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A paradigm shift

A paradigm shift

Digital entertainment has taken the country by storm in recent times. Society has witnessed the transition from traditional cable connections to DTH services. The latter streamlined customer-distributor-broadcaster interaction and earmarked the provision of channels and movies at user's disposal. Then came Over-the-top (OTT) services which went mainstream 2018 onwards. OTT services changed the market equation altogether. Providing film and TV content via the internet without requiring users to subscribe to DTH services and hence entirely bypassing a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content. The key OTT players – Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Eros Now, JioTV – became a threat to the television providers only in the sense that they offered online streaming of all those flicks which otherwise were as good as premium provisions of these operators. The only essential prerequisite was the internet. The Internet brought attention to the data, its availability, and its consumption. For those who have not paid heed to India's data leap, it may set in as a surprise that India, today, provides the lowest rate in the world for Mobile Data – mere Rs 18/GB aggregate – against a global average of Rs 600, as per the price comparison analysed by Cable.co.uk. Much of this is credited to the market upheaval that Jio brought upon its entry with data-based telecom services. Cheap data single-handedly boosted the OTT players' morale for a wide business prospect, especially with the potential numbers (subscribers) that they could garner from India. So, Netflix and Amazon Prime extended their services to India, riding on the back of the telecom providers to aid their outreach and establish themselves. The telecom players coupled OTT services with their packages and priced them accordingly to accrue benefits to whichever length possible. Now, Netflix is testing mobile subscriptions of Rs 250 against their traditional plans ranging from Rs 500 - Rs 800 which is apparently expensive for India's price-sensitive market. Netflix's mobile subscription plan directly builds upon the smartphone base of India that has risen exponentially and expeditiously. India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China with 430 million smartphone users. Simple math justifies Netflix's move. The advent of OTT services and robust compliance from telecom fishes has bolstered the country's data consumption – a win-win situation for both the stakeholders in the fray. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc., have facilitated, first a need and then a market of, India-focussed and shows. Sacred Games took the country by storm and more flicks based on the region, and available in languages, have stormed Indian market and captivated wide public interest. OTT platforms' outreach brings the international audience to a trove of Indian shows based on diverse issues and available in distinct languages.

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