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Betting on bundles: Why OTT aggregators are becoming all the rage

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Sohini Mitter

33 reads
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Sohini Mitter

33 reads

India has more than 60 OTT services in 13-odd languages. The market is increasingly fragmented, making content accessibility and affordability difficult for users. Enter OTT aggregator platforms that are streamlining this space with content bundles at attractive prices. What’s the endgame?

April 03, 2024

10 MINS READ

Key Takeaways

  • The increasing multiplicity of choices in online entertainment has birthed the need for streamlining of content providers
  • India's top OTT aggregators are run by telcos (Airtel, Jio, Vi) and DTH operators (Tata Play, Dish TV) that already have existing tech, distribution, and customer relationships
  • These aggregator platforms typically bundle 20-25 OTT services in a singular, affordable plan for users; they run on a revenue-sharing model with their content partners
  • Indian audiences are already lapping up OTT bundles, especially in semi-urban and rural areas, where there are more active subscriptions via aggregators than on standalone apps

Last week, telco major Vodafone Idea unveiled its Vi Movies & TV app in an all-new avatar, offering users a wider content library, a sleeker user interface, and more affordable plans. Vi has turned its existing content platform—the app originally released in 2016—into a snazzy video-streaming marketplace. It offers 13+ OTT apps and 400+ live TV channels, which users can access on multiple devices via a single log-in. 

“India is watching content like never before—multiple formats, multiple subscriptions, and multiplying hours on the screen every day. However, this unlimited choice also brings fatigue and complexity,” Avneesh Khosla, chief marketing officer of Vi, said at the relaunch. 

It is this increasing multiplicity of choices in entertainment viewing that calls for streamlining and aggregation, and Vi is the latest to cater to the rising demand for curated OTT marketplaces in the country. At last count, India had nearly 10 players jostling for mind (and wallet) share in this segment. The most prominent OTT aggregation platforms have been floated by telcos and DTH operators, who already enjoy distribution and scale, and are now building a content layer on top of that. 

These include the likes of Bharti Airtel’s Xstream Play, Tata Play’s Binge, Dish TV’s Watcho, Reliance Jio’s JioTV+, Vodafone Idea’s Vi Movies & TV, and HT Media Labs’ OTTplay. Then there are global aggregators like Amazon’s Prime Video Channels (present in 19 markets), and a slew of independent homegrown platforms such as PlayboxTV and YuppTV Scope that have partnered with thousands of cable operators and local ISPs to reach users beyond India’s large cities. In a nutshell, OTT aggregation is a vibrant flea market today, and consumers must hunt for the best bargains.

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