Traditional broadcasting companies in India are facing a new challenge now. The arrival of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other OTT services in India has opened up a whole new dimension to the content business in the country.
Just a Couple of years back, not many people in the country knew the concept of “Cutting the Cord”. But now, it seems like a reality not too far away. Unaffordable data prices, lack of quality internet infrastructure and original digital programs were the main deterrents for the cord cutting revolution here. But a steady improvement in all of these aspects has changed the course of the game.
In a few years, we will probably look back at 2016 as the year when the country witnessed a large scale migration of TV watchers to online streaming services. Now, almost all the major TV shows in India are available on these streaming platforms. Most of them are free and even those that are not; come at a very low subscription fee.
TV series on TV vs Online availability
To support our statement, we selected the most popular genres that the audience watch in the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM). According to BRAC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), following are the categories with highest viewer impressions.
- family drama
- Stand-up comedy
Below is the list of top TV Series in these genres with their broadcasting channels, YouTube channel, and other web services like Hotstar and Voot.
In the above tables, you can see that all the content basically produced for T.V is now available online. SET India and Colors TV, who have the largest share of high TRP serials in India, are providing their content for free on YouTube!
STAR plus is arguably the only profitable “Subscription Only” broadcaster though Hotstar. However, this is mainly due to the coverage of live international football games, IPL and international cricket matches.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited launched its own OTT platform called Ditto.T.V . But it failed to gather enough traction because of high competition. Ditto TV in fact had to drop its subscription price from Rs. 150 per month to just Rs. 20 after functioning for four years. This also resulted in the removal of content from their YouTube channel and shifting that to its video on demand, OZEE website in February 2016.
Gadgets like Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast are yet to gain momentum in the country though. However, when Smart TV penetration in the country increases, there will be a lot of people utilizing them to seamlessly broadcast their favorite shows across multiple devices.
Movies & Music –
Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have quite a vast collection of Indian movies in all languages. People who’ve got a taste of these platforms hate wasting time on the 3+ minutes of adverts that usually run on channels like HBO, Star Movies etc for the same content.
When it comes to music, a combination of YouTube and streaming services like Saavn, Gaana and Apple Music have been satiating the hunger of the Indian audience. Viewership for music TV channels like MTV, Channel-V has anyway been going downhill from a long time.
The arrival of Jio, improved internet infrastructure and quality original digital content has ushered in an era of Digital Entertainment in India. Millions of Indian viewers already know how to access services like Hotstar to watch live cricket or catch their favorite prime time shows. Within a few years, it is inevitable that people would get bored of switching channels over and cursing the never ending advertisements on Indian television.
Being an artist, movie buff and a media enthusiast, content writing is my career train. I am a proud alumni of Symbiosis Institute of Media Communication (Pune) and currently working for Vidooly.