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One OTT platform is simply not enough for video-hungry Indians

Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Indians are so hungry for online video content that they’re lapping up everything available.

Over half the OTT users in India have registered with two or more on-demand platforms, according to market research firm Unomer, which conducted in-app surveys with over six million smartphone users between May 01 and May 25 this year.

“There are a large number of providers, each coming from a different background and offering a unique value proposition. Be it sports, movies, original series, entertainment, regional content–there is so much variety and diversity of content,” Vinay Bapna, co-founder and CEO of Unomer, told Quartz.

MX Player, a south-Korean player that Times Internet bought last June for Rs1,000 crore ($143 million), clocked the most loyal customers with 21% of people using only that platform. Meanwhile, smaller niche players like TVFPlay and ALTBalaji saw a majority of their users sign up for two or more other platforms, likely to get a wider variety of content.

The table below shows the crossovers between the users. For instance, over 27% of MXPlayer users were using MXPlayer and another service. Over half of them were using at least three different platforms, including MXPlayer.

Overall, Hotstar and MXPlayer were ruling the roost with the highest share of OTT audiences using their platforms. (Viewers could choose more than one option.)

Survey findings showed that the overlaps for the top five apps used in India occur mostly with Hotstar, MX Player or JioTV, a service offered for free to users of Mukesh Ambani-led telco Reliance Jio.

AppsHotstar

user

MX Player

user

JioTV userAmazon Prime Video userNetflix user
Zee 57.87%5.98%6.77%10.13%8.61%
Hotstar100%60.11%74.07%58.49%57.44%
Netflix15.11%13.58%14.15%25.61%100%
Amazon Prime Video18.31%15.46%16.79%100%30.48%
Sony Liv13.57%11.27%12.40%14.34%15.66%
Voot TV7.87%6.36%7.02%9.36%8%
ALTBalaji1.35%1.21%1.26%3.11%2.67%
TVF Play0.58%0.53%0.49%1.44%1.27%
VIU2.12%1.91%2.06%3.93%3.42%
Eros Now0.59%0.53%0.55%1.06%0.83%
MX Player52.46%100%53.12%43.10%45.04%
Hoichoi0.30%0.21%0.31%0.54%0.43%
Sun NXT0.81%0.55%0.70%1.26%0.77%
JioTV45.21%37.15%100%32.75%32.82%
Airtel TV11.13%9.74%6.71%12.53%10.36%
Vodafone Play1.73%1.47%1.23%3.46%2.31%
ShemarooMe0.05%0.04%0.05%0.09%0.06%

A developing taste

“Video-on-demand as a category has now reached the same pervasiveness in India as social media and e-commerce—it has become an integral part of life for smartphone users across all town-classes,” Unomer’s Bapna said.

Preferences hold true across regions. “A Jaipur and Patna showing as much liking of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix as a Delhi-NCR or Mumbai.” Over eight in 10 people stream TV shows and movies in all four cities. Hotstar and MXPlayer remain strong favourites across the board.

Affordability plays a part in choosing how many different platforms to be on.

“Once you cross the Rs10,000 smartphone price band, the consumer’s appetite for video-on-demand is really whetted,” Bapna points out. Users with more expensive phones signed up for a higher number of streaming apps.

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