Netflix may be the world's leading internet entertainment service but it is the Walt Disney Company's Hotstar that has won the battle for eyeballs in India. According to a recent survey by app distribution platform MoMagic, Hotstar has emerged the most preferred over-the-top (OTT) platform in the country, with 41 per cent of the respondents picking it compared to 26 per cent voting for Amazon Prime Video and 9 per cent for Netflix.
That's not surprising given that Hotstar boasts over 300 million subscribers, compared to 13 million for Amazon Prime Video and 11 million for Netflix, as per a recent RedSeer Consulting report. Meanwhile, contenders such as Voot, Zee5, Arre and SonyLIV are fast gaining momentum.
According to the survey, 55 per cent of the respondents prefer to watch content on OTT platforms and over 85 per cent said that they have watched at least one of the major OTTs in the last six months. OTT platforms are giving a tough competition to the traditional DTH operators possibly because of its convenience, on-demand video service and affordable mobile data prices, as per the survey.
"Going ahead, the OTT is expected to get additional hold of the market thanks to gen Z, which is more inclined towards OTT," Arun Gupta, CEO and Founder MoMAGIC Technologies, told the Financial Express.
The survey further observed that mobile phones are the most preferred medium to watch OTT platforms versus television sets or a tablet due to its convenience and "rock bottom mobile data prices". An overwhelming majority of 70 per cent claimed that they consume their OTT content on the mobile phone, while only 26 per cent turn to their TVs.
Significantly, paid subscriptions are on the rise. Onboarding paid customers has been a major pain point for both video streaming and music streaming apps and many service providers have initially provided the services for free to get a customer base. However, according to MoMagic, the survey findings indicate that "market (consumer) is ready for more premium services provided they are priced economically". About 70 per cent of the respondents said that they watch OTT platforms after paying for the subscriptions.
India is the new battleground for streaming services courtesy its fast mushrooming smartphone user base. The fact that streaming service is effectively blocked in China, the most populous country, makes India all the more appealing to players in the business. A study by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that India's video-on-demand market will touch $5 billion by 2023 from $500 million last year. Significantly, it added that paying subscribers could go up to 50 million, while users of advertising-supported video-on-demand will reach 600 million.