OTT players taking sachet route to mass market

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on April 15, 2019

A simple idea of launching small one-time use shampoo sachets helped Cavin Kare trigger a retail revolution in the late 90s and opened the doors of the massive rural market for other brands too.

This strategy is now finding resonance among video streaming platforms, particularly Over-the-top (OTT) content providers, which had so far focused only on the urban markets.

Also read: It’s curtains for videos as OTTs enter drawing-rooms

SonyLIV on Monday launched a new sachet subscription pack of ₹29 that allows users to access all content for seven days.

Following extensive research to understand the viewing patterns and paying sensibilities of the digital consumer, SonyLIV has introduced sachet subscription. There are plans to follow it up with more variations later, the company said.

“Inclusion of live sports in our premium offering reinstates our effort to give digital consumers the best assortment of content at affordable prices. Keeping in mind the convenience and value proposition for our consumers, this announcement is a step ahead in our commitment of emerging as the biggest sports destination in India,” Uday Sodhi, Business Head, Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, said.

More join the bandwagon

According to the latest BCG Report, the Indian OTT industry will expand to 40-60 million paying subscribers by 2023.

The share of SVOD (subscription video on demand) will rise to almost 32 per cent of the total revenue.

Hotstar, on the other hand, is already cashing in on the IPL fever by offering an all-sports package for ₹25 a month. The pack is meant for sports enthusiasts who would perhaps not be willing to pay ₹199 for a broader content package.

Zee5 is also working on several new packages to get the most out of the consumers preference for budget offerings.

“The Jio Phone and Reliance Jio have ensured that everyone has access to data today. Even in rural areas, people are watching a lot of video content on a Jio phone that costs practically nothing. This has created a huge opportunity for us and for advertisers,” Tarun Katial, CEO at Zee5, said.

Such sachet packs also ensure that consumers get what they’re looking for at a reasonable cost so that they don’t go out looking for pirated content.

So, if someone wants to watch Game of Thrones, they can subscribe for a week or a month and binge- watch it.

The sachets ensure that even such users are able to pay for quality content.

Growing trend

Sachet packs are finding favour even among global content providers.

For example, Netflix, the largest video streaming platform in the world, for a long time has shunned the idea of cheaper content packs for the Indian market. However, in the last one month, even Netflix is seen testing out sachet packs starting ₹65 a week.

Also read: Achhe din for over-the-top entertainment

That is nearly a tenth of its average subscription cost that most consumers pay per month in India for the service.

“Trying to be too niche is a tough choice to make in India, where people are not easily willing to pay for content. Sachet packs allows users to pay a small amount for the content as and when they want to watch. It becomes easy on the pocket for the user and allows service providers to test out their acceptance in a wider market,” a Mumbai-based analyst said.

Published on April 15, 2019

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