With the largest young population in the world and improving data services, India is only behind China in the internet penetration rate. In a country where people spent more than five hours daily on average consuming media, digital media houses are trying to lure customers with attractive offers. However, identifying the most feasible business model is challenging. Many leading players adopted a hybrid monetization model where a lot of free content is available alongside paid-premium content. In 2019, the digital media market in India was valued at over 220 billion Indian rupees and was estimated to almost double by 2022.
From global giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to local platforms such as JioTV and SonyLIV, video streaming services have flooded the Indian market with tons of international and local entertainment. The availability of Indian content, western shows, and live streaming of popular sporting competitions has given Hotstar a tremendous success.
Audio streaming services were not behind. Various music and podcast streaming apps like Spotify and Gaana have gained significant popularity. The revenue generated from the audio streaming subscriptions in India amounted to one billion Indian rupees, estimated to reach nine billion by the fiscal year 2024. YouTube contributes significantly to music streaming in the country, with T-Series being among the most viewed channels worldwide. Challenges in this market include relying on free, ad-based services. However, the infancy of the market assures greater adoption in coming years, especially compared to global audio streaming markets.
While streaming is a disruptive innovation that not only revolutionized media consumption and entertainment in India, placing the consumer on the driver's seat. With the competition expected to be fiercer, consistent, highly adaptable, and high-quality services will define the market’s future.