The top five metros in India account for more than half of the user base for OTT content video platform players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and others. This was revealed in a survey done by Counterpoint research, which said that age groups of 16-24 and 25-35 contributed equally to the overall market. But the data is skewed in favour of males users, who account for 79 per cent of the total user base of these platforms.
The top five metros account for 55 per cent of users, while tier I cities account for another 36 per cent per cent of users for these video content players. The leading OTT video content platform was Hotstar, based on Counterpoint’s survey, followed by Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV, Netflix, Voot, Zee5, ALTBalaji and ErosNow.
The research also shows that while the platforms are mostly dependent on advertisements for their revenue, the subscription-based market is growing significantly. Hotstar is the market leader thanks to its cricket access and content partnerships. Nearly 56 per cent of Hotstar users hail from metro cities and the platform has the highest penetration of non-paying users.
When it came to the most engaged users, ErosNow users were on top with 68 per cent indicating that they were consuming content on the platform daily. Counterpoint also noted that ErosNow’s partnerships with brands like Xiaomi, where it is pre-installed on the company’s smart TVs, have also helped it grow. This also explains why ErosNow had the highest percentage of users consuming content on Smart TVs at 27 per cent. The company has also partnered with Apple for its new Apple TV+ service, making it the only Indian OTT platform to do so.
According to the Counterpoint survey, 9 per cent of ErosNow’s users see content on the platform for more than 21 hours a week, making this the highest among all other OTT platforms in India. Further, ErosNow had the largest share of users in the 25-39 age bracket in Tier II/III cities at 59 per cent. This is the highest among all major OTT platforms.
The two big foreign players: Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video were popular in metros with the top 5 metros account for more than 65 per cent their users. This was highest compared to all other OTT video content players.
Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video also managed to grab the highest penetration of salaried employees. This particular segment is pegged as the largest consumer group of the OTT platforms, according to Counterpoint.
SonyLIV scored highest among Tier-I cities with more than 40 per cent of its users being based in these cities. Voot has the highest penetration of female users and young users aged between 16-24 years, while ALTBalaji scored highest among 25-35 age group users, which account for 59 per cent of its users.
The survey also showed that salaried employees are the largest consumer group of OTT users, followed by students, business owners, housewives, and others. When it comes to viewing the OTT video content, smartphones are the preferred medium with Xiaomi being the most smartphone brand. Given that Xiaomi is the number one smartphone brand in the country, this response in the survey is likely reflective of the same.
Jio was the most popular network among OTT users in India, followed by Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, showed the survey. The preferred language for consuming this content was Hindi and English. Telegu was most popular among regional languages followed Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and others.
And what about paying customers? The survey showed that while one-third respondents were only inclined to use the free services, another one-third were paying for the subscription. The remaining respondents were either on a trial period or indicated that their friend or family pays for the subscription cost.
“India is a young country and OTT video market is a very competitive space in India at present. Platforms are focusing on price innovation, content creation an acquisition, and partnerships as the engine for growth. The low cost of mobile data and affordable smartphones have revolutionized overall video content consumption in India,” Hanish Bhatia, Senior analyst at Counterpoint research said on the study.
But he also cautioned that OTT platforms have struggled to register profits, creating an environment ripe for acquisitions or exits.