The online streaming services saw tremendous growth in their customer base last year, thanks to the pandemic that forced people to stay at home with movie theatres or multiplexes all shuttered.
But how is the future of these streaming platforms shaping up in the post pandemic phase in which Indians have adapted to on-the-go version of these entertainment portals?
The rise of OTT media streaming services was evident last year, but a boost for the content streaming sector has also translated into increased competition between different OTT platforms in the country.
Many subscriber-based OTT platforms need long-term investor commitment as the sustainability of their success largely depends on the existence of a loyal consumer base that views paid content on the platforms.
The annual per capita spend on media and entertainment in India is estimated at US$32 (Rs 2,350 approx.) which is far below what US and Chinese populations spend. This means that media and entertainment streaming services make for a very small portion of the annual spend of an average Indian customer on various services.
This factor, and also the fact that Indian customers are very mindful of the price they have to pay for such services, means that these entertainment services have to continuously work on their marketing strategy, pricing strategy and content portfolio to attract the Indian audience.
The presence of a varied number of streaming services has intensified competition and caused customer fatigue for the OTT media streaming sector, making it more difficult for OTT streaming services to retain customers. The streaming services have to, therefore, invest in improving the quality of experience for the customer by providing uninterrupted supply of original and interesting content across multiple streaming devices.
The OTT media services have to modernise their infrastructure by moving from traditional data centres to cloud-based solutions for streaming content. With the increase in the number of customers and the duration of streaming hours, switching to cloud-based solutions will help these content streaming media handle peak traffic demand.
Content streaming platforms have turned to cloud solutions to create partnerships with content delivery networks so that content can be optimised to continue seamless service to millions of users around the country. The huge population of India might be a gold mine of revenue for the online streaming platforms, but it also poses a challenge for them in terms of the traffic that they face. To manage that, OTT platforms have gone for edge scaling (which improves delivery quality of content streamed).
The future of OTT platforms looks bright with the anticipated launch of 5G services over the next few years. 5G services will improve the streaming quality and speed of these platforms by boosting the speed of internet services on devices. 5G services will be providing the right support system to streaming platforms by improving customer experience for them.
India is one of the fastest growing markets of the global media and entertainment industry. With the digital India movement in full swing, the future of OTT media streaming services in India is promising provided they step up to the plate.