India's Massive OTT Potential: Marketing to a Diverse Mobile Video Audience in the 5G Era

Jamie Crick, Managing Director, APAC, 12.01.23

12.01.23 Jamie Crick, Managing Director, APAC

An enormous opportunity

As 5G rolls out across India, OTT brands have a major growth opportunity to reach the country's enormous - and still expanding - base of mobile video viewers. However, to effectively market to this massive potential audience, brands must be mindful of the relatively low rates of paid subscriptions and think a little differently when targeting audiences across India's diverse regions.

In India, the world's newly most populous nation, most people are already online. But now, with over 600 cities newly having access to 5G, the opportunity for OTT brands in the country is truly accelerating. Currently there are 600 million mobile video viewers in the country, but this number is expected to surge past 800 million as 5G rolls out yet more widely, predicted to be pan-Indian by March 2024. Plus, with data now 200x cheaper than originally predicted, the bottom socio-economic half of the population have leapfrogged TV and gone straight to mobile video viewing.

How can OTT brands leverage this massive potential audience?

Firstly, as a percentage of GDP, advertising spend in India is around one quarter of the USA's equivalent, so there is plenty of room for growth in paid media. However, relative to other advanced markets, the proportion of the population who can or will pay for multiple entertainment subscriptions is small, so addressing this audience efficiently is all the more important.

We target those already comfortable with paid subscriptions (for example, Prime subscribers via Amazon Ads) or ecommerce in general (e.g., via ecommerce stores or payment platforms) and consider the contextual environment and content preferences of the audience to best match those of our OTT clients.

Getting creative with... creative

The preponderance of consumption via the smallest screen has an impact creatively, and while many Indian viewers will happily watch a feature length movie on a mobile screen, the medium lends itself to shorter format video ads.

We use audience research to inform the creation of short-form video that motivates action in both social and pure video environments. For a recent client, we focused on the genres and titles we knew our target prefers and included limited time price messaging for this generally cost-conscious audience, which incentivised action.

Earning impressions

With over 100 million creators, India is a fruitful environment for earned media. Many of those creators are based in smaller towns and cities, so we collaborate with influencers to reach diverse parts of the country in all the languages our OTT clients' content is available in, building trust and relevance with populations across regions. Endorsements from and partnerships with celebrity talent, such as in entertainment media and sports, also hold a lot of weight with Indians, who as of Q3 this year are 18% more likely than global gen pop to have watched or listened to an influencer online in the previous week (per GWI).

In conclusion

The opportunity in India for OTT brands is at an inflection point. With strategic and creative thinking, it's a market where brands can unlock unprecedented growth. Want to know more about how we approach this large and diverse market? Get in touch.

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