As coronavirus drives millions into their homes and keeps them there, OTT viewing is forecast to rocket in India.

On the other hand, it’s believed OTT audio services are likely to be hit as fewer people commute to work.

Tarun Katial, CEO of ZEE5 India, told exchange4media, “As far as content consumption is concerned on ZEE5, we have seen a spike across key metros with audiences continuing to consume a wide variety of content in 12 languages.

“Interestingly, we have seen a significant jump in the consumption on connected devices. This could be attributed to people working from home in the past week.”

Suraj Nambiar, Managing Partner & National Media Head, Tonic Worldwide, believes binge watching is likely to rise. 

“Digital content consumption will surely go up with the assumption that users have more time in their hand, if they are not commuting and stuck at home. With OTT players, binge watching is what people do anyways, and this will only increase now,” he said.

The suspension of the country’s biggest sporting event, Indian Premier League, due to coronavirus is also likely to drive more viewers to OTT platforms.

Most OTT viewers in India consume Video on Demand while commuting, but even though far fewer people will be commuting, most observers believe this will not ultimately drive down the number of viewers.

Mihir Karkare, EVP of Mirum India, told exchange4media that while lack of commute time will have a downward impact on OTT consumption, this will be more than compensated for by people spending longer at home, and the halt on outdoor entertainment activities as well as children not going to school.

“In all, I believe OTTs will see a spike in usage for sure,” Karkare said.

Shakir Ebrahim, founder of GoBisbo Broadcasting Network agrees: “Used to spending at least 3 hours a day travelling, with weekends in malls and theaters, Indians will have hours to twiddle their thumbs from now on.

“With the disappointment of IPL being postponed, OTT and other online content platforms will be the only space to see a boom.

“People will catch up with series, movies and podcasts and even explore new content. Online classes too will prosper as people may set out to learn a new language or skill, as will a lot of the content on YouTube, especially children's content as parents will try to find a way to keep kids indoors and busy.”

However, audio streaming is likely to take a big hit as people work from home in greater numbers.

Neena Dasgupta, CEO and Founder of Zirca, said, “I do see OTT players benefiting from a greater volume of viewers. On the flipside, I believe that audio might take a hit with the transit time being rendered void.”

Sourced from Exchange4Media