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Hotstar, MX Player lead in OTT entertainment apps for smartphones users in India: Study

When it comes to OTT entertainment apps, smartphone users in India have at least one such app on their device with India's Hotstar, MX Player leading the trend, according to a new report.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 19, 2019 3:21:57 pm
Hotstar, Streaming services, online streaming, Hotstar online streaming, Hotstar app India, Hotstar price, MX Player, MX Player price, Sony Liv Hotstar and MX Player are among the popular OTT entertainment apps that Indian users have on their smartphones. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Four of five smartphones users in India have at least one OTT (over the top) entertainment app downloaded on their device and homegrown players like Hotstar, MXPlayer dominate the market. These results were shared in a study by research firm techARC, which conducted the survey in partnership with Unomer AppMap.

According to techArc, these conclusions are based on an in-depth analysis of smartphone and consumer data collected from over five million users across India. The study says these OTT apps are being used by customers in addition to apps like YouTube, TikTok, where user generated content dominant.

“While 4G has undoubtedly created this category, it has been adequately complimented by the smartphone industry by innovating to save every micron on the screen for better and full screen viewing backed by powerful battery and stereophonic sound,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC said in a press statement.

“Video has emerged as a category where we are seeing a large number of players can co-exist and each player can create a market for itself, unlike other sectors like ecommerce and social media, where there is dominance of 1-2 players,” Vinay Bapna, CEO and Co-founder, Unomer said on the study.

Hotstar, Streaming services, online streaming, Hotstar online streaming, Hotstar app India, Hotstar price, MX Player, MX Player price, Sony Liv Hotstar remains the top choice when it comes to OTT apps for entertainment. (Image source: techArc)

Hotstar, MX Player on top

OTT Entertainment apps have become the most penetrated app category among smartphone users in India, after categories like social networking, chatting and e-commerce apps, the study showed.  Hotstar was present on 49 per cent of smartphones part of the study, and the reason for this growth is attributed to the company’s focus on sports, especially cricket content.

Hotstar had the digital streaming rights for IPL, World Cup Championship, which were two of the biggest cricket events in 2019. Thanks to these factors, Hotstar remains the leader. After Hotstar, another rising Indian star is MX Player, which is the second most popular OTT Entertainment app in India. The study showed 42 per cent of smartphone users had MX Player installed on their phone.

Jio was the leader in Live TV with 30 per cent penetration among users. Airtel and Vodafone Play are far behind Jio in this space.

When it comes to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, the two big foreign players in India, the former is doing better. Amazon Prime Video’s penetration stood 15 per cent compared to 13 per cent for Netflix. Amazon’s better performance could also be due to the company’s relationships with some manufacturers where phones are pre-loaded with Amazon Shopping and Amazon Prime Video.

Redmi Note 7 Pro is seen in this photo. (Image for representational purposes)

Xiaomi, OnePlus users and their OTT habits

In terms of individual smartphone brands, close to 88 per cent or 9 out of 10 Xiaomi smartphone users had an OTT Entertainment app on their phone. Huawei and OPPO were at second and third positions respectively with 86 per cent and 84 per cent penetration each for OTT entertainment apps.

In case of OPPO and vivo, 84 per cent and 83 per cent of their users had at least one OTT Entertainment app installed.  The study also showed that Hotstar has a penetration of 58 per cent among OPPO users, while this number stands at 56 per cent among vivo users. In contrast, Netflix’s penetration is 2 per cent among these users, which shows just how far the company has to go in terms of capturing the India market.

OnePlus, which is a more premium brand, leads the segment as 78 per cent of its users have at least one such app on their device. Hotstar leads here as well, followed by Amazon Prime Video. TechArc attributes this success for Amazon to the OnePlus-Amazon strategic tie-up.

OTT apps and smartphone prices

According to the study, the price segment of a smartphone and the presence of an OTT Entertainment app are directly correlated. In Luxe segment, (phones priced above Rs 50,000) and premium segment (phones priced between Rs 25,001-50,000) at least 88 per cent users have one OTT Entertainment app on their phones.

This number comes down to 83 per cent in the mid-segment (phones between Rs 10,001 to 25,000) and is the lowest for budget segment (Rs 10,001-15,000) at 79 per cent.

Women lean towards global content

In terms of the gender divide, 79 per cent of male smartphone users have an OTT Entertainment app compared to 74 per cent females. But apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are more popular among women.

Netflix penetration among women is 9 per cent compared to 8 per cent in men, while the number stands at 15 per cent and 13 per cent for Amazon Prime Video respectively. The study also showed that 74 per cent of the users have more than one OTT Entertainment app installed on their devices.

Jio TV app has equal penetration in metros and Tier II/III cities. The app has 50 per cent penetration in states like Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir.

BSNL lags among telecos

In Jio’s case 83 per cent subscribers have an OTT Entertainment app, while 74 per cent airtel and Vodafone-Idea users also have one on their phones. BSNL was number three on the list with just 66 per cent of its users having one OTT Entertainment app on their devices. According to techArc, one reason for this could be BSNL’s delay into 4G services in time, as a result of which its presence in weak in this category.

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