Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology
Prelims level: OTT
Mains level: OTT revolution and its effects
• On its first anniversary last fortnight, Zee5, the digital video streaming platform run by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, announced 72 new original shows.
• The originals’ line-up till March 2020 includes shows across genres and languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Malayalam.
• Zee5 India chief executive officer (CEO) Tarun Katial said the platform has focused on vernacular to expand as “India lies in its languages”.
• Even MX Player, the video streaming brand from Times Internet Ltd, shared plans for its first five originals that went live recently.
• Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player, said 25 new shows have been planned for the next 12 months, of which 50% will be in Hindi.
OTT status in India
• The battle for eyeballs led by content has just intensified.
• According to experts in the over-the-top (OTT) video streaming sector, big money is pouring into content for web shows.
• The total investment in original content at ₹1,000 crore a year for the top 10-15 players.
• “This, of course, does not include movie acquisitions, sports, aggregated content and catch-up TV,” he said.
• Others peg the figure closer to ₹2,000 crore, excluding sports rights, for all 30 players operating in India.
Battle between content and TV viewership
• There are close to 200 million televisions in India, with 98% being single-TV households.
• But with nearly 400 million smartphones, the addressable market is huge. “There’s an insatiable demand for content,” said Bedi.
• However, content alone will not determine the winner.
• You need efficient video technology for India’s patchy network, varying data speeds and large spectrum of devices.
• It should work both on top-end as well as feature phones.
• Sure, the most riveting story will win, but in a tech platform, quality of content and quality of content experience go hand-in-hand.
• Pricing will be key to growth in subscription-led video-on-demand (SVoD) services in India’s value-conscious, volume-led market.
• “Quality of the service ease of navigation, user interface, streaming speeds is another factor that impacts churn and drop-off,” said Nair.
• The biggest challenge will be making money in this market. To be sure, the advertising-led video-on-demand (AVoD) services are about size and scale.
• “This is about the 250 million customers who won’t suddenly start paying,” said Akash Banerji, head of marketing, partnerships and licensing, Voot.
• In SVoD, the advantage is that you are not dependent on the advertiser and make money from consumers.
• “But it’s a very, very small market.
• Scaling up subscription is a slow-moving process.
• There may be only 4-5 million paying consumers and, those who pay consistently, will be a fraction of this,” he said.
• But this number will continue to grow. “It is easy to overestimate this market in the short term and underestimate it in the long term,” he added.
Q.1) The recently launched PARIVESH- Pro Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive and Virtuous Environment Single Window Hub, is meant for:
(a) online submission and monitoring of proposals for environment clearances.
(b) uploading and tracking of proposals under the government e-marketplace.
(c) online submission of application for enrolments into the National Health Protection Scheme.
(d) tracking projects under the Invest India scheme.
Q.1) OTT apps changes the TV viewership taste in India. Comment.