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OTT app aggregation: A win-win for all

While bundling of apps helps subscribers access a large amount of content, it is also a boon for small OTT platforms that otherwise find it difficult to reach a larger user base, say experts

by Javed Farooqui
Published - May 19, 2022 8:07 AM  |  4 min read

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The Indian over the top (OTT) market today boasts of 55+ video entertainment apps and growing. Having faced with so many options, Indian OTT customers find it cumbersome to subscribe to multiple subscription video services separately. In order to meet the growing consumer demand for original content and provide a hassle-free experience of subscribing to multiple platforms through a single click, OTT aggregation platforms are gaining ground in the country.

Currently, platforms like Tata Play and Airtel are providing a single billing option to customers for subscribing to multiple OTT services. Amazon has also launched a video marketplace called Prime Video Channels to offer access to multiple streaming apps through a single user interface.

The video streaming app YuppTV is also venturing into OTT aggregation with the launch of YuppTV Scope. The OTT aggregation platform allows users to access multiple apps like ZEE5, Voot Select, SonyLIV, and aha using a single subscription. Apart from OTT apps, the platform also offers a plethora of live TV channels and on-demand content.

Kunal Dasgupta and Vivek Gupta's Vial Content Tech has also formed a joint venture with US and UK streaming aggregator ScreenHits TV to launch an OTT aggregation service in India. The aim of the JV is to provide a single sign-up and a single ID for accessing multiple streaming services.

Airtel launched its new video streaming service - Airtel Xstream Premium which aggregates content from 14 leading video apps with a single login, single search, and single subscription at an introductory price of Rs 149 per month.

Reliance Jio's Jio TV app is the largest aggregator of live TV channels in the country offering 800+ TV channels including 100+ HD channels.

"OTT aggregators are addressing a need gap. Distribution platforms like Tata Play and Airtel are using their strength of reaching a large number of customers and their ability to address the need of their users. It's already happening in TV where distributors not only aggregate content but also aggregate audiences and collect money from the consumers. Aggregation is a normal business evolution once there are multiple players in the market," says Kurate Digital Consulting Senior Partner Uday Sodhi.

He further stated that aggregation is a boon for small OTT platforms that otherwise find it difficult to reach a larger user base. "Aggregators will help in building a large number of OTT platforms. This will open up opportunities for a lot of OTT platforms to get into the OTT business because then they are not worried about distribution," he added.

YuppTV Founder and CEO Uday Reddy revealed that YuppTV Scope will aggregate OTT services and offer them reach by doing deals with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). "We will provide a single user interface and single billing to customers for getting access to multiple OTT platforms. It will be a no-brainer for subscribers to take OTT aggregation services as they will get a large amount of content which includes live TV, catch-up content, and on-demand through a single payment mechanism. We are also addressing the issue of discoverability of content," he stated.

Dasgupta, who has brought ScreenHits to India, says that OTT aggregation is an idea whose time has come. He also feels that OTT aggregators will help the industry to push more apps to the consumers. "Aggregation will only be attractive if it provides a single sign-up and bundling. Every OTT platform would want to be a part of aggregation platforms once it gains scale. OTT aggregators will allow platforms to reach a mass audience," he noted.

HT Labs CEO & Co-founder Avinash Mudaliar stated, "OTTPlay, India's largest recommendation platform (web, Android, and iOS) that provides users personalised movie/show recommendations from across 55+ OTT platforms is on the verge of launching its OTT aggregator plans. Apart from collaborating with leading Indian OTT platforms, OTTplay will also be launching several international streaming platforms for the first time in India that users can access by purchasing bundled subscription plans based on their preference."

Offering a slightly different perspective, a senior official with a leading OTT platform said that an OTT aggregation platform on its own might not be a lucrative proposition. "Aggregation platforms on their own may not make a lot of money because they will depend only on SVOD and the ARPU in India is very low. If you are creating only an OTT aggregator platform, it is not a long-term game unless you create a platform to manage subscriptions of services across the board. So, it will become a super-app for managing everything," the official said.

 

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