney+'s. While Hotstar might have been a separate platform in the United States, similar to Disney's other streaming services Hulu and ESPN, the potential market reach is too excellent to pass up. In India, Disney+ has considerably more members than it does in the United States, where it still has a long way to go before catching up to Netflix.

The Indian over-the-top streaming market is crowded, with more than a dozen providers, including Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, both of which have fewer than five million and two million members, respectively.

Amazon Prime Video -The Entertainment King

It's not simple to get a position on India's ever-growing streaming map. All of the big foreign competitors have their sights set on the Indian market, but Amazon Prime Video has made a strong start. Within three years of its inception, the streaming service has achieved strong acceptance and momentum in India because of its extensive repertoire. Amazon's worldwide CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced earlier this year that the company has chosen to increase its investment in the area.

Netflix For Ultimate Action

When Netflix first launched in 2016, it was thought to be a niche network aimed at the English-speaking urban elite. Netflix, on the other hand, has been adjusting its content approach to make it more broad-based since introducing its services in India. The OTT streaming service is investing 3,000 crores to expand its original Indian content. In order to make its services cheaper, it has now created a 199 mobile-only package.

In addition, Netflix's owner, Reed Hastings, decided to invest more in local productions, offer a cheaper mobile-only plan (which the company said had better retention than expected), and partner with existing distributors like Reliance Jio to bring the service to new demographics in an attempt to increase subscribers. It also introduced Hindi to its user interface and pledged to produce more local-language shows, like the murder drama Sacred Games, which premiered in 2018 and is still Netflix's most popular Indian show to date.

Voot -Knowing Your Choices

Viacom18 has launched Voot Select, a subscription-based Video on Demand service, after a four-year incursion into the digital market.

Aside from bringing over 30 original shows, movies, and global content to the digital platform through partnerships with some of the biggest international studios, the network also hopes to bring its extensive portfolio of channels to the digital platform 24 hours before the episode airs on television.

With the return of fresh content during the pandemic, the business's streaming platform Voot saw a "substantial improvement" in monthly active users, the company claimed without giving the precise figure. Every day, the typical user spent 52 minutes on the OTT (Over the Top) service. “Among broadcaster-OTTs, Voot has the most devoted audience,” a Voot spokesman stated.

ZEE5 -Let’s Go Desi

With the medium of consumption quickly shifting from television to mobile displays, ZEE 5 offers certain standout characteristics that position it as the next big thing in digital entertainment consumption. ZEE5 began its service in 190 countries in October 2018. The website claims to have 76.4 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India and the rest of the world. It has also recently published material in Malay, Thai, Bahasa, German, and Russian, among other languages.

ZEE5, India's largest ConTech brand, has teamed up with Tata Sky, India's premier content distribution platform, to deliver ZEE5's premium content to Tata Sky Binge users. Tata Sky Binge is a one-of-a-kind platform that combines premium content from OTT applications such as Hotstar, SunNXT, Eros Now, Hungama Play, and now ZEE5 for a single monthly membership cost of Rs. 249/-.

SonyLIV -Romance & Drama Unleashed

Indian broadcast networks had previously launched their digital products long before overseas streaming behemoths joined the Indian over-the-top (OTT) market. Sony Pictures Networks India's (SPNI) digital subsidiary, SonyLIV, is undergoing a change under a new leadership team. SonyLIV was one of the early movers in the "streaming race." SonyLIV reached 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store in July of this year, making it the third domestic video-on-demand platform to do so (after Hotstar and JioTV).

The video-streaming service, which is owned by Sony Pictures Networks (SPN), debuted in early 2013 at a period when streaming was still a minority pastime. SonyLIV is currently one of the top five OTT applications, with explosive growth in the previous 15 to 18 months. It all began in January 2018, when the platform bought the internet rights to India's cricket tour of South Africa.

What Lies Ahead -A Promising Future

As shown in a recent PWC research, smartphone adoption in India is anticipated to reach about 99 percent by 2022. At the same time, OTT services are anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 22% to about INR 6000 crores by 2022. With such a big user base that includes a high number of smartphone customers under the age of 35, OTT services will place a greater emphasis on youth-friendly entertainment.

Another reason contributing to the phenomenal rise of OTT platforms in India is the growing level of disposable incomes, i.e., an ordinary Indian consumer can spend more money on entertainment now than a few years ago. Shows and films in local dialects (Tamil and Telugu are two examples) have drawn individuals from all walks of life to these platforms, with the promise of endless movies and shows in their home tongue at rock-bottom prices.

These platforms don't just cater to teenagers; they also cater to youngsters, the old, and people of all ages.

The amount of internet data consumed per minute has also decreased. Streaming a two-and-a-half-hour movie used to take 1GB of bandwidth for 360p resolution. Nowadays, 800MB is more than enough for the same video at 480p resolution. As a result of the decrease in data usage, the streaming quality has increased. People may now watch two movies while just using 1 GB or 1.5 GB of bandwidth.

Price is also a major consideration; Amazon Prime had a greater user base than Netflix in 2016 as a result of this aspect. Amazon Prime costs INR 129 a month for unrestricted access, but Netflix costs INR 800 for high-quality content. As a result, OTT platforms should establish a methodology to provide optimum benefit at the lowest possible cost, a difficult nut to crack but required to entice the Indian viewers.

Winding Up

As India is a massive market for OTT platforms, giving a variety of plans to cater to a broad user base with varying income levels is the only way to ensure faster absorption and development. Another advantage for OTT providers would be to focus mostly on Indian-friendly content.

For the time being, it can be assumed that Indians will remain to gravitate toward these networks, despite the fact that television would remain an essential commodity in India, at least till the availability of high-speed internet in rural regions become more common.

In the meantime, learn more about your favorite OTT platform only on Selectra!

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