Hyderabad/New Delhi: The improvement in average Internet speed in India over the last few months is spurring growth in the Over-The-Top (OTT) sphere and may bring about a behavioural shift among Indian consumers, industry players have emphasized.
OTT, or the delivery of video content via Internet, is looking up as Cloud delivery platform Akamai's latest "State of the Internet Report" indicates that the average speed has dramatically improved in the last 18 months from a 3-odd Mbps to a 6.5 Mbps.
Though the Internet speed in India is still at just a third of the global average, industry experts feel the optimal data speed, coupled with friendlier data costs, will lead to higher OTT growth.
According to a recent report from market research firm Media Partners Asia (MPA), the OTT market in the country is expected to cross 100 million unique monthly users by 2020.
According to the experts, content creators now focusing on developing smartphone-enabled content will bring a behavioral shift in nearly half-a-billion data consumers in the country.
From a base standpoint, India has already overtaken US estimates and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) suggest that the number of Internet users was 462 million in mid-2016.
Of this, over 300 million access the Internet only through mobile devices. The US has 290 million internet users, but in a population of 323 million.
"India today has transformed into a mobile-first economy; affordable smartphones and internet are making inroads into the very hinterlands of India and hence provide colossal opportunities for OTT players. Users of today demand content that is personalised and remotely accessible," Abesh Verma, COO, NexGTV, told IANS.
"We also believe that at the upper end, smart TVs will be adding to the changing consumption and behaviour patterns as they start replicating the more user-friendly mobile interfaces," Reddy added.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) are seen as game changers in the OTT space. VR devices are catching up and can completely alter the viewing experience of the consumer.