Netflix & Disney+ Hotstar account for 78% of SVOD revenues in India, after surge in subs

Bombay Begums

Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar accounted for 50% of all SVOD subscribers in India in 2020 and almost 80% of subscription revenues in the country, according to data revealed today.

The findings, which come from Omdia’s latest 2021 Online Video Market and Consumer Trends Report, found that online video subscriptions revenue grew by 142% in India in 2020 primarily due to the global pandemic, with SVOD revenues rising from $265m in 2019 to $639million at the end of last year.

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Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix accounted for 78% of the total online video subscription market revenues. Omdia said Disney+ Hotstar had tripled its subscriber base from 8 million to 25.6 million subscribers in the past year, with growth partly due to the bundling of Disney+ and Hotstar.

Netflix, which has launched shows such as Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy and local originals including She, also grew its subscription base, rising to 4.4 million subscribers up from 2.4 million in 2019.

Originals investment

Omdia said rights to foreign titles and sporting events had contributed to the “significant growth in revenues and subscribers”, but added that the increased focus on investing in original Indian language content was also increasing.

Made In Heaven

Netflix and Amazon Prime, which has launched shows including Made In Heaven, will spend around $340m on original Indian content, Omdia said, representing 52% of the total investment in 2021. The research also predicts that close to 400 original titles (mostly series and films) will be produced in 2021 by the global and Indian OTT services.

Most of the investment being made is directed towards original content in Hindi, with around 65% of total spending. The Indian market is also in the midst of regulatory upheaval, with streamers facing a clampdown on the types of shows being produced.

Mobile-first focus

Omdia said a key factor in the growth had been aggressive pricing models for both services. Netflix launched mobile only subscription packages in 2019, reflecting the fact that 82% of online video services are accessed through smartphones with only 39% accessing content through dedicated TV apps, according to the research powerhouse.

Disney+ Hotstar, meanwhile, offers three content packages at different price points and has partnered with large telcos such as Jio Reliance, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India to deliver more subs.

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Omdia said it expects that mobile only subscriptions will continue to grow over the next couple of years, but that the medium faces challenges from traditional pay TV services as it aggregate OTT video services within plans.

Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, principal analyst for TV & online video for consumers at Omdia, said the Indian OTT market  was “steadily growing its foothold in every direction.”

He added: “The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth rate of an already dynamic and robust OTT market. The basic elements that will propel the market to further growth in the near future are already there: very affordable mobile broadband prices, high penetration of smart-phones, a population eager to consume more content, an ever-growing investment in Indian originals and a plethora of choices with more than 40 OTT services operating in the country.”

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