New Delhi: Even as all over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms invest heavily in creating original content, it is library content, including movies and music, which most viewers in India watch on these services. A new report by global auditing firm KPMG along with video streaming service Eros Now titled Unraveling the Digital Video Consumer states that for 30% of consumers, full-length feature films are the most popular category on OTT platforms; another 20% opted for movie-related content such as music videos. Catch up TV and sports content follow suit with 22% and 16%, respectively. Originals, on the other hand, were lapped up only by 10% of consumers.
The findings have emerged as part of a survey undertaken by 1,458 OTT users across 16 cities of India.
Further, more than half (58%) of the respondents who prefer watching movies (among the top three content categories) watched it over more than one session. This percentage was significantly higher in the metros (85%), against tier-I or tier-II towns, highlighting the relatively lower disposable time on hand in the metros.
The preference for movies could potentially be due to the limited supply of originals (less than 1% of the overall content available on most broadcaster-driven and global platforms) in contrast to library content, which forms a bulk of the content available on online video platforms, according to the report. For example, Eros Now currently has 12,000 movie titles, while ZEE5 has more than 50,000 hours of TV content.
“Movies are meant to cut across demographics and cater to the least common denominator. So it isn’t surprising that they make up nearly 50% of the overall content consumption," said Ali Hussein, chief operating officer, Eros Now.
There are further insights on preference for long and short-form content. While nearly 40-45% of the respondents preferred 20-45 minute session, the less than 20 minute (short form) and above 45 minute (long form) sessions were also significant. About 41% in the 15-24 age group, for example, prefers 20-45 minute videos, while 31% of the 25-36 age group watches content longer than 45 minutes.
Comedy remains the most watched genre (84%), followed by drama (62%), action (51%), thriller (44%) and horror (32%).
Online video platforms in India are truly catering to the masses as far as the frequency and duration of consumption are concerned. Audiences across the country are taking to the streaming space, while people in metros spend 9.8 hours per week on these platforms on an average, the figure is 7.5 and 7.9 for tier-I and tier-II towns.
The average time spent on a streaming platform by an user is 70 minutes per day, with a single session clocking in an average of 40 minutes. About 87% of the respondents admitted to consuming content on their mobile phones, with three out of 10 respondents consuming it through telco platforms, outlining the importance of the distribution medium. Although small, an interesting 5% of the respondents consumed content on their Internet-enabled smart TVs, which could be an important growth avenue in the future, according to the report. About 29% of respondents watched online video even during office hours, outlining the ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ nature of online video.
While Hindi dominated the online video consumption language preference with 64% of the respondents alluding to the same, nearly 30% of the overall respondents preferred consuming online video content in vernacular or regional languages. A significant 20% of the preference was for south India-based languages, while the preference for English was at 6%, lower than the English speaking population in India.
Content played the most crucial role when it came to respondents actually subscribing to a paid online video platform. A relatively small, but not insignificant 14% of the respondents considered subscription to online video platforms as an alternative to TV subscription, according to the report.
“Cord cutting is a genuine reality in India," Hussein said, referring to recent developments such as the Eros Now partnership with technology brand OnePlus to launch the OnePlus TV in India or Airtel’s launch of its TV and streaming converged platform Xstream, which bring benefit to subscription-based video platforms.