OTT players focus on better app features, easy payment options and streaming solutions

The aim is to create better user experiences.


MUMBAI: Indian OTT apps are figuring out ways to increase viewer engagement. New features such as voice search, regional language user interfaces and easy payment options are just some of them. Top national, international and regional OTT players are sharpening their knives for better user experience on the app.

Technology for better user experience

Eros International group chief marketing officer Manav Sethi’s focus for the OTT app Eros Now is to create a different consumer experience through an updated version of the app by using past data. Another player ALTBalaji is also looking at adding an Indic language interface and a voice-enabled search option in the future.

The latest entrant in the Indian OTT market is also investing aggressively in tech, product and design. MX Player chief of product, tech and operations Vivek Jain said that their aim is to constantly strive to build the most effective ML and recommendations algorithms to keep the viewing experience personalised for users. In addition to that, he said that the coming weeks will also see many product/tech interventions that will further augment user experience and build engagement on the app.

Regional players aren’t behind either. Says Hoichoi co-founder Vishnu Mohta: “The way we approached Hoichoi even on day 1 is that we wanted to build a scalable product. The way we did that is working with someone called Viulift who has been there for at least 10-15 years. Now what we are doing is building those resources within Viulift as part of our own who are directly responsible for the Hoichoi platform. The number is scaling up as we go along.” He also added that this business is about doing as many as partnerships possible and integrating those partnerships properly on the app.

Netflix is also looking forward to announcing new features this year. A spokesperson said that they are always learning from their members around the world and they run tests on what might be great features and could make the experience better.

Easy payment options

Even as Indians consumers are taking a step ahead by showing their willingness to pay for content, OTT players are also meeting them in the middle by creating easier payment methods. Balaji Telefilms is considering cash payments across 200,000 retailers in India. CEO Sunil Lulla mentioned that along with credit/debit cards and net banking options, ALTBalaji is working with nine wallets in India, some of which offer great cashback offers. Their research found that Indians use at least three wallets regularly for cashback.

About 10 per cent of the shows on ALTBalaji are watched on smart TVs. It has also recently launched payment gateways via Roku STBs, Fire TV and LG WebOS. Lulla highlighted that it recently moved to a mobile number-based login and registration as most Indians in smaller towns do not use email IDs as the primary means of identification.

“We are constantly looking at ways to make it easier for users to access Netflix and pay for it. While we have the traditional payment methods such as credit cards and debit cards, we continue to work with partners in India such as ACT Fibernet to enable seamless and integrated billing,” the Netflix spokesperson commented.

ErosNow is also revamping its payment experience. “We have been closely watching payment gateways experience not only on Eros now but all the other high transactional platforms. We are doing the right partnerships to enable that experience. Being a pure SVOD play, payment is a very important thing to focus on,” Sethi commented.

Hoichoi is also looking at enabling mobile OTP to make the usage easier for the mass audience. Its future goal is to create payment options within the app so that subscribers don’t have to leave it to pay.

Overcoming streaming challenges

While Jio has given a major boost to data consumption in India, buffering is still a pain at low data speed and remote locations. In response to that, homegrown platforms are also making the download option available.

MX Player has recently added the download section. Jain said that the platform will be introducing the ‘skip and play next’ button for those who love to binge. In addition to that, the ‘play next’ button further enables users to quickly skip the end credits and move to the next episode.

Lulla mentioned that ALTBalaji has consistently worked to improve the streaming experience for its subscribers by using better video compression and working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to ensure that the shows are available without any hindrances in buffering.

The Netflix spokesperson said that India is a unique mobile-leaning market witnessing its highest download traffic. “We went a step further to make downloads smarter. When Smart Downloads is enabled, the Netflix app automatically downloads the next episode in the series (on Wi-Fi), and deletes the watched episode to make space on the device,” he said.

As is visible, OTT players are also integrating and overcoming technology challenges. However, the experts also feel that the focus should not drift away from creating good content because a great app without good content is of no use.

Latest Reads

VOOT brings non-stop new entertainment from India’s biggest reality show “BIGG BOSS”

MUMBAI: 13 celebrity contestants, 1 House, 15 weeks, 1 winner and memories galore! Nations biggest entertainment show vivo V17 Pro presents BIGG BOSS is back on COLORS and India’s second largest premium AVOD platform VOOT is all set to make it bigger and better for its fans this year.  After the...

iWorld Over The Top Services
84% of Instagram users are likely to shop using the platform

MUMBAI: The digital and social media agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, WATConsult, under its market research division, Recogn, has launched its latest report on Instagram in India from a user's perspective.

iWorld Social Media
realme launched India’s biggest campus concerts, realme Sundowners

MUMBAI: realme, the fastest growing smartphone brand in India that resonates with the young generation, has announced a series of events for the youth to kick-start the seasonal festivities. The brand will be hosting “realme Sundowner” with celebrities like  Guru Randhawa and Divine in 4 cities,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
India Ratings and Research says R-Jio's tariff hike to support industry ARPU

India Ratings and Research (Fitch Group) believes Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s (R-Jio; ‘IND AAA’/Stable) decision to start charging Rs 0.06/minute through top-up vouchers on outgoing voice calls to other networks would improve its average revenue per user (ARPU) by about Rs 9 and EBITDA by 15 per...

iWorld Telecom
Snapdeal Snap Diwali Sale: price cuts on smartphones below 5,000

MUMBAI: Snapdeal’s 3-day Snap Diwali sale begins today.  The sale has deals on affordable smartphones under Rs 5000. A range of colour feature phones starting 299 will also be available on sale. Here are the top mobile deals in the Snap Diwali Sale: The LG Spirit is listed at a price of Rs 3404....

iWorld e-commerce
VOOT Studio partners with TikTok to launch “Work It Up” a celebrity chat show with an educational-fitness twist

MUMBAI: VOOT, India’s second largest premium video on demand platform      has collaborated with TikTok, world’s leading short video platform,  to make B-town favorites sweat out secrets as they ditch the usual couch and ‘Work It Up” in the all new celebrity chat show- TikTok India presents “Work...

iWorld Over The Top Services
MX Player expands its content library and announces a two channel partnership with IN10 Media Network

MUMBAI: Offering viewers “Everytainment” with its wide range of offerings, MX Player – India’s leading entertainment streaming platform has emerged as the preferred destination for all things entertainment.  Be it their multi genre MX originals, a vast library of 1,00,000 + hrs of online streaming...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Sameer Pitalwalla to move on from Culture Machine

MUMBAI: Culture Machine Media CEO and co-founder Sameer Pitalwalla will be moving on from his current role by the end of December 2019. He will continue with Rainshine Entertainment, the holding company of Culture Machine. He will continue as an advisor and will oversee some of its existing long-...

iWorld Social Media
Mr. Mercedes Season 3 on SonyLIV is all set to take you on a thrilling ride

MUMBAI: Unexpected plots, mysterious twists and turns, nail biting revelations – if detective stories excite you and wrack your brains around the how and why of a story, then this award-winning show is perfect for you! With the festive season around the corner, how about some dose of thrill and...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories