Gone are the days when TV or movie theaters were the only way to absorb video content. India has seen a tremendous rise in the consumption of video content on various online platforms in the last couple of years. The major reason behind this exponential growth is often attested to deeper internet penetration and ever-increasing smartphone usage. Cheap and efficient mobile recharge packages along with good internet connectivity have permitted both rural and urban populations to consume video content at an alarming rate.
OTT, or over-the-top platforms, are audio and video hosting and streaming services which started out as content hosting platforms, but soon branched out into the production and release of short movies, feature films, documentaries and web-series themselves. These platforms offer a range of content and use artificial intelligence to suggest users the content they are likely to view based on their past viewership on the platform. Most OTT platforms generally offer some content for free and charge a monthly subscription fee for premium content which is generally unavailable elsewhere.
The premium content is usually produced and marketed by the OTT platform themselves, in association with established production houses which historically have made feature films. Here are some of the Over-the-Top platforms which are currently ruling all over the India.
Disney+ Hotstar is another over-the-top media service in India. It is a Star Network product that was launched in February 2015. Disney+ Hotstar has swiftly become one of the largest video-on-demand platforms in the country. Disney+ Hotstar is the only platform where the best TV shows from around the world, movie premieres, live sports, and events are consolidated. It has several user-friendly features such as an adaptive video playback experience which automatically adjusts according to the available bandwidth, the creation of playlists, and the availability of content for download. Users can consume Disney+ Hotstar content on the go with the best viewing experience.
Netflix is one of the biggest over-the-top media services that ventured into India in 2015. It is a US-based video streaming company that is now available in India at a starting subscription price of INR 500 per month (goes up to INR 800 per month) after a free month of trial. While most of the OTT service platforms follow a mix of advertising-led and subscription fee-based business models, Netflix, in keeping with its global strategy, is free of advertising in India. Netflix are famous for their Netflix Original content production. They have created high budget TV shows and movies. Following are some examples of original content: House of Cards, Money Heist, The Crown, Peaky Blinders, Sacred Games, and many others. It has the most expensive membership of all the services. It has less number of members but has the highest watch time. This data means that it has the best content but is expensive for many.
A year after the launch of Netflix in India, Amazon Prime Video also made its entry in the country. According to the director of content at Amazon Prime Video (India), India accounts for the highest number of Prime members in the debut year, growing fastest among the 16 countries that the platform is present in. India is a price-sensitive country and at Amazon Prime’s low-priced subscription fee, it gives the users great value for money. It has a vast library of movies and TV series. The company also produces original content like Family Man, Mirzapur, etc. Amazon Prime is the second most subscribed program in India. Because of its low cost and good quality content. It also has many famous old TV shows like Seinfeld, The Big Band Theory, The Office, etc.
Voot is a video-on-demand platform that is a part of the digital arm of Viacom18. Viacom18 is one of India’s largest growing media networks. The platform provides its audience with a vast range of content choices and preferences. It has a pool of 45,000 hours of content which includes COLORS (Hindi), Viacom18 Motion Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, and MTV Indies. It offers the biggest TV Shows, Blockbuster movies, Toons, and VOOT originals.
Voot’s aim is to capture the digital video landscape with its fresh and new-age content without any premium cost. One of the major attractions of the platform is its original content while it covers a plethora of categories like dramas, comedies, spoofs, and everything else.
SonyLIV is bound to be present in the list of the top OTT media services. SonyLIV was launched in 2013 and has been developed by Multi-Screen Media. It has a mix of both free and premium content and has partnered with SPI International to showcase seven more international television channels across different genres (in addition to the existing five channels). It also produces original content like Lovebytes, Married Women Diaries, etc. SonyLIV’s premium content comes at a subscription cost of INR 99 per month. It offers viewers shows from the Sony stable – SONY, MAX, and SAB. Apart from enabling viewers to watch the latest shows, Sony LIV also allows subscribers to watch the re-runs of old episodes, movies, and special events.