OTT growth is riding on the back of scale and segmentation: Gaurav Gandhi
Gandhi, Amazon Prime Video Director & Country Manager, was speaking to e4m Co-founder & Director Nawal Ahuja at the e4m Play Streaming Media Conference 2021
The growth of OTT platforms in India has been humongous, mimicking what broadcast could achieve in around three decades within seven to eight years. The medium is expected to have around 500 million subscribers by 2023 and reach revenues worth five billion dollars, having a profound impact not just on the business of content creation but also on how and what the consumers watch.
As per Amazon Prime Video Director & Country Manager Gaurav Gandhi, this growth has been possible because of the scale and segmentation that the medium has been able to introduce in the content market.
Speaking at e4m Play Streaming Media Conference 2021, in a fireside chat with exchange4media Group Co-founder & Director Nawal Ahuja, Gandhi highlighted: “Broadcasters have achieved a lot in the past 30 odd years. But because of the business models that they have, which is highly dependent on advertising revenues, they all are still chasing similar kinds of eyeballs. However, streaming has allowed the advertisers to reach an even sharper and targeted segment of the audience. This has propelled the growth of the medium and it will continue.”
He further stated that streaming shouldn’t be confused with just the original or acquired content on OTT platforms. “When we say streaming content, it also means the access to TV shows, movies, news, live sporting events, etc, which people can watch on DTH and cinemas as well.”
He added, “The scale at which OTT functions today is impressive. If we talk just about Amazon Prime Video, we are reaching 4000 cities and towns in India across demographics. This has been possible because we are not dependent on a physical distribution strategy like television or cinema. We are growing on the back of wireless services and telecommunications.”
All these factors, Gandhi explained, have not only resulted in great business opportunities for the creators but have also presented the audience with better content options.
He cited two prominent examples: the Malayalam movie Drishyam 2 and the Korean movie Parasite. “When you look at India, we create around 2000 films every year. However, there are just 9000 screens for our huge population, making our per capita ratio amongst the lowest. The distribution of regional language films, like Drishyam 2 is a big challenge. Even on DTH, people who own a Malayalam pack would be able to watch such movies in the early window. However, with an OTT platform, this movie has gained about 50 per cent of its overall audience from outside its home state. The platform is now taking such movies to 200+ countries. To give a reverse example, so many people have watched the Korean film Parasite either with subtitles or dubbed in Hindi.”
He concluded that going ahead, the symbiotic relationship between TV, theatre, and OTT will continue with the latter helping the other two take the content to a bigger audience. He also noted that quality Indian content will find a bigger global audience in the coming years.
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