With the number of Indian smartphone users increasing day by day, availability of video content is becoming important and hence, there is an immense scope of business growth in the Indian OTT/Mobile TV industry.
Dushyant Kohli, Head Growth, nexGTV speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s core focus today and its plans for the near future.
What are the key focus areas for nexGTV today?
As India’s largest subscription-led app, nexGTv is primarily devoted to enable an immersive and engaging platform to deliver highly tailored entertainment solutions to viewers around the world. Having been operational in the Indian OTT/Mobile TV industry since 2011, we have been amongst the pioneers of the space and intend to maintain our position as an industry leader by delivering innovative and relevant viewing solutions to the Indian consumer.
We have been expanding our international footprint in markets such as the UK, Australia, Canada and the US, which have demonstrated a need for India-centric content due to a strong presence of the Indian Diaspora.
To achieve this, we have enabled access to our diverse array of entertainment solutions to users in more than 140 countries through the nexGTv Android app. We are working to unlock a similar functionality in our iOS app in order to extend our content offerings to an even larger user base.
Our focus, at present, is also on introducing more technologically-driven apps which provide better video compression and enhanced audio quality at lower bit rates. This will allow users to save their mobile data, adding greater end-user value to our offerings and heightening the usage experience for our subscribers.
How do you see the growth opportunities in the Indian market?
Considering how rapidly digital technology is becoming an integral part of everyday life for the Indian consumer, the share of online video content in the total video-based entertainment viewing has grown from 49 percent to 66 percent over the past couple of years. There are, at present, 176 million OTT viewers active in the country generating revenues in excess of $500 million.
With the number of Indian smartphone users projected to cross 702 million by the year 2020, we can expect more than 100 million unique monthly visitors leveraging the digital medium to fulfill their entertainment requirements. As such, there is an immense scope of business growth in the Indian OTT/Mobile TV industry.
What is your go to market strategy today?
We believe in delivering diverse, high-quality and relatable entertainment options to our subscribers, which is why we have partnered with leading production houses such as Rajshree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, One Network Entertainment, HT Media Limited, Star Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and 9X Media Pvt. Ltd and secured worldwide digital rights to some of their most popular entertainment properties.
Apart from aggregating newer content, we have also been focusing on developing highly relevant, user-centric content such as ‘It’s My City’, India’s first mobiseries. Created by Fluence and produced in collaboration with global superstar Priyanka Chopra’s production company, Purple Pebble Pictures, and Endemol-Shine India, the 14-part series starring Priyanka Chopra as herself was a raging hit which managed to get 10 million views and counting on nexGTv’s web and mobile platforms and saw a total of 2 million unique users tuning in to catch-up on the series.
Moreover, we have also partnered with Imtiaz Ali, one of the most renowned and respected directors in Bollywood today, to launch our SPOTLight initiative, which has been unearthing new and exciting talent from all corners of the country and is receiving tremendous response from content creators as well as our viewers.
We are actively exploring more collaboration opportunities, both in terms of content aggregation and original content creation, with leading national and international players in order to add greater diversity to our platform offerings.
In a bid to provide ease of discovery and an immersive, highly relevant viewing experience to our users, we have also recently launched genre-specific apps such as nexGTv Kids, nexGTv News, nexGTv Comedy One and nexGTv iFaith. This move is aimed at granting our users with the most relevant on-the-go video viewing solutions that they can relate to and engage with, without having to sift through pages and pages of options before finding their desired content.
We are international and serving to customers across 140 countries through Google Play and iOS appstore. In Indian market we are reaching our customer through various means like social media marketing, BTL, Display/Google campaigns and through value adding marketing alliances with various wallets, coupons, operators, OEMs and other relevant players to offer our app to their users.
According to a report published by RBI, there are just 21 million credit cards in the country, which has a population of 1,300 million, using 900 million mobile phones. To make it easy and seamless subscribtion experience for variety of customers we have from different geographies in India, we have already partnered with leading mobile wallet players like PayTm and Oxigen Wallet in addition to our mobile carrier billing integration, which is a huge advantage we have in Indian market over other players.
Please share some of the big trends that are likely to redefine the OTT space in India?
