With each passing day, OTT platforms are growing in India even if there has been a big debate on their profitability and long term existence amidst many industry challenges. However, the problem in the Indian market is not original content creation but ensuring their discoverability on the internet along with audience retention. While many leading OTT players might showcase staggering numbers to promote their platforms, the truth is they rely heavily on YouTube to ensure those numbers are achieved. In this blog, we will focus on how OTT players depend heavily on YouTube ads to drive in viewership, app installs & audience retention and also how an Indian OTT platform is developing new ways to promote its recent original content.
Indian OTT Industry Landscape
According to a report published by the Boston Consulting Group, the Indian OTT segment is slated to become a $5 Billion industry by 2023. But as mentioned above, one of the significant challenges is audience retention, and this is where the reports say 80% of the Indian audience don’t use more than three apps at a stretch with an active subscription plan. Adding to this, the uninstall rate is very high, and the race to stay on top in the largest consumer market is not less than a cat and mouse game.
We all know that Indian consumers are price conscious and acquiring them will always come at a higher price.
Another report says, nearly 25% of Indian audience prefer to watch content on OTT platforms for free with ad breaks as a trade-off while only 14% of the Indian audience preferred to opt for the premium ad-free video viewing experience on OTT platforms. In terms of features, 42%+ Indian audience wanted offline downloads to be enabled for every video content.
How YouTube is Helping OTT Players in India to Drive in Viewership, App Install & Audience Retention?
The trend started with Bollywood, where producers saw a correlation of around 90% between watch time of trailers on YouTube and box office collection of a movie in the opening week. This trend made it very clear that the audience on YouTube has a very high degree of engagement with Bollywood related content resulting in better earnings for production houses. Even though the OTT landscape is a bit different, but the same strategy was put to use to drive in viewership on respective platforms.
For Example: – Let us take the case of Rangbaaz, a ZEE5 originals production. The team released around 40 trailers on YouTube promoting each character in the web-series. The trailers garnered close to 35 Million+ views and achieved an all-time high app installation rate of more than 85%+ during the period of the campaign. All this executed with more than half customer acquisition cost compared to last year plus the paid subscription user base rose by 20X.
Seeing the success of Rangbaaz, many leading OTT players also followed the trend. Everyone has experienced a similar pattern, i.e., a conversion rate that varied from 60%-80% based on the type of content, increased CTR and 40%-60% lower cost of customer acquisition, as per the information shared by YouTube leadership team to a leading business daily.
This might just be the reason why OTT platforms & production houses plan for multiple trailer, teaser & motion poster releases before the release date. A recent example being the second season of Sacred Games, a Netflix original. The OTT platform first released the announcement video followed by a cast reveal video, both garnering around 10 Million+ views even though the teaser & trailer along with other videos are yet to come. So the hype has already been created even before the announcement of the official release date.
According to industry experts, the dependence of Indian OTT platforms on YouTube to drive in conversions can be for three main reasons: –
1) High Reach of YouTube: With a 265 Million+ active monthly user base along with a high engagement rate on mobile devices that cannot be compared with any other video advertising platforms, no wonder YouTube is the most preferred platform for OTTs to drive conversions.
2) Measurement & Analytics: YouTube allows advertisers to track the journey of the consumer right from them watching a video to being converted for the advertiser. This particular feature allows advertisers to follow the last mile journey of the user and analyze the area for improvements. Moreover, with the help of machine learning, ad placements are more refined to drive in more attractions at a lower cost per click/impression/view.
3) Variety of Ad Formats Available on YouTube: YouTube Ads are actually tailor-made for promoting entertainment content. The various ad formats combined with the true view feature gives advertisers the much-needed flexibility to plan their campaigns and set achievable goals.
Type of YouTube ad formats are listed below: –
a) Display Ads
b) Overlay Ads
c) Skippable Video Ads
d) Non-Skippable Video Ads
e) Bumper Ads
f) Sponsored Cards
Booo – Sabki Phategi by Alt Balaji sees many Firsts
While the entire OTT industry in India is busy advertising on YouTube, Alt Balaji chooses to explore a different way of marketing for its latest original series, Booo – Sabki Phategi. Alt Balaji associated with leading electronics retail chain store, Vijay Sales, for in-store promotion of Booo – Sabki Phategi across the country. The trailer of the horror web-series starring Tushar Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat will be played on multiple screens at each of its 80+ stores across the country. Definitely, this approach would help Alt Balaji gain more brand recall and increase visibility to a high net worth audience.
Check out 11 Best Alt Balaji Web Series.
Therefore in the coming months, staying creative and ahead of the curve will be the key for several Indian OTT platforms to be counted amongst the Top 3 in the country.