A recent joint report titled “Unravelling the digital video consumer: Looking through the viewer lens” from KPMG India and domestic OTT platform Eros Now estimates that the internet video traffic in India is projected to reach 13.5 exabytes (EB) monthly by 2022 with videos contributing about 77 per cent of all internet traffic.
“With consumption now going mass and viewers spending close to 8.5 hours a week on online video, we see a homogenous pattern of consumption emerging cutting across age groups, income levels and professions,” said Girish Menon, Partner, Head of Media and Entertainment, KPMG in India.
According to the report that was commissioned across 1,458 OTT users across 16 cities of India, the boost in high-speed Internet availability in India has acted as a catalyst for the escalated appetite for online video content in the country.
“India is one of the fastest-growing entertainment and media markets globally. As data and digital infrastructure has become exceedingly accessible even in the small cities of India, the market for OTT has widened enormously,” said Rishika Lulla Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eros Digital.
To be sustainable in such a competitive market, both international as well as Indian OTT players like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Eros Now and Zee5 are investing extensively in online content.
To appeal to a broader section of Indian audiences, Hotstar has earmarked $1.2 billion (Rs. 120 crore) at the beginning of 2019 to invest in exclusive shows in seven languages for Indian consumers.
While Netflix plans to come out with four web-series in 2019 along with 15 Indian original feature films by 2020, Amazon Prime plans to double its original content offerings for India this year, with at least seven shows scheduled for launch.
To compete with global content players, Indian companies like Eros Now are investing $50 million to create 100 new original shows for their “platform10”.
Zee5 also intends to release 72 new originals in six languages by March-2020, the report said.
While long-form content is gaining traction, short-form content continues to remain relevant, primarily to cater to the largest millennial audience in the world.
Statistics reveal that nine out of 10 new internet users in India are likely to be Indian language users; hence, creators are now focusing on building a library of regional content to appeal to more nationals here.