3 VoD Trends In India For 2017: Spuul CEO

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 07, 2016

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The Video-on-demand [VoD] services that enable users for streaming and downloading of a wide range of digital contents is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The next one year will be defining for this industry, believe experts, owing to the rising demand for customized viewing of digital content. In addition, the consumption of on demand services through mobile platforms is increasing due to rising penetration of internet, and smartphones. At the same time proliferation of smart TV adoption, and rising demand for premium contents will make VoD a preferred technology in 2017.

In a recent conversation with CXOtoday, Rajiv Vaidya, CEO, Spuul India, lists out the key VoD trends in India for the next one year and beyond.

1. Cord Cutting

Today’s viewers have a choice of a host of viewing platforms to choose from, including digital television, internet, tablets and smartphones. Revolutionary app-powered devices like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and other streaming devices lets viewers watch their favourite shows across a variety of screens.

According to the Akamai & NASSCOM report on the future of internet in India, the mobile video content to grow at an 83% CAGR in next 5 years. Every major television manufacturer now offers “smart” television sets, with integrated internet features that provide access to a host of on-demand streaming media directly.

OTT has not only arrived, it is here to stay, and the advent of 4G and improved bandwidth speeds have only re-enforced this. This surging popularity of OTT platforms has challenged the exclusivity that linear television enjoyed till quite recently. Broadcasters have begun witnessing the market trend of “cord cutting”, with a sizeable segment of viewers tuning out from cable subscription and completely switching over to OTT platforms.

Infact the millennials have grown up watching shows online, and will possibly never subscribe to paid television services due to multiple streaming options now available and multiple generations that are accustomed to on-demand services. Looking at trends in the US, 2010 was the first year that regular pay television saw a quarterly decline in subscription numbers (this was reported by WSJ, back in 2012). We’re still a while away from that but a small pocket of users in India (usually in the larger cities) are exploring their options when it comes to cord cutting.

2. Let’s go regional

With increased competition between the video on demand apps, regional content that appeals to particular states will be the key to capture user share.

According to the Akamai & NASSCOM report on the future of internet in India, about 75% of the new internet users consume content in local language. The real trick in winning the market is to capture the Tier III towns and the rural areas. A Frost & Sullivan report a large percentage of video-on-demand viewership in India is fragmented across states and languages.

We have seen a lot of growth in regional content on the video on demand apps, fuelled by demand from both local viewers and the international diaspora. According to Internet and Mobile Association in India (IMAI), the Internet user base will cross 500 million by 2018, with rural Internet users alone being almost 210 million.

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3. Micro transactions & cashless transactions

According to the Frost & Sullivan report there are 66 million unique connected video viewers in India, of which 1.3 million are paid video subscribers. Online video subscription numbers fluctuate dramatically every month. The number of unique online video viewers will grow from 66 million in 2015 to 355 million in 2020. The country is heading for a cashless economy with a colossal change in the way netizens make their day to day transactions.

E-payments and mobile wallets are getting more popular among the millennials in the country. Digitisation of cash will accelerate over the next few years. Noncash payment transactions, which today constitute 22% of all consumer payments, will overtake cash transactions by 2023.

Digital payments instruments will drive the growth in non-cash payments, according to Google BCG Report. Micro-transactions will form a substantial portion of the industry, with over 50% of person-to-merchant transactions expected to be under INR 100 the study said. The report predicts that the value of remittances and money transfer that will pass through alternate digital payment instruments will double to 30% by 2020.