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OTTplay aims to acquire over 50 platforms by end of year: Avinash Mudaliar

OTTplay serves as a cost-effective channel for OTTs to acquire new customers and enables the discovery of content from niche platforms, Avinash Mudaliar, Co-founder and CEO, OTTplay, said

Avinash Mudaliar

OTTplay solves the challenges of abundance, price, personalisation and recommendations for users by offering a one-stop destination for discovering content across multiple platforms and by doing so it provides convenience and savings, Avinash Mudaliar, Co-founder and CEO, OTTplay, said. 

Moreover, as per Mudaliar, OTTplay serves as a cost-effective channel for OTTs to acquire new customers and enables the discovery of content from niche platforms. By providing personalised recommendations across languages, genres and themes, the platform tackles the issue of content discovery amidst marketing clutter.

Mudaliar said, “OTTplay was launched in May 2021 and when we started we were trying to solve a very important problem which was what and where to watch. Over 60% of the people were struggling to figure out what to watch and where. Furthermore, this number went up. That is when we started realising that over 80% of people do not get the right recommendations regarding what they should be watching.”

“Almost 15-17 minutes are spent trying to figure out what and where to watch. So, we recognised these problems and came up with the solution,” he added. 

Furthermore, he went on to say that today OTTplay has over 10.5 million users and unique visitors. The platform’s recommendations are deep, going to the level of language.

“So, people were pretty happy with what we were putting out and they started asking us that instead of only telling them and enabling them to discover new content, why don't we build one platform and put all the content there. So, we ended up moving into where to watch, how to watch and how much to pay for it,” Mudaliar stated.  

Later, OTTplay launched OTTplay Premium, making it a one-stop OTT destination by enabling users to not only discover content but also directly stream it through the purchase of a bundled subscription pack. 

“So, this way we solved a large problem and today we have a very sizable number of subscribers. Currently, 19 OTT platforms are available on OTTplay Premium and the aim is to acquire over 50 OTT platforms by the end of the year,” Mudaliar said.

Furthermore, he went on to say, “Every OTT has a cost per acquisition. It can go up to Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 or Rs 4000 so OTTplay becomes that bridge for conservation and consumption for the partner. Hence, we have our own deals with OTTs, that is how the whole ecosystem is built.” 

OTTplay Premium has five annual plans and three-monthly packs. Chota Pataka is the smallest pack for Rs 699/year. Jhakaas and Simply South are for Rs 1199/year, Power Play is for Rs 2499/year and Totally Sorted is priced at Rs 1199/year.

OTTplay solves for abundance, price, personalisation and recommendations

Mudaliar said that there is a difference between an OTT aggregator and an OTT redistributor and both of them are present in the ecosystem. There are players in the market who just pick up coupons from deal sides and then recirculate them to internet service providers (ISPs) and as a result of which the user experience is not great. 

“From a consumer's perspective, aggregation enables a one-stop destination for people who are discovering content on multiple platforms. Why will you download multiple OTTs on TV and phones multiple times when you have one stop to watch everything there? Secondly, our largest pack named Power Play has 19 OTTs which is for Rs 2,499 per year which is around Rs 200 a month. This is less than any other monthly subscription packs (as compared to OTT platforms). If you are buying all the 19 OTTs separately, the cost of it would be Rs 21,000 per year. So, you are making a saving of Rs 18,300 by just buying our pack. We are basically solving for abundance, price, personalisation and recommendations,” he added. 

“There can be so many shows where OTTs can put marketing money but they always invest in content. For example - If an OTT puts out 15 shows in a year, they promote only two shows then how do the other shows get discovered? That is when the aggregator steps in. Therefore, OTTplay enables discoverability for both the OTT and the user,” Mudaliar stated.  

Mudaliar also believes that the discovery of content in the noise of marketing clutter is making it extremely difficult for users to figure out what he wants to watch.

“We solve that by providing personalisation and recommendations not only across platforms or OTTs but across languages, genres and themes. As a result of which, you are able to get what you want to watch in a limited period of time across various OTTs. We also build for multiple platforms and we are a very TV-first kind of consumption system. At the end of the day, OTTplay or aggregators will become that normaliser and democratiser of content,” he added. 

OTTplay diverges from the DTH ecosystem, setting itself apart from other OTT players

Mudaliar also stated that not having any legacy or baggage is working out beautifully for OTTplay.

“Other OTT players are actually the players who come out of the DTH ecosystem or who are married to broadband. But for me, it's a fresh start without any baggage. We have built a product which sits on any broadband or ISP and provides service to the user. Our focus is the end user. It is similar to what Spotify did to music, it was not married to any broadband connection and that is the kind of ecosystem we are trying to build,” Mudaliar said. 

“Also, our recommendation system comes from over 60+ OTTs and all OTT-related content like news, trailers, ratings, reviews, exclusive interviews, podcasts, and more. So, we are literally the voice of OTTs when it comes to India. We also specialise in curation and hence our personalisation is very deep,” he added. 

He shared that OTTplay has a strong customer retention management system and there are dedicated teams “whose job is to literally see who is consuming what, our notification strategy, how many recommendations have the user clicked, how many shows the user watched based on our recommendations, and more.”  

“We capture way more than that. We need to strive to keep the user so engaged that he doesn't need to think of another option. User delight is our number one key performance indicator (KPI),” he stated.

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