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What Indian OTT players can learn from the US market

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India's consumers are just about beginning to experiment with video on demand content delivered over the internet. And a flood of OTT platforms and content creators has suddenly flowed onto the digital highway. Whether it is YouTube or Hotstar or DittoTV or Zenga TV or Hooq or Voot or Arre or nexGTv they have taken their first few steps to understand what consumers want, how they want to consume their content, and how much are they are willing to transact to view that content. 

More evolved OTT markets like the US have already got a headstart and have got immense learning thanks to the availability of fat pipes of bandwidth making OTT almost ubiquitous. Can Indian OTT players learn from those experiences? Some tend to disagree, because the Indian consumer is unique and as different from the American subscriber as chalk is rom cheese. 

But nonetheless for those who want to still find out how the US OTT market is performing and have not managed to get their hands on this study we are encapsulating it for you. Clearleap is a company that works with the likes of HBO, Scripps, and A+E Networks to deliver viewing experiences across screens. It has conducted a survey to learn more about which streaming services US consumers use, what their viewing habits are, and what they value most in an OTT offering. The results offer a look at how average users perceive streaming services, and how they engage with them.

The Key Takeaways from the report are:

Going OTT isn’t an option anymore – it’s a mandate. To stay relevant, reach audiences and grow revenue, content providers need to not only provide a streaming option to consumers, but also address the unique behaviours of today’s younger television viewers. In order to be successful in today’s television market, prospective OTT providers should follow the best practices below:

(a) Ensure a good value. Consumers are willing to pay slightly more (up to $25 per month) if the service has the content they want. Balancing great content and a fair price is the key to attracting viewers and minimising churn.

(b) Make it easy to browse, discover new content, and channel surf. While younger viewers may be more knowledgeable about what they want to watch after they log in, older viewers may not be as familiar with the content available on each service. Improve your user experience by including simple features that encourage discoverability and surface relevant content proactively.

(c) Optimise for screens of all sizes, as tablet and smartphone viewing is significant. Mobile video will only grow in popularity. Get ahead of your viewers’ evolving habits by optimising your service for all screens at launch, and offering apps on key devices such as streaming boxes, mobile phones, and gaming consoles.

(d) Offer tiered pricing solutions to match login-sharing habits. Especially since younger streaming service users are prone to sharing, new services should offer tiered subscription packages that prompt users to pay slightly more to watch content on multiple devices at the same time.

(e) Consider the gaps in the market. While movies and TV series are widely available on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, live television is missing from the streaming market. Many current streaming service users wanted broadcast channels (41.26 per cent) in their ideal offering, with sports (28.15 per cent), local (20.28 per cent), and news (15.91 per cent) also highly rated by respondents. Content owners should capitalise on the white space by investing in live content that isn’t already easily accessible online.

To Read the full report, click here

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