The online video market in India is estimated to reach US$ 4 billion by 2025, with subscription services contributing more than US$ 1.5 billion while advertising accounting for US$ 2.5 billion.
The major contribution will be by Google’s YouTube, followed by Disney+ Hotstar.
Disney+ Hotstar is the streaming service owned by Disney India and has potential to acquire 25 per cent of the total online video revenue pie by 2025.
Details of these projections are given under a report titled India Intelligence and Insights: Disney+ Hotstar: The Future of India’s Largest Premium Digital Video Platform brought out by independent research and consultancy services firm Media Partners Asia (MPA).
“In the current COVID situation, audiences are spending more time online and OTT platforms have almost doubled their viewership. This viewership trend is likely to continue at least for a few years. Hence, advertising on the services is likely to surge in the coming years as they increasingly become the choice for content consumption,” said Mr Anita Nayyar, head, customer strategy and relationships, ZEE5.
As per the report by FICCI-EY media and entertainment industry report 2020, television advertising in India, on the other hand, is estimated to reach Rs 388 billion (US$ 5.1 billion) by 2022.
“The pay economy for online content will be successful if we work with quality content, and price it in the right manner,” said Mr Vishnu Mohta, co-founder of Bengali video streaming platform Hoichoi. “It would happen because the COVID pandemic has catapulted OTT growth by some five years. Things that people would have expected to see in 2025, might happen now.”
Mr D Girish, vice-president, strategy at documentary streaming service DocuBay added that the current crisis has expedited the adoption of digital platforms by a large percentage of content consumers.
He added, “SVoD is not dependent on advertising spends by brands that are among the first to be impacted whenever there is a certain corporate or economic downturn; however, greater digital adoption also opens the door for a larger turf for AVoD monetization than in the past.”
According to MPA, Disney+ Hotstar could reach 93 million paying subscribers by 2025 at monthly ARPUs (average revenue per user) under US$ 1. Thus, taking subscription revenue to US$ 587 million by 2025 while advertising sales could reach US$ 314 million.
Though, any impact from new services such as gaming or expansion to south east Asia was not considered in report.
The effect of COVID-19 will be seen on the revenue of advertising market with TV bearing the brunt while digital video will also come under pressure. There is no exception by the Disney+ Hotstar’s advertisement packages.
Although, Disney+ enjoyed the benefit of subscription through the first half of 2020 from its launch in April 2020. Regardless the absence of the popular IPL cricket tournament, Disney+ contributed meaningfully to premium tier subscriber growth and remained churn positive through the period, as per MPA analysis.
According to the report, the strengthen of the platform includes sports, local originals, Hollywood entertainment and its super aggregator strategy. In order to increase subscribers, drive viewership and stay ahead of aggressive global and local competition, the company must sustain and accelerate the pace of its investment in product innovation, content creation and acquisition as well as retain its key sports rights. It must also develop new features and services including gaming and the aggregation of more local live and on-demand content.
It was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar earlier this year, pricing, content mix and tech are main pillars of the Disney+ Hotstar strategy, added the MPA report. Pricing plays the important role as India’s large pay-TV universe only pays US$ 4 per month for a wide range of live TV channels, including sports and entertainment. Annual offers at attractive rates have been the key to creating an online subscription business at scale. Disney has three distinct offerings – Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier. The VIP plan is available for Rs 399 (US$ 5.66) a year while the premium subscription comes for Rs 1,499 (US4 21.26).
Disney+ Hotstar’s major differentiation has been its vast aggregation of premium local and international entertainment and sports, driving its present-day addressable market to 100 million plus subscribers.
Disney+ comes with content bundled from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.