OTT is winning the pandemic thanks to the streaming wars!

OTT is winning the pandemic thanks to the streaming wars!

The pandemic has been worse, for a lot of us. But there is one industry which has played it in their favor – The OTT platforms. OTT platforms are now redefining prime time and usage of home television, as most viewers are now at home.

On average, during the lockdown, 65% of millennials and Gen Z spent at least 2-3 hours per day binge-watching content. Watching Mirzapur on Amazon Prime gives you goosebumps, and waiting impatiently for the final season of Sacred Games is the new normal. We have adapted ourselves to the new normal very fast, and it is worth being applauded.

There is a massive surge in the number of new users in the streaming services; for example, Disney’s target was to have 60 to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024, but they have surpassed 60 million users!

The predicted numbers have been achieved well before in advance, thanks to worldwide lockdown. This is exceptional growth since Disney is yet to complete its service for full global rollout. Imagine the numbers if there is an international rollout? Quite surprising, right. As of August, Disney+ Hotstar has more than 300 million active users, and the numbers have been expected to rise by the time.

Another interesting comparison Netflix has added 26 million new paid subscribers in the first half of 2020 compared to 28 million subscribers in 2019. The number is achieved in the first half of 2020, thanks to the pandemic. However, Netflix India faces tough competition with other OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc. due to lower subscriptions costs and more local content.

Off late, they have been trending on twitter with #BoycottNetflix after the controversial release of their movie Krishna and his Leela’s, while on the other hand, they have been working and promoting female filmmakers like Anvita Dutt (Bulbul) and Ruchi Narain (Guilty).

The latest survey conducted by FLYX has revealed that Netflix is the most popular OTT platform in India, while Amazon Prime has the highest number of subscribers in India. It has been five years since OTT platforms have been launched and available in the market. Still, no one considered it a threat for theatres and cinema halls until last year, but 2020 has changed so many things, and in new normal, digitally-driven OTT platforms have the upper hand over the movie theatres.

As per the new normal, these are the three different types of trends expected by OTT platforms. 

1. Release of movies in OTT platforms

Filmmakers have started releasing their films in OTT platforms, which gives them added advantage of avoiding P&A (Prints and Advertising) costs and can add their production margin.

2. Transformation in the Economic model of the Film Industry

Filmmakers can carefully access their budget and add their production cost and sell it to the OTT platform rather than incur P&A cost and then wait for the luck to favor them. This is a huge change that can be witnessed in the future cinema.

3. Sports Channel Rights

OTT platforms have collectively worked together and have been distributing various sports. For example, Star India and Hotstar have come up together to buy the IPL 2020 rights, and Sony Liv has acquired English Premier League football broadcasting rights.

Moreover, OTT platforms do not follow the traditional advertisement-based revenue model. This implies that they are highly relying on liquid money, which eventually may lead to higher debts.

Therefore, given that there are a vast market and antagonism between big players, companies with good economic support, strategic investment according to consumer behavior, and most importantly, compelling content is likely to survive and advantage over others.


This post is written by Sudarshan Gurram (LinkedIn), an ex-Amazonian, Omni Channel, and E-Commerce enthusiast who is currently working in Partnerships and Franchise operations, Pepperfry.

The views presented in the article represent those of the writer. To submit your article, write to us here.


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