OTT content platforms are changing our behaviour and many love the convenience and the selection offered by the OTT content platforms like Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. The onset of COVID 19 accelerated the adoption of the OTT platforms, but the adoption was not uniform across the board and we witnessed some interesting trends during the last 9 months or so.
Below is a chart that shows how popular the OTT channels have been since December 2019, and how they compare to each other.
We have broken down the time into phases to understand the trends better: pre-Covid, during lockdowns, and post lockdowns.
Phase 1: Pre Covid (Dec ‘19 to Mar ‘20):
- Hotstar was the highest due to the release of movies such as Housefull 4, Tanhaji, Bala and shows such as Ye Hai Chahatein.
- Also, there were many sporting actions that drove users to Hotstar.
Netflix and Voot lagged Hotstar by a margin.
Phase 2: Lockdowns due to Covid 19
- Netflix shot ahead of the rest due to their Mobile-only Exclusive Plans, more variety, new genres, better quality of content and more local content offerings. ‘Feud’, ‘Guilt’, ‘Extraction’ and ‘She’ were some of the most popular searches on Netflix during this period. International serials like Fauda and Money Heist were also released during the COvid lockdowns and were a hit.
- Amazon Prime also had interesting releases like Panchayat, Patal Lok & movies such as, Angrezi Medium, Thappad on Amazon Prime Video which was released in April. This drove a lot of interest in the channel.
- Hotstar flattened out as all sporting action was suspended as Netflix overtook Hotstar at the beginning of the Covid period.
- Voot and Zee5 interestingly competed very closely to each other.
Phase 3: Post Lockdown period
- Hotstart bounced back due to revival of the sporting action, launch of Disney+ Hostar, release of Sushant Singh Rajput's last movie 'Dil Bechara' & other highly awaited Bollywood movies which premiered exclusively on this platform. IPL this year is again set to get a lot of interest.
- Netflix started weaning off as there were no new significant releases.
- Voot has been gaining a lot more popularity than Zee5 due to Bigg Boss. Very interestingly, Voot had more interest than Amazon Prime Video in October.
The Final Verdict:
While it is fairly visible that Hotstar is India’s most favourite OTT platform, Netflix isn’t that far behind making it India’s second most favourite OTT platform. Hotstar took a beating in the lockdown phase but it bounced back strongly. Amazon Prime, Voot and other OTTs seem to be more dependent on their specific programs like Patallok, Big Boss to drive traffic and interest to them.