OTT will dominate entertainment space

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Highlights

Technology has been bringing in sweeping changes across sectors.

Technology has been bringing in sweeping changes across sectors. And entertainment sector is no exception. Sophisticated animation has already changed filmmaking to a large extent. Similarly, metaverse technology is making viewing experience a lot real now. Statistics suggest that global metaverse market for media and entertainment industry is likely to touch $50 billion by 2030 from $2.7 billion in 2021. The key drivers of this growth are OTT (over the top) media services, gaming and traditional media along with entertainment sectors. Especially, OTT viewing has emerged as the biggest disruptor in the entertainment industry. Interestingly, India is not escaping this wave.

Currently, India is at the cusp of multi-year growth cycle as far as OTT video streaming is concerned. A study by Deloitte estimates that Indian OTT market is projected to touch a combined market size of $13-15 billion in the coming decade. Currently, most major OTT providers including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney-owned Hotstar along with a host of home grown players like ZEE5 are operating in the country. With more than 40 operators, these OTT players have 7-9 per cent market share in the Indian entertainment industry now. The paid subscriber base is projected to grow 17 per cent in coming years.

Such a paradigm shift is also democratizing the entertainment industry in many ways. India is rapidly witnessing adoption of smartphones across all regions. This coupled with affordable internet services is attracting people in droves towards the OTT players. Interestingly, rural regions are the fastest adopter of such services. It is a known fact that cinema viewing is no longer an affordable affair. With the advent of multiplexes and near erosion of single screen cinema halls across many States, there are very few options for cinema goers now. The costly ticket price and related services including snacks are keeping the middle class out of cinema halls in recent years. Against this backdrop, OTT video streaming services are emerging as viable alternatives. Technology has made it possible.

Technology is also democratizing cinema across India now. Earlier, Bollywood cinemas used to dominate the Indian cinema industry. Good films, especially made in South Indian languages, were not able to reach a large audience. Lack of distribution reach, dubbing and monopoly of certain group of producers were seen as key reasons. Good content had never got its due because of these factors. However, this is changing very fast. Good films with strong narratives have become the darling of viewers because of OTT service providers. Popularity of many South cinemas in recent years is a testimony of that fact. No longer, viewers are forced to see cinemas with bad content. Such change has now given a chance to good artists to showcase their skills with huge monetary benefits. Cinema in many ways has been democratized thanks to technology.

Apart from entertainment industry, even media sector has largely benefitted from technological applications. Creator economy is the direct outcome of growing role of technology in media and advertising industry. In a way, internet rewards the best and whoever provides the best content is the winner now. And technology's role in such transformation can't be undermined.

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