Indians viewers prefer regional content on OTT platforms; YouTube is most preferred video streaming app: Report

Time spent on video streaming apps has gone up by 140 percent in 2019 in countries such as India, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea


Over the top platforms (OTT) have completely transformed the way we consume content. Appointment viewing on television has been replaced by anytime, anywhere viewing on video streaming apps.

When it comes to content, Indian viewers love regional content on OTT platforms according to a recent study titled Indian OTT Platforms 2019.

The study, conducted by MICA along with Ahmedabad-based startup Communication Crafts on analysing data shared by Comscore, highlights the trends seen in the Indian OTT platform market. Time spent on video streaming apps has gone up by 140 percent in 2019 in countries such as India, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea. In terms of gender breakup, the male viewership was much higher than female viewership on OTT platforms.

Indians viewers prefer regional content on OTT platforms; YouTube is most preferred video streaming app: Report

The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood. Image: Reuters.

According to ABI Research, the over-the-top (OTT) video market across the world will continue to grow at a brisk pace and with a surge compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent through 2022, the OTT market will generate a massive $51.4 billion. India has close to 20 OTT platforms which have content ranging from Bollywood and Hollywood movies to TV shows to animations to regional content.

The rise in mobile data consumption per capita has contributed to more time spent watching content online. Semi-urban and rural areas have now come out of the internet dark zones and affordable data plans have led to a rise in the consumption of regional language content on OTT platforms. New players in regional content include Hoichoi, Ullu, MX Player among the more established players such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar.

Insights on regional content consumption:

  • According to Google, 97 percent of the content consumed on YouTube is in the regional languages. The report stated that 60 percent of the watch time on YouTube happens outside the six metro areas.
  • Hoichoi (an all Bengali content streaming platform) witnessed an 85 percent growth in traffic from 76K total unique visitors in March 2018 to 140K in March 2019.
  • The Viral Fever has seen a 154 percent jump in total unique viewership from April 2018 to March 2019

Insights on gender-wise consumption patterns:

  • For Netflix, 72 percent of the unique visitors in March 2019 were men, within which the 15-24 age group. Interestingly, Netflix saw greater traction among older female viewers; the 35+ age group made the largest share of visitors, followed by 25-34.
  • ZEE5 has more or less gender parity in viewership in March 2019, with 56 percent male and 46 percent female visitors
  • For Airtel TV, 74 percent of the unique visitors in March 2019 were males, largely in the 15-24 bracket.

Here is a gender-wise breakup of popular OTT platforms in the 15-24 age bracked for March 2019 according to the report.

OTT platform Male Females
Amazon Prime 7.35 million 2.35 million
Hotstar 36.13 million 16.65 million
YouTube 71.68 million 33 million
Netflix 5.33 million 1.1 million
Airtel 4.7 million 920 Thousand
Alt Balaji 1.42 million 385 Thousand

"The global trends in this sector are rooted in digital transformations — new technology, tools and platforms, increasingly driven by locally and globally diverse consumer preferences. There is a great creative and business opportunity for local language-specific and culturally appropriate content innovations, and expanded usage of digitally enabled platforms relevant for diverse audience connect in various parts of the world," said Dr Preeti Shroff, dean, MICA.

Dr Darshan Trivedi, editor, Indian OTT Platforms Report said, “Through this report, we have tried to showcase the changing ecosystem of the OTT in Media and Entertainment sector in India and the opportunities that await the content creators and platforms. The biggest global players have understood the regional flavour and hence the upcoming platforms are going regional. The coming 12 months are going to be exciting as far as the regulations are concerned. The self-regulatory framework is the best for the largest democracy in the world."

The detailed OTT report can be found here.

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