Abhishek C. Mane, General Manager Technology, Fearless Media, Pvt. Ltd
"Video consumption habits of the viewers are changing. Internet access is becoming more widely available. The cost of connecting is decreasing and more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities."
Over time, as humans have started learning and evolving, they have only prioritized their comfort. We have seen man create many things, from the first spark to induction stoves and carts to high-speed cars. Along with comfort, they have given importance to time and money.
Innovations in any sector have evolved around three principles- ease and comfort; time saved; and money saved.
The news and entertainment sector started with printing magazines and daily newspapers. Further they evolved to linear based television media. Soon when humans thought of using their time more wisely, they introduced options so that you may need not wait for your show to be aired.You were given a choice of recording it on your boxes. But to attain more comfort they were aired on websites and called webisodes; it was now when things were able to be viewed as and when possible.
This Technology was in the veins of the industry from a long time but the conceptualization of giving it a firm platform wasn't available.
It was always said Necessity is the mother of invention.But today comfort has become the reason for innovation.
Video consumption habits of the viewers are changing. Internet access is becoming more widely available. The cost of connecting is decreasing and more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities.
All these factors are driving audiences towards OTT content and simultaneously freeing us from cables, geographic restrictions, and broadcast schedules and fundamentally changing the way video is sold, produced, and consumed. As consumers, our connections and experiences are increasingly seamless, but underneath the technology a range of business models limit and enable our access to content. Service providers have also come up with options to make their content available offline. Same had been introduced with a virtue of saving on your data consumption cost.
Introduction of VoD has triggered a switch from the age old traditional way of entertainment which we once called TV.
An OTT service or rather a VoD service has been classified into 3 different types, SVOD, TVOD, and AVOD.
Subscription based VoD (SVOD).This service lets you enter into a subscription agreement with the service provider, which in turn grants you access to the service. This service will continue to work until you fail to renew your subscription knowingly or unknowingly. Usually most services operate with either monthly or annual subscriptions. In the traditional cable operator pattern the minimum lock down period was at least 6 months to 1 year. So ideally SVOD provides the subscriber with a feasibility of opting out from the services at the end of immediate cycle.
Transaction based VoD (TVOD).This service is very different from SVOD. Ideally TVOD does not charge you anything for signing up or creating an account with them. They only charge you for the content you consume. Most often it is observed that it is related to movies or TV series. These services usually offer most recently released movies & TV series on the web platform. They also prove to be cost effective. You only pay for what you consume.
Advertisement based VoD (AVOD). As the name suggests, this service is advertisement based. So ideally the content is free, whereas the monetization here is generated from the Ad's and commercials between and around the video.
Present and Future
Looking at the priority OTT has been gaining; in this race most likely the business models will change or rather evolve with the change of technology or customer consumption habits. Rather than visiting a cinema hall, we might put on our VR glasses and experience the movies being released simultaneously on web platforms along with the box office, thus adding one more platform. Last but not the least; OTT is the future of the M&E and Communication industry.