In exchange4media Mobile Awards, 2017 – The Maddies, Uday Sodhi, Executive Vice President and Head – Digital Business – Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (SPN), forecasted that the Indian OTT space will remain ad-supported for a very long time.
He spoke about the challenges in the current OTT ecosystem. He quoted, ”In India, it’s an impossible task to collect money on an online service on monthly basis. The friction in payment is significant. It is slightly different from the rest of world, where paying for a subscription is part of people’s habits to get charged on their credit cards by vendors on a monthly basis. How many such services do we have in India? You don’t allow your electricity or a telephone company to do that. So how are you going to allow an entertainment company to charge you automatically on a monthly basis? So in future, I see this as an advertisement-driven business.”
Sodhi pointed out that in other parts of the world Video on Demand (VOD) is supported either by transactional (pay-per-view) or monthly payment like Amazon or Netflix. But in India, the ad-supported revenue model is unique, because the payment ecosystem is very different in India. So this part of the world will remain an ad-driven industry for quite a while.