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India offers a huge opportunity for OTT (Over-the-top content) players, bringing diverse content on one platform.
In broadcasting parlance, OTT simply means streaming audio, video, and other media content on the Internet without involving multiple system operators (MSO) to control or distribute the content.
2016 witnessed a number of global entrants like Amazon Prime Video India and Netflix, entering the OTT space to take the competition to a new high.
In a chat with Entrepreneur India, Abhesh Verma, COO, nexGTV shared his insight into the impact of 4G revolution and the growing OTT space in India.
Verma joined nexGTV with over 16 years of work experience in several industries, such as entertainment, e-commerce, SEO, advertisement, venture capital and real estate. He was previously associated with the digital entertainment portal Saavn and Saavn Interactive as its Chief Growth Officer and CEO.
"Basically, nexGTV is the flagship entertainment app of Digi Vive Services Pvt Ltd. Digi Vive started as an Internet Protocol television platform (IPTV) for BSNL in 2011. We had to put that product on hold because BSNL had problems in last-minute deliveries. That was the time when nexGTV was born. We were the first ones to bring IPL to mobilephones on 2G and 3G networks," added Verma.
The app currently streams over 155 Live TV channels with movies, TV Shows and videos in multiple devices -- be it mobile, tablets or laptop/PCs.
4G Revolution Transforming OTT Space
"In 2014 we had to halt the functioning of nexGTV app as we waited for the arrival of 4G plans in India to relaunch our product in a better version with a new design," he said.
That year the company had the rights to broadcast only tennis tournaments and it had to let go the same for cricket matches.
"In 2016, we completely redesigned the product and launched it worldwide. Earlier our product was only for Indian audience, now it is available all over the world for which we had to redo the CMS at the backend," he added.
NexGTV is again redesigning its platform prompted by Jio's entry in India, followed by a new set of OTT players stepping into the market.
Promising Future of OTT Players
Verma stressed that with increase in the consumption of digital content in India, the growth potential for OTT players has grown manifolds.
"India is just beginning to grow. The 4G revolution has arrived and now the data plans are so much cheaper compared to what it was earlier. I remember paying INR 500 for 1GB per month a few years ago, but now Reliance Jio is offering 2 GB per day at a very minimal price. Smartphones, apparently in tandem with new data pricing trends, have also become cheaper with many additional features. Currently, the OTT market is ready to adapt and take on these products to use it on a daily basis," he added.
Tie-ups With Smartphone Makers Don't Really Help
"Last year we saw many OTT players tying up with smartphone makers for exclusive content for their consumers. NexGTV has also partnered with many such Indian companies because most of the Chinese handset makers don't make such deal," Verma reasoned.
He asserted that he always judge his business strategies by the end result. "I haven't seen much change in the app's user base after the tie ups. It's like there are many apps in Samsung and Apple phones, which users don't use. But if they feel the need for a particular app, they will install it," he said.
Verma carefully drew home a point that differentiates nexGTV from other OTT players.
"The fact that we have our bandwidth coming into our data centers makes us different from other players. So any user who is on Airtel operator will come through Airtel pipe further eliminating the multiple processes," he concluded.