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How Covid-19 raised the appetite of viewers for OTT content

The Covid-19 pandemic epidemic has changed everyone’s lives. Working from home, on the one hand, became a new way of life, and on the other, several corporations came to a standstill. A crushing blow has been seen by the entertainment industry that began big. Name it the beginning of a dark age or the culmination of the glorious era of filmmaking, the influence of the coronavirus is unparalleled. Out-of-home entertainment is reeling under the influence of social distancing and lockout. So when we were all confined in the vicinity of our houses, we went to OTT for fun. While OTT platforms created a position in the Indian market for themselves, the crisis provided a push that increased the appetite of viewers for online content.

The pandemic has taken India to screens like never before. The time spent on it during Week 1 of the pandemic increased by 1.5 hours, a benefit of 6 percent, according to the BARC-Nielsen report on Covid-19 and its effect on the TV and smartphone landscape. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 21-day lockdown announcement, which was watched by 197 million viewers, broke all records. So the content production landscape has shifted, but what exactly does it mean for Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, AltBalaji, Voot Select, and more OTT platforms?

*The Change of Paradigm:-

Experts agree that OTT will now become a go-to-mode for many customers because outdoor entertainment is not available and television networks have already run out of content except for news. Within a short span of time, the unprecedented situation has triggered a significant shift in viewing patterns across India. During the lockdown, ZEE5 saw an increase of over 45 percent in paying viewers and subscriptions of over 80 percent. With Daily Active Users (DAUs) and app downloads increasing by 15 percent and 41 percent, the viewing time has risen by over 50 percent. And in this era, viewership on connected devices has also seen a 3X rise. Tarun Katial, CEO of Zee5 India, said that our huge library of 1.25 lakh hours of content across genres and 12 languages has led to a large number of paying users subscribing to our website.

*More time, More Growth:-

With technological advances taking place, everything is readily accessible by clicking across the globe. According to recent reports, with the year 2019 itself seeing a 140% rise in countries such as India, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia , and South Korea, the last decade has seen an increase in video on demand (VOD) use. The number itself indicates the tendency of customers towards online content. The consumption of OTT material has seen a steady rise and will continue to do so on its own. Indeed, the lockdown era has scaled up the OTT content consumption game, and I think it is now time for OTT platform players to sit back and reconsider their content strategy. Although this progress is due to a phase right now, we believe that this lockdown phase would function as a trigger to some degree to change the audience’s content consumption habits while making some of them the avid followers of original content,’ said Divya Dixit, ALTBalaji’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Direct Revenue & Analytics.

*Consumption Shifting Content:-

The way content is produced, distributed, and streamed has been revolutionised by the OTT industry. People constantly want a range of material, and with perennial additions of varied content, OTT caters to this demand magnificently. The lockdown has resulted in more individuals unwittingly discovering OTT ‘s ease, which has already created a change in the way information is consumed on a daily basis. In the current scenario, with more individuals being acquainted with OTT through cities and ages, there is an added benefit to the potential of this field. The 24×7 accessibility of endless shows and movies and the quick interface to use has resulted in more viewers staying back and subscribing to our app. The fast-changing attitude of viewers and patterns in streaming habits show that OTT is here to stay. The entertainment industry has been reshaped by this sector and will continue to grow due to the immense opportunity easily made available for consumer-centric, personalised content, ”said Katial.

*TOWARDS OTT THE REALTIME Change & Knowing USER ‘S NEED:-

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the industry’s usual day-to-day running to a standstill and stopped all the shootings for the time being. With no new episodes coming out, the challenge is to fulfil the consumer’s everyday entertainment needs and provide them with fresh content across the different genres. Our premium content, classic series, originals, and blockbuster movies fulfil the requirements of individuals. In Hindi, Korean, and other regional languages, there is a variety of content available. We also modified our app interface to make it more user-centric and user-friendly, catering to the present streaming needs and potential as well. In inclusion, the addition of multiple features streamlined navigation and modified the recommendation engine, which made the exploration of content intuitive, making the overall experience hyper-personalized, Katial explains. OTT provides audiences with fresh and new content that lets them spend more and more time on streaming apps online. “The planet is certainly in an awful situation right now with the pandemic epidemic,” Dixit said, explaining the same thing. The viewer has more time at their disposal with this lockdown process and ends up spending more quality time with family, performing household tasks, and consuming content through OTT platforms. This has contributed to an increase in the consumption of content across geographies.

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