OTT platforms are finding pace beyond the metros and are now experiencing growing adoption from people in tier 2 and 3 cities in India.

How to design and charge the best OTT subscription plan? Chingari co-Founder Sumit Ghosh answers

Undoubtedly, Indian Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms found a new lease of life once the Chinese-dominated short video App provider TikTok was eliminated from our country’s communication networks. As Indians were desperate to consume video content, especially in regional languages, domestic video App providers took the opportunity to fill the void left by TikTok.

OTT platforms are finding pace beyond the metros and are now experiencing growing adoption from people in tier 2 and 3 cities in India.

One among them is short video App provider, Chingari that has emerged as the most favorite among India’s TikTok fans. Chingari, notably, has been very quick to garner record download numbers that ran into a million in a short span of time.

Sumit Ghosh Chingari OTT

Sumit Ghosh, co-Founder and CEO of Chingari App says that on his platform about 148 million videos were watched and about 3.5 million videos were liked recently. The application also garnered 11 million users in a short time and is working hard to achieve a target of 100 million users by the end of this month.

While these are some impressive numbers in itself, Ghosh and his team are working doubly hard to further improve Chingari’s user experience. Ghosh is also working on fixing the bugs and is ensuring greater security in his application.

As the team is working on fixing bugs and improving user experience, Ghosh has made some observations on the user’s consumption pattern and has figured what works and what does not work in the business of video-based content delivery and the nuances in OTT.

The viewing habits of the audience have changed. Earlier, the content consumption was limited to cable TV and set-top box. But now, due to the increase in the number of smartphones, accessible Internet at cheap rates, and availability of various digital service providers, people have an option to access the media content of their choice, be it entertainment, information, or social activity, anytime, anywhere.

The real OTT video guzzlers

Sumit Ghosh has some interesting findings to share. He says OTT platforms are finding pace beyond the metros and are now experiencing growing adoption from people in tier 2 and 3 cities in India. Connectivity, access to the internet, low cost of mobile data, affordable smartphones are some of the major key factors that have revolutionized the OTT content consumption.

“Also, what ramped up the OTT consumption is the free content they provide. Also, with the launch of Reliance Jio in 2016 October, over 70 million mobile internet users with free high-speed 4G internet got into the mainstream. This helped the OTT players to enter the market with more confidence and helped them to increase the time spent on the platforms and add fresh new subscribers.

And, while there is a huge bandwidth available, and more telecommunication companies like Airtel, Vi, and BSNL are gearing up and providing low cost varied data plans to the users, there’s a huge scope for OTT players to bring large numbers of business potentials” says Ghosh.

The viewing habits of the audience have changed. Earlier, the content consumption was limited to cable TV and set-top box. But now, due to the increase in the number of smartphones, accessible Internet at cheap rates, and availability of various digital service providers, people have an option to access the media content of their choice, be it entertainment, information, or social activity, anytime, anywhere.

“We are under the impression that urbanities watch more online content, but surprisingly and on the contrary, almost 65% of the video consumption is coming from rural places. People who don’t have smart TV’s are using phones for streaming OTT content,” reveals Ghosh.

Also, there is a huge demand from Indian diaspora for regional content, and with the S-VOD being cherry on the cake, the OTT platforms can have a great opportunity in foreign markets, especially in countries like the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Chinese App ban paves way for an increase in subscription-based video on demand (S-VOD) model

Ghosh is certain that after the Chinese app ban, time was just ripe enough for Indian players to pave the way to the international markets using the subscription-based video on demand (S-VOD) model. Since global consumer spending on S-VOD is increasing rapidly, the chances of Indian OTT platforms getting a good response with this pay model are high.

Also, there is a huge demand from Indian diaspora for regional content, and with the S-VOD being cherry on the cake, the OTT platforms can have a great opportunity in foreign markets, especially in countries like the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.

The ban of more than 100 Chinese apps has generated a vigorous response from Indian Entrepreneurs. They are keen to fill the void and are introducing Indian alternatives to consumer-centric Chinese utility apps.

Tweaking content delivery plans and subscription charges are important

In order to match this OTT trend, the content delivery should be designed keeping several factors in mind. A solid content delivery network (CDN) is needed which helps your OTT content reach your audience in the most efficient way possible. Other pivotal factors are streaming quality, efficient playback experience, and viewer classification.

Therefore, to adopt an effective pricing strategy for large scale penetration of OTT platforms, flexible operational systems are needed that support regular iterations and lets one respond quickly to the changing preferences of customers.

Also, as the OTT has an over expanding content library, setting up data servers for storage and delivery is very important. Full compliance with IT security standards and content license agreements are other important things that need to be kept in mind for the content delivery, says Ghosh.

Adding further to his findings, Ghosh reveals, “If we particularly talk about India, here maximum households have a smartphone, but do not necessarily have Smart TVs to enjoy OTT platforms services. Therefore, to adopt an effective pricing strategy for large scale penetration of OTT platforms, flexible operational systems are needed that support regular iterations and lets one respond quickly to the changing preferences of customers.

You can create family plans, charge by the number of users or also allow group plans so that 2-4 users can create joint accounts and divide the subscription charge. Providing free trials or subscriptions for a week or month will also help to hook in the customers. It’s good to start with the basic and affordable pricing model that goes well with everyone.”

Gearing up to make for the world

PM Modi’s call for “Make for World” has opened business ideas to make India a global manufacturing hub. With 800 million people under age 35, this young nation will open gates for the new business to the brim and shine with optimism.

Ghosh and his team believe that Chingari being rooted in India has always been ready for consumers for the world. “We started to make for India, but Chingari as a short-form video App is also ready for the world. In fact, we are already witnessing users from across the world,” concludes Ghosh, who is soon expected to break the news on raising funds from yet to be known investors!

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