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The gaming industry recorded a 49% increase in the number of minutes spent by Indians playing games during March 2020, revealed the third edition of the Indian Over-the-Top (OTT) Platforms Report 2020, published by MICA Ahmedabad. Released in association with Ahmedabad-based start-up Communication Crafts, the report found that consumption of content on OTT platforms was the highest by men, especially in the age group of 15-24.


The report, which analyzed data shared by Comscore, an American media measurement and analytics company, showcases the OTT's ever-changing ecosystem in India's Media and Entertainment sector and the challenges and opportunities that await content creators and platforms in these COVID times.


The report, prepared by MICA's Centre for Media and Entertainment Studies (CMES), captures trends between April 2019-March 2020 across 26 OTT platforms such as video, music, gaming and news. It also predicts the smartphone users in India to touch 925 million by 2023. The report also mentioned that Indians consumed 33% more porn during the lockdown, which is a 10.5% increase globally. While the audience is predominantly male, the share of women viewers also increased during the lockdown.



In terms of gaming consumption, Indians played games for 63 billion minutes, against 42 billion minutes in March 2019, recording a 49% increase. Simultaneously, gaming consumption reached 4 hours 5 minutes in the week of April 25, 2020.


The clear leader among all the players goes to the male members between 18 and 24. PUBG recorded a significant interest shown by women of the ages 18 to 24, who play the game 1.5 times more than women of ages 25-34. Within just the first ten days of March 2020, Ludo King's user base went from 3.7 million to 9.5 million, crossing the download numbers of PUBG. Ranked as the number 1 gaming app on Android and iOS, Ludo King earned $300,000 purely in March 2020 and has almost reached 19 crore monthly active users post the lockdown.


Candy Crush recorded the highest unique visitors in March 2020, increasing almost two times against 2019. Subway Surfers recorded twice the percentage of the male population in comparison to women.



'Comedy' was the most preferred genre by Indians in 2020. According to the report, MX Player was the highest consumed platform after YouTube. The genres consumed heavily on various platforms were crime, sex, religion, food, and other drama content. After MX player, people chose Hotstar, followed by two streaming giants (Netflix and Amazon Prime video) and Jio TV, the homegrown sleeping giant.

There was an increase of 19% of people being connected digitally in 2020. As against 3435 million people connected digitally in March 2019, the same was 5677 million digitally in March 2020. The music streaming platforms also recorded an increase of 39.6% increase.


The top ten movies people watched in March 2020 included - The Lion King, Extraction, Angrezi Medium, Bhoot Part 1, Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan, Tanhaji, Frozen, Avengers Endgame, Aladdin, Bala, and Frozen II.



For all the OTT platforms, the consumption of content was the highest by men. For Netflix, the total male viewers almost doubled the total female viewers. Maximum viewers belong to the 15-24 age group, and least viewers belong to the 6-14 age bracket.

For Amazon Prime, most subscribers are males aged 18-24; they are almost double the females in the same category. The least audience traffic is in the female age group 25-45. Surprisingly, Ullu, which offers the majority of erotic content, has the maximum audience in male and female categories in the age group of 15-24 years.

For Hotstar, the total male audience is 1.5 times more than the total female audience. Among male viewers, 37% fall under the age group of 15-24. Since many of the series aired on MX Player is adult-centric, it has attracted more than twice the number of male viewers, again between 15 and 24. YouTube in India is primarily consumed by men between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34, while the maximum consumption by females occurs in the 15-24 age group.

Interestingly, for Voot, the scenario is different. Close to 51- 52% of the audience on Voot is now female. Around 65% of their audiences now come from tier 2-tier 3 markets, whereas the total male population of Voot is almost 1.5 times more than the entire female population.


Zee5 has witnessed a significant upward shift in visitors on the app and the website in early 2020. The kids' content available on Zee5 has also managed to garner substantial traction from children between the ages of 6-14, mostly younger boys.



The report states that the creators are using a new hybrid formula to ride the wave, and the game for originals is on with Tier II and III hinterland audiences influencing the growth of OTT. The sector focuses on regional markets and stories with regional plots and content with series like Panchayat, Jamtara, Lakho Mai Ek, Paatal Lok, Mirzapur Apharan, to mention a few.


The report also highlights trends in the news and information segment, music applications, and podcasts.


Dr. Shailendra Raj Mehta, President & Director, MICA, Ahmedabad, said, "The Over- The-Top (OTT) Platforms Report 2020 developed by MICA, encompasses in-depth research and analysis from an Indian perspective and is one of its kind. The report shows how the growing awareness among Indians of self-reliance and the gradual weaning away from foreign influences has influenced the Media and Entertainment domain's consumption patterns.


In a way, this has led to a rapid shift towards commissioning more and more original content in Hindi as well as other regional languages."


Dr. Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA, Ahmedabad, said, "In the post-pandemic era, the Media and Entertainment (ME) sector companies in India are responding well by developing and integrating digital strategies for culturally relevant ad content-based storytelling. They are better connecting with digitally-enabled consumers to create meaningful experiences for the long-term relationship building. The OTT ecosystem in India is also responding well to creative business opportunities in the regional language markets.”


Dr. Darshan Ashwin Trivedi, Editor, Indian OTT Platforms Report, said, "Indian OTT Platforms Report 2020, delayed due to COVID-19 remains true to its promise. We have added segments like Gaming and Music OTT to this year's report. We have also been able to add a special segment of primary research conducted by MICA on content consumption patterns during the lockdown time."


Mr. Chirag Dagli, Director, Communications Craft, said, "If there is one industry that has come out a winner from this painful pandemic, it's the OTT industry. And this while the overall entertainment space has taken an adverse hit much like most other industries. The reason lies in the fact that the platforms have taken full advantage of insights emerging from usage analytics in understanding consumer tastes, preferences, and likings. As a result, all major platforms are bursting with amazing content."


Mr. Bhaskar Das, Group President, Republic TV said, “Every moment in history significantly alters the human landscape and brings with it changes that remain in effect long after the moment has subsided. The global pandemic which has engulfed us has initiated changes in our habits across living, working and entertainment. Owing to the lockdown necessitated by the pandemic, and the lack of outdoor entertainment options, television and mobile screens have become the savior for entertaining the stay-at-home population.”


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