PwC estimates OTT to rake in $552 mn in India by 2015

MUMBAI: The over-the-top television market might still be in its infancy in India but still holds a lot of promise in future, a fact that is borne out by PricewaterhouseCoopers which forecasts 176 million OTT viewers by 2015 generating revenues of $552 million.

Mobile Internet TV is one of the biggest growth areas in India with a third of Indian smartphone users watching TV on their smartphones, according to the PwC research. Content streaming solutions firm Vidiator commissioned PwC for the research.

With television household penetration hitting 65 per cent, there exists tremendous opportunities for live OTT and mobile Internet TV for those households that currently have no existing terrestrial infrastructure, cable or satellite services.

Currently, the Indian market has just one over-the-top (OTT) television distribution platform in the form of Ditto TV launched by Zee New Media, the digital arm of Zee Entertainment, in March this year. There are numerous on-demand online content providers like NyooTV, BigFlix and Eros Now, among others.

The huge opportunity notwithstanding, Vidiator CEO Tae Sung Park warns that despite consumers’ huge appetite for mobile streaming services, Indian mobile operators are being overly cautious towards this potentially lucrative opportunity.

The reluctance of telcos stems from an understandable concern about major investments into hardware and infrastructure and fears about the length of time it will take to recoup the money they think is needed to launch an OTT service, says the report.

On top of this, many operators are busy rolling out 3G and LTE infrastructure and are worried about finding the resources to also deploy a video streaming service. They also question their ability to recoup the incremental costs of offering OTT at good enough quality to paid service in a pre-pay market.

An independent survey of Indian consumers was conducted to find out what people want from mobile video and if they’d ever pay for it. Of those surveyed, 88 per cent said they would consider paying for mobile video now or in the future, with as many 54 per cent saying they had already paid to access content.

However there is a caveat attached: People will only pay for video that is good quality and that is delivered quickly, particularly since the biggest problem faced by consumers while accessing content online is that of buffering and poor quality images. The biggest issue, however, is that 68 per cent of the people surveyed expressed dissatisfaction with the time it takes video to load.

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