The unexpected rise of the COVID 19 pandemic has been the harbinger of unprecedented growth in the global OTT market. Even before the lockdown started the OTT market had grown by 15% in 2019. With the pandemic on a rise and lockdowns being extended, people are afraid to venture out. Most of the cinema halls, malls, adventure parks have been shuttered for a good part of this year, and consumers are left with very few entertainment options. They invariably seek to find means to entertain themselves in the safe confines of their homes. And this is where OTT platforms have come to the rescue.
Increase in the number of viewers: According to Brightcove’s Q2 2020 Global Video Index, the percentage of viewers in the entertainment sector has risen by 30% in the first half of 2020 as compared to 2019. A Research& Markets report states that Western Europe is forecast to have 197 million SVOD subscriptions by 2025, doubling from 88 million at end-2019. Spurred by COVID-19, about 45 million subscribers will be added in 2020 alone. OTT consumption has skyrocketed in India as International brands like Amazon Prime and Netflix reported a 67% & 65% uptick in subscriptions, respectively. Indigenous players like Zee Network’s Zee5 and AltBalaji recorded an 80% and 60% rise in subscriptions & user base, respectively.
Increase in viewing time span: Current estimates state that the average time spent on subscription OTT Video-on-Demand content in the US alone has risen by 23% from last year and is expected to surpass 62 mins per day in 2020. This is quite an accelerated growth as compared to 2019 when it grew by 15% y-o-y.
Yet another statistic gleaned from CNBC-TV18’s Trendspotting report is that Indians spent around 4,600 crore minutes a day on OTT platforms during March 2020. But as the nation went into lockdown, these figures skyrocketed to 6,000 crore minutes. This is a 30% growth on a month-on-month basis.
Increase in revenue from OTT Market: According to a Research Dive report, the global over-the-top (OTT) market which accounted for $110.1 billion in 2018 is expected to garner $438.5 billion by 2026 growing at a healthy growth rate of 19.1%. The OTT market has already garnered USD 155.6 Bn in the current situation.
Of course, COVID has enabled OTT video to be a major source of entertainment for viewers. However, let us then look at some of the factors which along with the pandemic have accelerated the OTT video consumption:
With millions of people under lockdown orders because of the pandemic, OTT viewership has skyrocketed. While on one hand, the pandemic has introduced opportunities to super-serve consumers, on the other it also has created new challenges for all companies in the space. Research from intuitive video management platform Imagen shows that even though a majority of people are subscribed to some OTT platform or the other, there is still a secluded set of 30% of consumers who do not have access to any of the popular streaming platforms. The figure rises to 51% among those aged over 55. And if that is the case then there is an opportunity for OTT providers to flourish by tapping into the lucrative 30% of consumers who are not subscribed to any platform yet. At the same time, they must prevent subscriber churn by improvising and innovating their current offerings. In our upcoming blog, we will explore the various technological advancements that can be implemented in the OTT space so that the market continues to grow and flourish even as normalcy returns.
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