According to a new report by research firm Counterpoint, Netflix has grown significantly in the Indian OTT video streaming market; however, it is far behind other players.
Currently, it is the fifth largest player in India, behind players such as Hotstar, Voot, Amazon, etc and as per estimates, the market is currently valued at $280 million with nearly 100 million subscribers, and it is poised to grow at 35 percent YoY. As the industry moves forward, global OTT players will face many challenges in capturing significant mindshare among Indian consumers, the report said.
So far, Netflix has focused on pushing its global content such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Master of None, Stranger Things, Narcos, Daredevil, etc., to Indian subscribers. While it has made significant progress in adding regional content, it still has a lot of ground to make up for competitors. Players such as Hotstar and Voot have higher access to Star India and Viacom 18 media libraries. It, therefore, makes more sense for them to leverage their strength to penetrate the Indian market.
The report also pointed out that, at present Star India's Hotstar is the leader in the industry with 75 million subscribers, followed by Viacom18's Voot with 15 million subscribers, while Amazon Prime Video is also doing good in the Indian market with 11 million subscribers. Sony LIV and Netflix are fourth and fifth on the list with 5 million subscribers.
The research firm said, only 2-3 percent of the total subscriber base of Hotstar actually pays for the subscription charge, with the rest sticking with the freely available content. This is comparatively better in Netflix's case with around 6 percent of subscribers paying for the service and the rest taking advantage of 'free first-month' trials through multiple credit and debit cards.
A higher percentage of subscribers paying for the service also reflects that Netflix is more targeted towards the premium category consumers.
Furthermore, Amazon Prime Video is the cheapest one as it costs close to $ 1 (Rs 63) per month. Hotstar offers a variety of local as well as global content at a much lower price of $3 (Rs 199) per month subscription plan gives access to TV Shows, Movies, Sports, and News. Having said that, Hotstar also has the rights of Games to Thrones under the premium content category.
Counterpoint also expects that the market is expected to see tremendous growth with increasing smartphone penetration across India. Video consumption is not restricted to living rooms anymore, with easier access to video content while traveling or teenagers watching their favorite web-series in their rooms and with availability of high speed 4G networks coupled with 130 million+ (and growing) smartphones being sold in India, we can expect consumption of video content to grow significantly in coming years and come to look similar to video content consumption on mobile in many other parts of the world where smartphones have become primary content consumption devices.