Online video subscriptions revenue grew by 142% in India in 2020, with SVOD revenues rising from $265m in 2019 to $639m at the end of 2020.
Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar have accounted for 50% of all SVOD subscribers in India in 2020 and almost 80% of subscription revenues in the country, according to Omdia’s latest 2021 Online Video Market and Consumer Trends Report.
Online video subscriptions revenue grew by 142% in India in 2020 primarily due to the global pandemic, with subscription video revenues rising from $265m in 2019 to $639m at the end of 2020. Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix accounted for 78% of the total online video subscription market revenues.
Over the past year, Disney+ Hotstar has tripled its subscriber base from 8m to 25.6m subscribers. This growth is partly down to the bundling of Disney+ and Hotstar, as well as the postponement of the start of the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) from April to September as well as competitive pricing plans and exclusive rights to foreign content such as Game of Thrones.
Netflix also grew its subscription base significantly rising to 4.4m subscribers up from 2.4m in 2019.
One of the key factors for the growth of subscriptions for online video is the aggressive pricing models of both Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix, with Netflix launching mobile-only subscription packages in 2019, reflecting the Indian consumption habits. 82% of online video services are accessed through smartphones with only 39% accessing content through dedicated TV apps (data from Omdia’s 2020 consumer survey).
By offering affordable streaming plans and partnering with large Telcos such as Jio Reliance, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, Omdia expects that mobile-only subscription will continue to grow over the next couple of years. However, mobile-only subscriptions will face challenges from traditional pay-TV services as pay-TV services aggregate OTT video services with their core pay-TV plans.
Whilst retaining premium rights to foreign titles and sporting events have contributed to significant growth in revenues and subscribers, over the past few years there has been an increased focus on investing in original Indian language content.
In 2021, Amazon Prime and Netflix will continue their large investment in original Indian content, with the two major US services set to invest around $340m, representing 52% of the total investment in 2021. Omdia expects that close to 400 original titles (mostly series and films) will be produced in 2021 by the global and Indian OTT services.
Commenting on the finding, Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, Principal Analyst, TV and Online Video, Consumer at Omdia said: “The Online Video (OTT) market of India is steadily growing its foothold in every direction. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the growth rate of an already dynamic and robust OTT market. The basic elements that will propel the market to further growth in the near future are already there: very affordable mobile broadband prices, high penetration of smart-phones, a population eager to consume more content, an ever-growing investment in Indian originals and a plethora of choices with more than 40 OTT services operating in the country.”