As Indian demography is titled towards the youth, so is the Indian OTT video content market, with whooping 89% of the users within the 16-35 years age group as per the study by Counterpoint Research. Male users account for over 79% of the total market. This is in strong contradiction to the traditional TV-viewing audience, which is dominated by women. Salaried employees are the largest consumer group of OTT groups, followed by students, business owners, housewives and others.

The number of OTT apps in the country has risen tremendously in the past few years yet the video consumption on these platforms in metro/big city driven. A study by Counterpoint Research reveals that the top five metros account for 55 per cent of the OTT users in the country, while Tier 1 cities bring to 36 per cent of the audience. Local player Hotstar takes the lead with 56% of its users hailing from metro cities. The Disney backed platform, with a sharp focus on cricket and content partnerships, also has the highest penetration of non-paying users. The platform crossed 300 million viewers just ahead of Game of Thrones earlier this year. It also houses some of the most-viewed live sports properties, including the IPL, which holds the global record in real-time streaming. Disney+ Hotstar is followed by Amazon’s Prime Video, SonyLIV, Netflix, Voot, Zee5, AltBalaji, and ErosNow in terms of the percentage of subscribers to the platform, as per the survey.

While the subscription-based market (SVOD) continuous to grow, the Indian OTT market remains highly focused on the ad-based model (AVOD), where advertisements drive revenue. Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video, belonging to the former category of the subscription-based model, were found to be highly popular in metros. Top five metros account for more than 65% users of these platforms. These two platforms also have the highest number of salaried employees.

In terms of engagement, Counterpoint Research survey found that ErosNow users were the most engaged users, with 68% of its users indicating that they watch content on the platform daily. The platform continues to thrive through partnerships. In India, it partnered with Xiaomi for free-installation on smart TVs. ErosNow has the highest percentage of its users consuming content on smart TVs. ErosNow also remains the only major Indian OTT platform to partner with Apple TV+ service which will launch across the globe later this year.

The study found that the smartphone is the most popular device for OTT video content consumption with Xiaomi being the most popular smartphone brand among OTT users. As far as the most popular network is concerned among OTT users in India, Jio tops the list followed by Airtel and Vodafone-Idea. While Hindi and English remained the most preferred language for content consumption, among regional languages, Telugu was the most popular, followed by Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and others. The study also found that action and comedy are the most preferred genres. While preference for action was the highest among male users, drama and romantic genre content were found to be popular among female users.

Commenting on the findings, Senior Analyst, Hanish Bhatia said, “India is a young country and OTT video market is a very competitive space in India at present. Platforms are focusing on prise innovation, content creation and acquisition, and partnerships as the engine for growth. The low cost of mobile data and affordable smartphones have revolutionized overall video content consumption in India. However, OTT platforms have struggled to register profits, creating an environment ripe for acquisitions or exits. Having said that, new players continue to enter the market as it is expected to record double-digit growth from subscription revenues during the next five years”.

Counterpoint’s survey sampled users from 25 major cities across India. Key platforms included in it were Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV, Netflix, Voot, Zee5, ErosNow, ALTBalaji, YuppTV, Viu, DittoTV, Hooq, Arre and Spuul.