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65% millennials and Gen Z prefer OTT over TV, report says

They have spent nearly four hours on OTTs every day

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KOLKATA: Urban India’s youth has relied on OTT platforms to kill monotony. Amid other options, the streaming services have emerged as the most popular source of entertainment as 70 per cent of the youth have turned towards OTT platforms in their spare time. Along with existing subscribers, new OTT subscription purchases during the lockdown period spiked throughout the country across demographics.

According to a report from The Data Sciences Division of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) India, 65 per cent of millennials (25-39 years) and Gen Z (5-25 years) prefer consuming video content on an OTT platform over TV. The younger the audience is, the habit of consuming OTT is higher. The report also shows that daily OTT content consumption among Gen Z is higher than millennials. 

While before lockdown 95 per cent of the respondents used to consume only two-three hours of daily content, during lockdown on average each millennial has consumed 1.66 hours of additional content and GenZ is consuming two-three hours of additional content too.

As a result of having more time at hand, binge-watching is becoming a prime trait of popular culture. While five per cent of the research universe has claimed to consume between six-twelve hours of daily content on OTT platforms in pre-pandemic period, currently 20 per cent of the sample is enjoying binge-watching. Millennials and Gen Z’ s purchased two and three additional OTT platform subscriptions respectively since the start of the lockdown. The average daily consumption hours have remained around four hours.

The international platforms with expanding local content library are becoming popular choices. 60 per cent of the sample has a subscription to either Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. Disney+Hotstar also has been able to attract nearly 19 per cent of the urban youth. Homegrown platforms like ZEE5, Voot are creating a buzz gradually. Comedy, thriller and action-based entertainment were the top three preferences of GenZ audiences while millennials were more inclined towards consuming a lot more Sci-Fi over thrillers. Money Heist, Breaking Bad, Paatal Lok, Narcos, Riverdale, Friends were all the rage among the episodic content. 

Another interesting trend that has come out of the study is that OTT based gaming has gained significant popularity during the lockdown period. While the curve of heavy gaming remained constant, casual gaming saw a steep increase in popularity. However, millennial audiences were significantly less likely to consume OTT based gaming when compared to their GenZ counterparts.

OTT platforms have traditionally been more favoured by the young audience for the nature of the content it produces. Surprisingly, 11 per cent of the respondents criticised OTT platforms of imposing, glorifying and promoting “Content disgracing a religion or a caste”. These criticisms were accompanied by a majority (73 per cent) criticising the depiction of anti-national sentiment, foul language and bold as well as smutty content.  “Pop up Ads” were also criticised for harming the seamless viewing experience. Despite the growth of broadband across the country, connectivity issues are prevailing until now.

The OTT industry is anticipated to grow 45.5 per cent during the forecast period 2019 to 2026. Along with the humongous growth, increased collaborations between OTT platforms and pay up TV, further hybridization and evolution of OTT monetization models could be more noticed going forward. India is expected to emerge as the second-largest OTT market with 500 million users by 2020 itself. 

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