The entertainment industry has been constantly reinventing itself as technology advances, a growth reflected in the rise of OTT platforms, not just in India but all over the global market. As a matter of fact, India’s video streaming industry is estimated to hit a revenue mark of approximately 12,000 crores by the end of 2023. OTT platforms have become the go-to options for most of us millennials and Gen-Z people who simply do not have the time to sit down in front of the TV at regular intervals.
Platforms like Amazon Prime have revolutionized how we consume our audiovisual content. With an array of online offers on Amazon Prime Videos by GrabOn, there’s barely anyone left without one to binge-watch their favorite shows on. But is that the only reason why OTT platforms have been trending? Let’s take a look.
- Affordable Subscription-Based Service: Most OTT platforms offer very pocket-friendly subscriptions. For example, the leading OTT player in the Indian market, Amazon Prime Video comes with a yearly subscription of Rs.999 where you receive access to not only Prime Video but also Prime music, not to mention fast shipping for orders fulfilled by Amazon.
The subscription is even cheaper for those under 25 who receive a special youth discount or Airtel prepaid users who can enjoy access to Amazon Prime with selected Tariff plans. If a year is too long a commitment for you then go for their monthly subscription starting from Rs.139. Similarly, Netflix offers an Rs.199 subscription for mobile users in India. The variety of content offered for prices as low as that beats PayTV/Cable subscriptions by miles and we are not complaining.
- Ease Of Viewing Across Devices/Platforms: Another major point in favor of OTT platforms is that you are not stuck in front of TV or praying for good weather before the match starts because even the tiniest of raindrops render the UFO-like dish antennas useless, no matter how much SRK tries to sell the ‘jhinga la life’. OTT platforms work across smartphones, smart TVs or laptops as long as you have a valid subscription. That way, you and your scheming sibling do not have to fight over the remote or argue over who should take the next turn to go to the rooftop and set the dish antenna just right.
Watch your favorite Prime videos wherever, whenever you want-across how many ever screen with one single subscription, an exclusive feature that puts Amazon Prime over Netflix that requires you to upgrade your subscription to have multi-screen access.
- Flexible Subscription Models: Unlike satellite TV/Cable subscriptions where they keep confusing you with choices that are barely any different from one another, OTT platforms offer straight-forward subscriptions. You get an all-access pass with only one subscription for Amazon Prime, whether monthly or yearly. Netflix offers multiple choices depending on how many screens are being used.
Some other major platforms targeting regional audiences, such as Alt Balaji or Viu offer ad-free subscriptions for premium users. The terms and conditions are simple without any hidden strings attached and you can cancel your subscriptions anytime, without interrupting services till the existing subscription expires.
- Ease Of Payment: All your payments are can be made online using debit/credit cards, online
wallets or UPI payment options, or your Amazon pay wallet if it’s your Prime subscription. You get reminders over texts/emails before your subscription expires unlike Cable TV alerts on your TV screens that leave you more pissed off than mindful. You also don’t have to run to your local operator or spend hours on the phone any time the service is disrupted, which is a rare possibility in itself.
- Better Choice Of Content: The major reason most of us have taken to OTT platforms is definitely how different and fresh the content is as compared to satellite TV channels. You can watch pretty much anything from movies to web series to original shows on Prime and Netflix. You can set your filters and let the algorithm suggest options for curating a list of your favorites to binge-watch during the weekends or late nights whenever it pleases you, rather than waiting for it to air on the television.
The originality of content is a major factor, just as much as the fact that we finally have the option to watch shows from all over the world and not just India. Both Prime and Netflix have been gearing towards content curated specifically for the Indian audience, as well as original shows led by Indian actors like Saif Ali Khan or Radhika Apte. HotStar was the official partner for airing Game of Thrones in India (how many of you wasted hours on pirated platforms with grainy videos?). You can now watch movies from all over the world or international sports matches or as many reruns of Friends as you want without worrying about waking up at odd hours or racking up extra data charges!
- Growing Demand For Fresh & Original Content: OTT platforms have finally brought us
millennials the much-needed reprieve from decades-old boring content, be it saas-bahu soap operas, completely unrealistic sci-fi shows where the lead characters transform into cobra snakes in the time it takes you to blink without even a backstory, or the tacky comedy shows you just can’t muster up the energy to watch. The growing demand for fresh and original content has been addressed by platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix. Prime in fact has several original web series and stand up specials keeping the Indian audience in mind. Watching whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want is no longer a daydream.
- Improved Connectivity & The Lack of Additional Requirements: The unprecedented growth in The telecom industry means better connectivity over both fixed & wireless networks, another boon for the OTT platforms. Majority of people use 4g network that comes with not just high-speed data but also a pretty high cap on a daily basis (Thanks, Jio) which means you can stream videos wherever you are sitting, as long as you have the particular app installed since OTT service providers do not require any extra set-up like a set-top box or an antenna. As long as your phone has a working data plan or you can access Wi-Fi, you are all set to go!
- The World Is On Your Screen: OTT service providers have done away with any remaining
geographical barriers when it comes to the distribution of content. India is now watching global shows at the exact same time as the rest of the world, or even premier football league matches! Similarly, even audio content distributors now finally have a global audience, leading to a tremendous rise in both revenues as well as growth opportunities.
- Functional User-Friendly Interface: Last but not the least, the use of AI technology in OTT
platforms have created a far superior user interface experience than what traditional TV could even get close to. You see suggestions based on your browsing history and your preferred genres as soon as you launch the respective apps, as well as get alerted to upcoming launches (Amazon Prime even shows you little tidbits of behind-the-screen trivia), thereby engaging the users better without forcing them to constantly reach out for the remote control to change the channels.
With an increasing demand for regional content on OTT platforms in India, we can expect quite a few more media giants to jump on the OTT wagon. However, with extensive research into audience preferences and massive capital investment, Amazon Prime currently leads the chart in pretty much every category that makes an OTT platform the top choice, from a diversity of content to pocket-friendly subscriptions to the easy-to-use user interface. Given the potential for growth and promises of better content, it is safe to assume that OTT platforms are not going out of trend any time soon.