Indians want OTT platforms to serve their interests better

Image: REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo
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Indians want OTT platforms to do more to serve their entertainment needs.

As streaming grows in India, like across the world, it has led to frustrating browsing experiences for people, research by global consultancy Accenture has found. “While growth in streaming services has given consumers an explosion in choice, it’s also created considerable complexity,” Accenture’s Streaming’s Next Act report, released yesterday (Jan. 27) said.

This explosion of choices means consumers must browse manually across platforms. “And navigating through OTT services is like entering different rabbit holes, each with its own entry and exit—a turnoff for consumers,” the report said. Indians were among the largest groups to express this frustration.

In 2021, India had 70-80 million paying subscribers across various OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney Hotstar, SonyLiv, and Voot. Of these, Disney Hotstar has the lion’s share with over 40 million subscribers.

A growing subscriber base in a price-sensitive market like India has involved a tightrope walk for OTT platforms.

OTT price strategies in India

Consumers worldover have expressed a desire to cut their expenditure on entertainment. “The monthly payments for more services are a growing problem. In fact, many consumers are approaching their upper limit on the amount of money they’ll spend for streaming services,” the report said.

More choices have meant that the average spending on entertainment has gone up, a feeling shared by most people across the world, but particularly in India. Indians were the largest group to say that they were spending too much on entertainment.

India’s consumer market is quite price sensitive, and this fact isn’t lost on OTT platforms. In December, Netflix cut its basic plan by 50 rupees ($0.67), and the plan that allowed up to two devices now costs Rs499 instead of Rs649.

But India is a difficult market, as Netflix said during an investor’s call this month.

“The great news is in every single other major market, we’ve got the flywheel spinning. The thing that frustrates us is why we haven’t been as successful in India. But we’re definitely leaning in there,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said.