OTT Users: Paying OTT users in India may be less than 10%: ratio

video streaming o over-the-top (OTT) platforms have shown strong traction in consumer growth in recent years. However, the percentage of paid subscribers remained in the single digit, reflecting the impact of sharing account passwords and content piracy. A recent industry report by EY points out that less than 10% of India’s total 50.3 crore OCT Consumers actually pay for these services.

“The number of OTT consumers is probably much higher than the number of subscriptions; such as how a newspaper is consumed by multiple people in a household or around a tea stall in smaller towns,” said Ashish Pherwani, leader , average & entertainment, EY in the report.

Danish Khan, EVP and company manager, Sony LIV and SET of Sony Pictures Networks India, believes there is great potential for growth in paid subscribers.

“You have to consider both: direct-to-consumer (D2C) subscriptions, which are currently around 20-25 million, as well as a large B2B segment, offered as a bundled service alongside telecommunications or other bundled offers.”

He added that B2B has grown significantly and is hovering around 40-45 million.

A low percentage of paid subscribers can be attributed to sharing passwords with family and friends. The EY report estimates that on average a paid subscription was used by 3-3.5 people in 2021. “Our estimate of 40 million OTT households could have a potential reach of up to 120-140 million people, or even more, “the report said.

SonyLIV’s Khan sees piracy as the biggest challenge facing OTT platforms. “As an industry we need to come together and find a solution as piracy is hurting the entire industry. We are not too concerned about sharing passwords as it helps to increase sampling and will increase our base in the near future.” Khan added that competition and the number of device-based pricing will help platforms convert password-sharing users into direct subscribers.

According to Ameya Naik, founder of Fantasy Events, an event management company, piracy is not limited to just movies or songs in India “The hunger for OTT content is on the rise. This has alerted people that they are creating pirated versions of content. OTT given the increasing size of the market, ”Naik said. She added that the advent of applications through which viewers can access OTT content has impacted subscriptions, thus prompting streaming platforms to consider introducing advertising into their offerings in an effort to seek a viable source of enter.

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