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Five key learnings from OTT platforms for the media and entertainment industry

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OTT platforms and players are dominating the entertainment space by providing unrivalled flexibility and easy access to view a multitude of shows of various genres as well as original content without censorship. Over the past half a decade, these platforms are emerging as the go-to content consumption destination for users who look for variety and quality content to pass their free time. According to Deloitte, OTT platforms could easily cater to an audience of 355 million by 2020.Its impact on traditional media networks and video distributors has been immense. A lot of conventional entertainment platforms, in fact, can take a leaf out of the books of successful OTT platforms and revamp their offerings to boost growth and enhance viewership. Given below are a few learnings from the OTT platforms that can be beneficial for the media and entertainment industry.

1) While OTT players started off by providing Hindi and English content, they realized that there is an immense potential in India for regional content, with75% of new internet users expected to consume data in local languages by 2020. OTT players realized that regional content could further drive demand and attract more users across the country . There are several studies that prove that regional content consumption drives thrice the amount of engagement and accessibility, which means the media and entertainment industries, should be able to connect with diverse target groups across India with relevant content to enhance their growth opportunities. As per a report by IAMAI and Kantar IMRB, presently, there are 160 million potential new users for online viewing in urban India and 732 million potential new users in rural India. They can be easily tapped by addressing the issue of the language of access on various platforms.

2) Discovery of content is of more importance than ever before, as it helps consumers to easily access the content that will appeal to them the most. OTT players  have enabled easy discovery of content for users with AI-based recommendation engines, automatic content display basis, etc. The ability to quickly search all the available content and pair it with any device can be overwhelming for viewers. While quality and entertaining content are prerequisites to augment subscription and grow consumer affinity, the media and entertainment industry should also ensure that their offerings are easily discoverable and the delivery uncomplicated in order to retain or enhance user base. Recommendation engines are considered to be highly powerful personalization tools, as they help improve a visitor's experience by offering relevant items at the right time and on the right page.

3) While the real differentiator is content when it comes to OTT platforms, a lot of players are now investing in improving their tech and platform capabilities to ensure that viewers have the best possible experience while consuming their content of choice. OTT platforms have pulled out all the stops to ensure that even during high concurrency periods, such as Cricket or Football season, the viewing experience of users is uninhibited and they are able to enjoy the games without a glitch. All of this requires tremendous innovation and investment in terms of technology, which OTT platforms haven’t shied away from and other players in the domain would do well to emulate.

4) In times to come, aggregation models will gain prominence and enable consumers to navigate through the vast amount of content available online. Currently, nexGTV is one of the most advanced OTT content aggregation platforms, providing content to multi-screen equipment. Users are easily able tostream media channels ona variety of terminals, like mobile phone, smart TV, high-definition player, etc., anywhere at any time. Apart from offering original shows and series, OTT players are now charging a minimal fee for each piece of content basis the demand witnessed from the users.

5) Gone are the days when only short-format content such as short films, caught the attention of viewers on OTT platforms. These days, people are equally interested in viewing long-format content on their mobile phones and are eager to finish watching a movie or a web series during their commute time. So it is no more just content snacking, it is serious viewing in India post low cost and steady internet availability that is attracting today’s new-age consumers. The media and entertainment industry should be able to up their ante and release content that is relevant to consumers’ specific interests and viewing preferences, regardless of the length and format of the content.

The article has been authored by NexGTv head, growth Dushyant Kohli

The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Indiantelevision.com and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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