What is OTT?
- The acronym OTT stands for Over-the-Top. This convenient little term explains the new delivery method of film and TV content over the internet whenever we want, across many different devices, without the need for traditional broadcast, cable or satellite pay-TV providers.
- In simple terms, OTT streaming means paying an internet provider, like Airtel or Jio, for internet access to watch Netflix, without paying for cable TV. OTT, or over-the-top platforms, are audio and video hosting and streaming services which started out as content hosting platforms, but soon branched out into the production and release of short movies, feature films, documentaries and web-series themselves.
- The meaning or interpretation of OTT has bridged the possibility to watch preloaded television episodes or on any kind of OTT content an unlimited number of times. All of these are structured in a large & centralized library of multilingual movies.
- These platforms offer a range of content and use artificial intelligence to suggest to users the content they are likely to view based on their past viewership on the platform.
- Most OTT platforms generally offer some content for free and charge a monthly subscription fee for premium content which is generally unavailable elsewhere.
- Premium content is usually produced and marketed by the OTT platform themselves, in association with established production houses which historically have made feature films.
- For example, consumers would sign up for subscriptions or for one-time view added with in-stream ads in platforms like Netflix or Spotify to access thousands of content from anywhere at any time. An OTT media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product/service. The term is commonly applied to online video platform, but also refers to audio streamingor real-time-based platform streaming solutions.
- The best highlight is, as content owners you can provide the entire service whenever you wish to use it, or else you can also allow your users to download videos and play them in offline mode too. All that it takes is to have a stable internet connection – either locally or through a mobile network.
- Examples: Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Sony LIV, Zee5,Spotify, Gaana, Soundcloud and so many more.
How OTT is delivered?
- The accessibility of OTT content is one of the many reasons it’s so popular. To stream OTT, customers only need a high-speed internet connection and a connected device that supports apps or browsers.
- Mobile OTT Devices: Smartphones and tablets are able to download OTT apps to stream on-the go.
- Personal Computers: Consumers can access OTT content from desktop-based apps or web browsers.
- Smart TVs: The ability to sign in to your personalized account on the OTT media platform is made effortless! Therefore through devices like Roku, Apple TV, or Fire Stick you can access your subscriptions anywhere at home.
- Gaming Consoles: Target demographic within console games can be acquired via online video content where users tend to stream their favorite shows with popular Playstations like XBOX , Sony Playstation5, etc.
How Do OTT Media Services Work?
- You can access OTT platforms in many ways, including via your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV, or gaming console. You don’t need a subscription to a TV service provider—but depending on the OTT platform, you may need a subscription to the OTT platform. This is the case for services like Netflix and Disney+, where users can access curated content at any time with a monthly or yearly subscription.
- Some OTT platforms, like Amazon and Peacock, instead don’t charge subscription fees to customers, instead generating revenue by showing their viewers ads while they’re watching content or offering reduced-cost subscriptions with limited ads.
Advantages of OTT Platform
- Reduced Cost
- There are thousands of programs you can access with a monthly subscription. Freedom to access international web series, shows, live sports telecasts, and favorite flicks on the go is one of the greatest pros of streaming platforms.Also, there are no monthly bills for cable operators or interruption to face. Anyone willing to watch online digital content can register themselves and pay a monthly or yearly subscription amount, making it cost-effective.
- The cost of a subscription is reasonable. You may view lots of online content for a thousand rupees per year or 200 rupees per month.
Crisp Sound and Picture Quality
- Every OTT Platform keeps the content quality in High Definition. The higher your speed, the better will be auditory and visual content since the service is offered online.The video and audio quality of the movies are usually high, which is a great advantage of using an OTT platform like HBO and Netflix. On the plus side, you can customize the video and audio quality per your liking.
- OTT platforms provide new and high-quality content. For OTT platforms, unique concepts and filming approaches are tested. The language barrier isn’t an issue because most sites have a range in multiple languages.
- Instant viewing is another advantage of OTT platform as you can request to view any movies or shows, irrespective of their time of release, anytime. You can watch your favorite web series as many times as you like by downloading it. There are no hassles of waiting in long ticket queues in theatres or see those annoying advertisements during a movie on TV.
- You can immediate and unlimited access to the movies, even when you are on the road. Some platforms charge a flat monthly fee, and in return, you get full access to their programming.
- It is handy because the content is viewed at any time and from any location. A person with a smartphone and a decent internet connection can watch national and international films and television series of their choice.
- OTT platforms give you enough freedom to watch your favorite content wherever you want, however you want, and whenever you want. If you don’t have time to log on to your laptop or desktop, you can binge-watchit on your smartphone or tablets even on offline mode.
- You can watch the video material on multiple devices at any time. It also has a download option, allowing you to watch your favourite movies even if your internet connection is poor.
- These media services can easily be accessed through mobile phones, laptops, smart TV, and other audio-visual devices with an internet connection and digital content at the International level can be accessed.
