Video streaming platforms are leaving no stone unturned to attract audiences. From producing originals to getting a wide variety of content on board, over the top (OTT) players are trying every formula to penetrate deeper into the Indian market where internet subscribers are growing at a fast pace. In fact, internet subscribers grew 28 percent from 446 million in December 2017 to 570 million in November 2018, according to an EY 2019 report.
Thus, OTT players are now focusing on building categories to attract the niche audience to expand their consumer base.
Earlier this week, ShemarooMe, the digital arm of Shemaroo Entertainment, which has been in the business of content creation for decades, forayed into a new category – Astrology.
This is another category addition for ShemarooMe this month after announcing the launch of Marathi category. The platform now has seven categories.
For the newest category, ShemarooMe has bought 50 percent stake in Dominiche Productions which has 400 hours of content covering predictions, numerology, tarot card reading, vastu shastra, among others.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Shemaroo Entertainment CEO, Hiren Gada said: “We have overall taken the strategy that as the digital consumers grow the audience will be more and more segmented and have sharper preferences in terms of needs of different types of content. Hence, we have been exploring different categories.”
With this partnership, ShemarooMe will tap into one more niche genre.
“The idea of the strategic partnership is where they get access to our distribution network and we get access to one category that is astrology. Till now there has been no strong offering on the astrology side especially no neutral offering there are individual astrologers,” said Gada.
ShemarooMe is not alone in building categories to reach out to more viewers. Eros Now seems to be attracting the urban audiences by offering on the go short format content.
According to them, there is a decent amount of content viewing during travel time which is not necessarily a form conducive to 6-8 hours of binge or even film watching. Plus, no single platform where curated, high quality short form content in the country was available and to fill this gap, Eros Now launched Quickies.
In 2017, one of the top 10 emerging trends in the online video consumption space was that viewers preferred shorter and crisper content. Reports suggest that 85 percent of the internet audience prefer content that is 10 minutes or under.
Probably, this is why even Voot came up with shorter, crisper content with a new category called Shortcuts.
But why is category building important for online video platforms?
“When we were say 50 million video consumers, the users were coming from top cities even the socio-economic bracket was in the top bracket. So, the content preferences could have been more homogenous. Now that we are 300 million we are penetrating in terms of geography, socio-economic, age group. So, various demographics. Also, when the number of audience grows what also happens that many segments which were not viable because of the numbers they have become viable because the numbers have grown significantly. Now is the time when segmentation is possible,” explained Gada.
While OTTs are constantly trying new concepts to woo viewers, they are still at a nascent stage. And this means only good news for audience that will have more innovations to look forward to.(Disclosure: Voot and Moneycontrol are part of Network 18 Group)