By Divya Dixit, SVP - Marketing & Revenue, ALTBalaji
Another quiet weekend with my daughter led us to spend quality time watching her favourite series. What was different this time was the house-help’s interest in the show as well. It was intriguing, to say the least, as she spoke of the OTT shows that she has seen so far. It got me thinking about how OTT platforms can better strategise content creation to cover a PAN India Audience. The key is to find ways to reach out to audiences across geographies & demographics to tug the right heartstrings.
With major growth in the usage and acceptance of technology all over the country as a result of more affordable prices, the audience for entertainment has grown in leaps and bounds. With a diversity like that of India, it goes without saying that it is imperative to create content that caters to as many sections of society as possible.
While curating different narratives for different sections is a no-brainer, content can also often be used smartly and dubbed to be accessible for all. Further, the continued entry of new players in the OTT space makes more content available for viewers far and wide. OTT platforms should ideally have a spread of content ranging from movies, to short films and documentaries to series to cater to all possible tastes. It is a sure way forward considering India currently is one of the fastest-growing markets for OTT video, at a CAGR of 28.6%, and is expected to become the 6th largest OTT market by 2024 as per a PWC report.
The audience has an innate interest in seeking content in their native language, and OTT players need to understand the needs and preferences to expand their audience base. According to an industry report by KPMG titled- Unravelling the digital video consumer, 64% of India's digital video consumers prefer consuming content in Hindi. The remainder of the viewership pie sees Tamil (5%), Telugu (4%), and Bengali (4%) as the top regional languages.
As these dialects are the first language of conversation for a large section of people, Voice search in these languages will be the next big thing. The success of the voice-search technology will be determined by how quickly do they adapt to the wide variety of dialects and how they improve the platform’s accessibility. Further tapping into regional content, OTT players are now commissioning quite a few regional shows alongside Hindi ones. After all, it is important to recognise the nuances of these communities and should be able to tell stories that matter to all.
Various portals are experimenting with a variety of approaches to find the sweet spot to attract more viewers and subscribers to their respective platforms. A large majority of Indians also prefer using different payment options, keeping some balance across digital wallets, for both convenience and security. It becomes important for OTT players to recognise this insight and act to provide more convenience for their subscribers – as people appreciate being given choice as opposed to being limited to one payment mode.
With most people shifting towards OTT from cable and DTH, another intelligent strategy that could be adopted is getting television content onto these platforms. This step helps and attracts those attached to a particular show and can have easy access anytime anywhere making OTT platforms even more people-friendly. Once all of this is done, strategic pricing and the right messaging is what will ensure that people subscribe and stay loyal to their favourite OTT platforms.
Major Competition in OTT Content Industry
Of course, with the increase in preference for OTT, there is a major growth in the competition as well. Hence, for an OTT platform to stay on top of its game, it becomes necessary to adopt the most relevant marketing tactics, something platforms should constantly re-invent. Whether it is influencer engagement, making the right use of social media platforms, using memes, collaborating with apps relevant to the youth all of which have added immensely to the platform’s popularity. Of course, standing out and constantly innovating how these mediums are used, is key to the growth.
Catering to the varied tastes of the growing audience, Indian OTT players are committed to understanding them on an extremely personal level. Virtual and Augmented Reality has steadily entered the OTT space as a new way of user engagement. With the power to impact and engage, the use of these two tools has led to the content consumption experience being more experiential and immersive. AI too has come to the forefront as it helps these platforms understand the viewer’s consumption patterns and tailor their recommendations accordingly.
To conclude it all, laying thrust on localised content, affordable costs, enhanced accessibility delivered through immersive experiences, major OTT players are providing immense relevance and adding value to consumers. Continuing to grow from strength to strength, the Indian OTT market is poised to rank among the top 10 markets globally.