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Battle For The Indian VoD Market

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The era of video on demand (VoD) is rapidly gripping the Indian entertainment industry by virtue of the increase in both international and domestic over-the-top (OTT) players, says a leading data and analytics company.

The digital media passion and the popularity of these players is a testament that digital video content is accepted to follow global trends and change the face of video-viewing in India. Some factors such as 4G connectivity, broadband efficiency and digitization make India a preferred destination for global OTT players to look for growth opportunities and succeed in the sub-continent.

According to a forecast found that in Asia-Pacific, South Korea and Hong Kong lead the Pay-TV household penetration rates with 159% and 104% respectively. In comparison, India has a low penetration rate of 67%, but is expected to improve as it has a vast available market that is still waiting to be captured.

Technology expert says that: “Obviously, the early entrants in the VoD space can gain an edge over their competitors in India. International players like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YuppTV are making early in-roads with different strategies to capture the Indian market, while domestic players such as Hotstar and Sony Liv are following suit.

For example, Netflix is planning to tie-up with Indian cable operators to integrate Netflix with cable set-top boxes to offer a smart TV-like experience to customers without smart TVs. Besides, the recent introduction of high-on-features, low-on-cost televisions into India, primarily from Xiaomi, may prove a disruptive force in this market.

Indeed, the competition is becoming even severer with a variety of players such as Vu, Xiaomi, Airtel TV and ACT Fibernet competing for a larger pie of the Indian VoD market.

Expert continues: “Challenges for OTT players is to meet the needs of a wide variety of price-sensitive customers, but they are willing to leave no stone unturned to attract consumers.”

One such effort is to widen the scope of their digital content by providing regional content alongside international content that suits consumers from metropolitan, tier-1 or tier-2 cities. Furthermore, where Netflix only offers VoD at a subscription cost, Amazon’s Prime membership is multi-dimensional, providing a range of digital entertainment services alongside benefits such as free and speedy delivery on retail purchases, giving consumers more reasons to sign up and thereby increasing Amazon’s VoD penetration.

Expert concludes: “Some of the factors customers are looking for in a digital content provider are Seamless accesses to services, regional content alongside global content, and value for money. Players who can successfully tick all the boxes stand a good chance of capturing the bulk of Indian market.”

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