- Having an account on an OTT platform like Netflix means that you will need to subscribe to the authentic services. By paying a little subscription amount, you get a wide variety of original content that can be accessed only upon authorization.
- Being the account owner, you can manage the stuff on your own without any intervention from external sources.
- OTT platforms offer an ad-free experience to viewers. Users won’t have to view the same advertisement over and over again, and they’ll be able to watch the show uninterrupted.
Disadvantages of OTT Platform
- Online Limitation
- You can enjoy streaming platformsfor as long as you have an internet connection. The downside of streaming media from a website is that the media is only available online. This option limits access to the material to people who don’t have an online presence. You are also required to have an account on streaming platforms to be able to view your favorite program.
Poor Network can Impact your viewing
- People with poor internet connections will not be able to enjoy a smooth viewing experience. Access to the Internet is also required because the materials are only available online. If you want the HD experience, you should have a minimum of 2MBPS of internet connection, otherwise, you will experience buffering issues.
- Besides HBO, Netflix, and other OTT Platforms, some are untrusted ones. Thousands of such platforms are unsafe for you as you are vulnerable to lose your confidential information while paying for a subscription.
- Also, Cybercrime can happen on platforms that ask you for your personal information, including your bank details. Even though many reputable platforms work on tightening the security, many require tweaking their security.
- OTT platforms operate independently and without following governmental policies. There are no age limitations for viewership either. The only purpose is to bring content that attracts more viewers on board. One of the concerning disadvantages of OTT Platform is that there is restrictions on the content. Such content may be harmful to underage users.
Users waste too much on OTT Platforms
- Given that there are plenty of web series, movies, and shows released every week, users are more likely to waste their time on OTT Platforms. As a web series ends, there’s another one in the recommended segments..
- People might quickly become addicted to OTT platforms due to the wide range of content offered, resulting in a limited social life rather than being socially active in real life.
OTT Regulation in India
- OTT Platforms, unlike other media providers such as television, print, or radio, are comparatively new, and hence so far in India there are no such laws or rules governing and regulating the content on these platforms.
- Due to the pressure to regulate the content on these platforms, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (“IAMI”), which is the representative body of the OTT platform, came up with the idea of a self-regulatory model.
- But, this idea could not be implemented as the Government of India in November 2020 amended the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and brought the OTT Platforms under the purview of, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The government recently formulated the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021(“IT Rules, 2021”) which replaced the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. Though the rules have been framed under the Information Technology Act, 2000, Part III of these Intermediary Rules, which is mainly concerned with the regulation of Digital news media and OTT Platforms, would be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
OTT market in India
- In India, the OTT business is only a few years old. Netflix was the first OTT platform to launch, followed by Amazon Prime Video and more than 40 others. The first company to commission Indian originals was Amazon. Following that, Netflix delved into the realm of local content.
- Amazon Prime Video has around 17 million paying customers, second only to Disney+ Hotstar (18 million), with Netflix India having five million and Zee5 having 11 million or more.
- It made watching movies more easy, available, and economical for a broader range of users. Anyone with a phone having an Internet connection can watch a movie from anywhere.
- The Indian OTT market is anticipated to reach US$3.22 billion by FY25, up from US$576.73 million in FY19, according to a report.
- By FY25, India will have 800 million or more online video users, which will rise as smartphone and internet penetration increase.
- The Indian OTT streaming industry is expected to grow to $13-15 billion over the next decade.
- The pandemic and subsequent lock-downs affected almost every aspect of life and people had to make changes and adapt to a ‘new normal’. With most industries being affected adversely, there was a need to evolve and reinvent the way things worked to get out of the backlash of the pandemic.The film industry also took a hit, but both the industry and the audience moved to the smaller screen on OTT platforms. This way, creativity and entertainment crept out of the gloom of the pandemic and onto OTT platformssuch as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
- OTT platforms have a great future. Considering the present situation, the need for an unbiased regulatory body to regulate the contents on OTT platform is necessary. The public today is looking for content that brings out the truth and realities of the society, provides regional varieties, and most importantly that does not hurt the sentiments of people. The government must take care that the regulatory measures do not override the rights of people and provide an effective regulatory process.
- OTT platforms are thriving in the current market scenario. They offer an excellent opportunity for content providers to reach out to new users and expand their subscribers.
- With more people getting access to high-speed internet, the growth potential is immense with a large variety of content of different kinds.
- OTT services are revolutionizing the media and entertainment industry. OTT has emerged as a powerful medium used by individuals to access, share and create content freely across the globe.
- Over-the-top content is taking over India. Because of its low cost, high quality, and ease of use, more people watch on-demand videos than ever before.
- One of the things that have helped drive the success of OTT platforms in India is their ability to develop content for various markets.
What makes OTT platforms a success in India is the internet and its growth.