With this week’s introduction of a service from Zomato and the November launch of Apple TV+, there will soon be more than 35 players jostling for position in India’s OTT market where local, mobile-optimised content is likely to be key to success.

“What has become clear is that copying [the] western playbook is not going to work for OTT here,” according to Gourav Rakshit, COO/Digital Ventures at Viacom18, whose VOD service VOOT is the only broadcaster-owned streaming platform in India without a paywall.

“The models need to be invented locally as simply using the available western ones won't work,” he told Afaqs.

That’s one reason why domestic OTT providers, at least, may not be too concerned about the English-language offering of Apple TV+, even it is competitively priced at Rs 99 a month, believes Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar South Asia.

“I think the scale is only going to come through Hindi language or regional languages,” he told Exchange4Media. “So local OTT players need not be scared too much in terms of competition; maybe the Netflix and the Amazon Primes need to.”

Towards the other end of the scale from Apple, food delivery firm Zomato is launching a serious of Zomato Original shows that can be streamed within its app, The Hindu reported.

“We combined all things food with binge-worthy genres and came up with a diverse slate of shows,” explained Durga Raghunath, Senior Vice-President, Growth, Zomato.

“With shows in both Hindi and English, we hope every corner of India will tune in to Zomato to hone their taste buds,” he added.

Zomato’s videos are short (between three and 15 minutes) and shot in a vertical frame for viewing on mobile, reinforcing another point made by Rakshit: “We will definitely be a mobile-first OTT market,” he stated, whilst also acknowledging that the spread of fibre-to-the-home technology will lead to an increase in the penetration of Smart TVs.

PwC has forecast that the OTT market in India will grow at a CAGR of 21.82% to reach reach Rs 11,977 crore by 2023. 

Sourced from Afaqs!, Exchange4Media, The Hindu; additional content by WARC staff