The value of India’s OTT content market is predicted to double from 2017 to 2020 while OTT is now a regular part of advertisers’ media plans, according to a leading Sony executive.

“What we are seeing in 2018 going on 2019, is that most advertisers, while planning any campaign, put OTT in their media spend,” Uday Sodhi, business head - digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, told Afaqs!.

He was speaking as Sony Pictures Networks India announced a deal with Lionsgate that will see more than 500 hours of content from the US entertainment giant available on its own OTT platform SonyLIV.

“Today, a brand doesn’t go into the market without OTT as part of its media plan which, I think, is a huge change from 2016-2017,” Sodhi said, adding that most of the big brands have been consistently advertising on OTT during Diwali.

“OTT is now mainstream for an advertiser,” he declared. “ You have to put your money on OTT as an advertiser, going forward.”

Separately, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) has forecast that the OTT content market will double from Rs 710 crore in 2017 to Rs 1,420 crore in 2020, with audiences following a similar trend.

India is expected to be the second largest video-viewing audience globally by 2020, with OTT take-up growing as internet penetration spreads, connection speeds increase, data costs fall and device ownership multiplies.

Sodhi pointed to the rapid adoption of smart TVs over the past couple of years, which has influenced SonlyLIV’s choice of content.

“Smart TVs makes it that much easier to binge-watch long shows,” he explained. And “the availability of these shows is becoming easier. People are connected on social media and know which show is getting released in the rest of the world.”

Hence the tie up with Lionsgate and the prevalence of English content at a time when the trend in other areas, such as news, is towards regional language content.

But he didn’t rule out dubbing shows into local languages. “We haven't really thought about it yet. It is an interesting idea, but at this point, we are focusing on English.”

Sourced from Afaqs!,; additional content by WARC staff