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Television Business in India has a New Competitor This MD says the more OTT players enter the Indian market, the better it is for the industry to grow

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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India is witnessing an upsurge in digital content consumption, which has made Over-the-Top (OTT) players shift their focus to the country, luring more clients with good content at cheap rates.

The OTT players deliver audio, video, and other media content on the Internet without involving a multiple-system operator (MSO) in controlling or distributing the content.

Global players Netflix, Amazon Prime and their Indian counterparts Hotstar and Voot have gained considerable market share in 2016, owing to various factors like smartphone-penetration and low-cost internet plans.

Entrepreneur India spoke to Shabir Momin, MD & CTO of to understand how Indian OTT players are facing a stiff competition from their global brothers and are striving to gain more traction.

Set up in 2009, ZengaTv brings with it diverse content in different languages that include entertainment, news, movies, music, regional, shopping and lifestyle channels.

Roaring Success of Zengatv

"After my exciting previous venture, I wanted to do something in the mobile phone space at a time when the mobile technology had just started taking shape with 2.5G bandwidth. We were not yet smart then. But I knew, this is the future and everything, including entertainment, would move to a handheld. I started working on the encoding tech and we tasted success when ZengaTV debuted with IPL in 2009," explained Momin.

The More OTT Players, The Better Is The Market

Momin emphasized that the more OTT players enter the Indian market, the better it is for the industry to grow.

"We are also partners to global players like Amazon for certain projects. We are the launch partner for Amazon Fire and our content and app are embedded in their devices.

We were already their partners in other countries before they came to India. I believe more players will only improve the market as it is far from saturation now," he stressed.

The consumption of OTT services has shown a significant increase in India and Momin is positive that the operators are here to stay.

With time, the services will move to wearables, holographic and may transition to something like the magic-leap tech.

OTT Services Are Need Of The Day

Momin reasoned that OTT services were the need of the hour and more and more operators were disrupting the Indian landscape.

"TV programming has not evolved a lot and the need for a differently created and programmed content is very high. This kind of content is called made-for-internet content. It comes with two important factors like convenience and flexibility of watching whatever, whenever and wherever. The availability of greater bandwidth and smarter devices are making the transition to the new mode smoother and faster," he added.

He affirmed that the OTT market was bound to grow. The viewership is shifting from linear (TV) to playlist mode, especially for those who do not want to search content. The video-on-demand feature, especially for the Internet-content, is a big draw.

"Competition is always healthy. It shows that we are in the right space and also channelizes the burden of creating awareness in the market and it only helps grow the market," he added.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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