OTT consumption has seen a major boost in India during COVID period: KPMG report

The nation is grappling with COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing down its accelerated growth. The lockdowns across the country have been extended till 3 May, which means people will have to restrict themselves at home for another 19 days! Which in return means that content consumption on TV or online will continue to increase. Looking at the current scenario, KPMG has released a report titled COVID-19: The Many Shades Of A Crisis- A Media And Entertainment Sector Perspective, highlighting the impact of COVID-19 in the media and entertainment industry. The report states that the current environment could result in a dip in media consumption in the near term. The COVID-19 pandemic has punched various industries and sectors hard and the media and entertainment industry is no exception. It’s sure to witness and deal with the after-effects of the pandemic which has turned out to be catastrophic for films, entertainment events and theme parks. However, due to lockdowns across the globe and bleak signs of outdoor entertainment, OTT or VOD consumption has seen a major boost in India. According to the KPMG report, Digital consumption will continue to see a rapid incremental growth with India’s digital billion trajectories likely to accelerate materially. Key points or takeaways (on the OTT landscape) from the report are: > At-home entertainment options like digital, TV, gaming will find an upswing as ‘lockdown behaviour’ results in habit formation > From the consumption point of view, particularly OTT/VOD will continue to have accelerated growth. > Secular rise in the OTT consumption in duration across demographics and devices. > In the monetisation front, penetration of subscription-based digital models will see a rise. OTT players are offering extended free periods to drive subscription pick up through habit formation. > Digital subscription revenues could see an upswing post-COVID-19 as habit formation in terms of OTT video consumption sets in. > Content pipeline has dried up with almost negligible fresh content as productions and shootings are temporarily shut. However, writers and creators have ample time to explore various ideas and experiment with them. Once lockdown lifts, we might see a burst of fresh, innovative content coming in on OTT platforms. > OTT players with large, varied libraries with a legacy have an advantage. Speaking on the current situation, KPMG India partner and Markets Enablement, Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) leader Satya Easwaran said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a drastic cut in advertising expenditure across all media. However, with people being homebound, consumption of media and entertainment – and digital media in particular – has seen considerable growth. Post-crisis, we anticipate an even greater integration of technology into our everyday lives with a marked digital progression of Indians across socio-economic classes. Monetisation, however, might remain a challenge in the near term.” KPMG India partner and Media and Entertainment leader Girish Menon further added, “The COVID-19 experience is likely to result in a long-term upward shift in the integration of digital technologies into our everyday lives, with India’s ‘digital billion’ trajectory likely to accelerate materially. We expect greater affinity to be seen for at-home entertainment with subscription models, cord-shaving and streaming to larger screens seeing an exponential pick-up in the near to medium term.