OTT players need to provide relatable content to Indian watchers, a majority of who are millennials, and tap the regional language market.
Last year, India witnessed five-fold growth in content consumption. This growth is backed by millennials, the 18-35 age group also known as digital natives. There are more than 400 millennials in India. As many as 74 percent of them are reliant on mobile broadband and they spend an average of 17 hours a week online, which has led to a rise in demand for content; not just superior content but also relatable content.
What is relatable content?
In May 2018, online video streaming service Hotstar set a world record with 10 million views of one final IPL match in the platform. The OTT player also claimed that it had 202 million viewers during the biggest sports event in India. On the other hand, the biggest sports event in the world, the FIFA World Cup, only attracted 70 million views across India. If we look at which event is bigger in scale, the FIFA World Cup is definitely the answer, but the answer behind the differences in the number of viewership lies in “Relatable Content”. Cricket has always been the sport of India. Kids play and watch cricket as they grow up, which means more people in India relate more to cricket than football.
According to a study, 62 percent of millennials said digital content makes them “feel good” about themselves. About 67 percent of millennials said digital platforms deliver content they can relate to. These viewers prefer digital platforms compared to TV because they feel that the content is “more real” than what is produced on TV. “Feel good” and “more real” are the emotions watchers get when they can relate the content they are watching with their daily life. Digital platforms are more relatable to millennials as this generation relates to online bloggers, fashion influencers, or travellers who create and share their content through digital platforms rather than TV.
What kind of content is relatable?
A study indicates that Indians prefer short, crisp videos as opposed to long-format videos. Videos under 10 minutes are more popular with 85 percent of the internet audience. Comedy and entertainment content are hugely popular in India; more than 50 percent of videos consumed on Facebook and YouTube are comedy and entertainment. Hindi language content remains the most popular in India; Hindi videos recorded 20,550 million views in 2016. Telugu content follows, with 12,567 million views.
What should OTT players do?
OTT players need to provide relatable content to Indian watchers, a majority of who are millennials. As mere good content is not enough anymore, many OTT players are re-routing their content strategies and creating relatable content by scaling up their original content offers to attract viewers.
Besides creating original content, OTT players should offer content in regional languages. As per the IAMAI India Internet report, 43 percent of internet users are non-English; this is estimated to grow to 62 per cent by 2020. Focusing on local Indian languages would help OTT players to penetrate the untapped market of Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali content. Once they enter this market, OTT players will be surprised by the number of people that can relate to these local languages, especially millennials.
In Indian metros, people consume more English content, but demand for regional content has grown exponentially in the recent past due to the availability of affordable data packs and smartphones. A study states that more than half of the internet user base in India is now non-English. OTT players need to understand this and provide users with content in their preferred language so as to make it relatable to them
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