As mentioned above, creation of original entertainment content is definitely picking up, with several OTT players now looking at collaborating with leading production houses to create exclusive content for their viewers.
There is also a tangible shift away from the run-of-the-mill shows and towards premium user-generated content, as can be seen from the highly encouraging nexGTv SPOTLight, which allows content creators to showcase their creative talents to our large base of viewers across the world.
We might also see a gradual focus on regional content, which will allow OTT players to deliver entertainment solutions that cater to the non-English speaking viewers in order to unleash the huge potential from regional markets and make them a part of the digital entertainment ecosystem.
There may also be a bundling of services between OTT providers and broadband/telecom service providers in order to tap into that segment of Indian viewership which is still dependent on traditional, appointment-based viewing model to meet their entertainment requirements.
What are your big USPs…. why should a customer go for your App?
At nexGTv, we pride ourselves on the richness and diversity of our content library, which consists of over 20000 hours of programming created in more than ten Indian languages. With over 150 channels and more than 2500 movies available, we ensure that viewers are always provided with tailored content that caters to their varied tastes.
We have a robust proprietary setup that integrates key aspects such as network, content sourcing and delivery infrastructure, and also have strong operator and billing relationships to support our operations.
Our push for original content – both sourced from independent content developers and created in collaboration from partner ventures – is also setting us apart within the Indian digital entertainment industry as a market leader and pioneer. Moreover, our integrated relationships with leading Indian telecom service providers give us another competitive edge.
We also ensure that we provide a highly engaging, immersive and seamless viewing environment to our users and add great value to their usage experience. Therefore, we have focused on strengthening key areas such as app aesthetics, convenience, customer knowledge & understanding, UX/UIs and payments further distinguish our offerings from our competitors.
This focus on tech as a service enabler and market differentiator has also led to the development of some highly innovative end-user solutions. Our revolutionary Save Data feature is one such development. By putting users in control of their viewing experience and allowing them to manually toggle between ‘Performance’ and ‘Data Saving’ modes, the Save Data feature allows users to streamline their data consumption and derive the maximum value from their network data subscription.
Our recent app revamp also introduced several unique, first-of-their-kind features such as Quicky & NonStop News etc, further heightening the browsing and viewing experience for nexGTv users. Other developments such as Picture-in-Picture (PIP) and Rich Media EPG have also helped us in delivering tailored entertainment solutions in a highly engaging, interactive environment.
How do you want to make sure that you have customer stickiness and also gain brand loyalty?
Technology, as mentioned above, is one of the key focus areas; we are fostering consumer loyalty by delivering a highly engaging, seamless and value-driven viewing environment for our users. Our recent tech innovations, such as Quicky and Save Data, help in delivering a richer user viewing experience and greater convenience through our platform, while we also revamped our mobile app to make content discovery and selection simpler and more intuitive.
Moreover, in order to keep up our market differentiation, we have started developing more original, user-relevant content that matches the evolved taste of today’s digital viewership. Our collaborations with leading Bollywood personalities such as Priyanka Chopra and Imtiaz Ali, as well as our focus on nexGTv SPOTLight to bring forward unique and engaging user-created content, underline this commitment.
We will be looking to enhance our offerings through more such developments and further entrench our position as an industry leader. Our paid subscriber base of approximately 1 million and counting is proof enough for prospective viewers regarding the strength of our content and the quality of user experience. Our app has had more than 25 million downloads since its launch, and we have an average of 2 million viewers visiting our platform on a monthly basis.
Please share with us your challenges that you are facing in the Indian market?
The biggest challenge for us, and for any mobile TV/OTT video content provider looking to capture the Indian market, is poor internet connectivity. It is almost paradoxical that India has the second-largest number of internet users in the world at a time when more than 65% of its population still does not have access to internet connectivity.
Furthermore, a significant majority of the people with internet connections still rely on obsolete technology such as dial-up and 2G, impacting the quality of service delivery for OTT players and the end-user viewing experience. However, with the introduction of high-speed broadband connections and 4G-LTE networks is steadily changing the internet landscape in India, things are gradually expected to change for the better.