The top six metros in the country contribute only about 10 per cent to the overall OTT audience base, but about 33 per cent to total paid subscriptions in India, as per a report by Ormax Media. With a large share of the 20 per cent year-on-year growth coming from small towns and rural India, OTT players will have to rely on smaller towns and rural regions for the next phase of growth, it added. 

According to the Ormax OTT Audience Sizing Report 2022, the OTT audience base is pegged at 423.8 million users.  “This translates into a penetration of 30 per cent, which means that 3 out of 10 Indians watched online videos at least once in the last one month,” it added.

There are currently 119 million active paid OTT subscriptions in India, with 49 million paying — subscription video on demand (SVOD) — audiences. This means an average of 2.4 subscriptions per paying audience member. Nearly 65 per cent of these paid subscribers are male. Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru alone have more than 8.5 million active paid subscriptions each.

Shailesh Kapoor, Founder and CEO, Ormax Media, said: “India’s OTT audience universe has grown rapidly since 2018, with a boost during the pandemic year of 2020. A large share of the 20 per cent growth in audience base has come from rural India and small towns. The metro cities have reached saturation levels, with more than 79 per cent OTT penetration. Platforms will have to rely on the smaller markets for the next phase of growth.” 

“From an SVOD perspective, the most significant finding has been that the average number of subscriptions has remained static at 2.4 per paying user. This data point holds immense strategic value, as it suggests that subscriptions growth will come from more people paying for subscriptions, than the same people paying for more subscriptions,” he added.