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    All you need to know about OTTplay: HT Media’s major digital investment

    HT Media revealed that it had accrued ₹ 40 Crores loss in Operating EBITDA for its digital wing in its latest financial result. They attributed this loss to investments made towards one of its digital verticals, particularly OTTPlay, a subscription-based OTT aggregating service.

    In the previous quarters’ earnings call, HT Media revealed that it had made about ₹70 Crores worth of investment into OTTPlay. These major investments into OTTPlay, reveal HT Media’s interest in diversifying its revenue streams and its faith in the profitability in the OTT space. Here’s all you need to know about OTTPlay and HT Media’s ambitions for it.

    What is the business?

    In 2021, HT Media’s product innovation hub, HT Labs launched OTTplay, a content aggregation platform, wherein customers can sign in to the platform to access all the content available across various streaming platforms partnered with OTTplay. Additionally, OTTplay works as a “content discovery and recommendation platform” that curates content based on a user’s preferred language, genre, etc. For now, OTTplay offers customers access to content from 38 streaming platforms including SonyLiv, Zee5, ULLU, etc.

    In the Q4FY23 earnings call, HT Media Groups’ CFO Piyush Gupta stated, “From a consumer standpoint, consumers are very frustrated that they have to navigate multiple platforms to decide what to watch…..The subscription people have to pay for individual platforms, it’s a very costly proposition. We are trying to solve all these problems from a customer’s point of view by bundling multiple OTTs and serving them on a single login.”

    How does HT Media get access to content?

    HT Media pays content fees to various streaming platforms for access to their content, they explained in their Q2FY2024 earnings call. They negotiate contracts to pay content providers on a fixed payment cycle. They also confirmed that these contracts were not “revenue linked” and would not be affected by changes in subscriber numbers.

    What is HT Media’s strategy for OTTplay ?

    OTT aggregation services are not new, with Airtel Xstream Play, Jio TV+, and Tata Play Binge also providing these services.

    These platforms, like Jio and Airtel, have an advantage as they are data service providers that provide access to multiple OTT platforms as a bundle. However, HT Media believes that OTTPlay has an advantage, as their customer acquisition costs are much lower due to their existing audience. HT Media maintains that it’s likely to acquire customers through the online, offline, cable, digital, and OEM channels.

    They also stated that, according to their research, this service would address a gap in the market for customers, specifically those from a lower socio-economic background who still access cable and do not have access to OTT services. They believed they could reach these markets through their various channels and provide access to OTT services at an affordable price.

    Also Read:

    HT Media earnings call Q4FY24: Profit margins increase from decrease in printing costs

    News Broadcasters and Digital Association Critiques Draft Broadcasting Bill for Overregulating OTTs

    Earnings report: Netflix to Cease Reporting Subscriber Additions From Q1 2025

    The post All you need to know about OTTplay: HT Media’s major digital investment appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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