MX Player will have a technology-first approach in 2022
Nikhil Gandhi – COO, MX Media
The year 2021 can be signified as a transformative year for mankind where technology reigned for audiences to stay connected, entertained and played a vital role in ensuring productivity. There is no denying the fact that technological advancements will remain pivotal to the success of any business in the near future. And its significance in the OTT industry is much more relevant now than ever before.
The unprecedented lockdowns in the aftermath of the pandemic restricted people to their homes. In such times, OTT remained a go-to-option for the people to stay entertained and allowed them an opportunity for individual viewing of new content types that are now emerging as the new mainstream. This substantial shift in consumption patterns of the viewers allowed OTT players to offer fresh narratives to watch and introduce advancements in new technologies to ensure a seamless entertainment experience for the viewers.
As a pioneer in the Indian streaming service industry, MX Player has witnessed a dramatic growth in viewership in an evolving OTT market that is backed by affordable data, new technologies, increased internet penetration, and smartphone adoption. But this is just the beginning. With more consumers accepting and appreciating diverse content in varied genres, 2022 indeed holds great promise for the OTT market and at MX Player, we are bullish about introducing technological advancements with a futuristic approach.
Invest in technology-based innovation – The success of any product largely depends on customer behavior and preferences. Thus, today, businesses are finding more suitable cases for the use of AR/VR and AI in brand building. It is the next wave of innovation across industries where AI and virtual or augmented reality form the basis for analyzing human behavior. These technologies have evolved from being used for a sole entertaining purpose to robust product design and even as a marketing tool. Businesses now have the opportunity to get access to more user-centric data with advanced personalization options, thanks to the evolution of such technology.
To have a stronghold in regional markets, OTT companies are investing in making interfaces more user-friendly, allowing for videos to play even on patchy internet connectivity in remote areas along with customized recommendations based on the language and location of the customers.
At MX Player we realize the potential of uninterrupted services to win the loyalty of our customers, and this can only be achieved via incorporating tech-based innovations. In this regard, to overcome inconsistent internet connectivity in India and the fact that a lot of users have caps on data they can consume daily, MX Player has become the world’s first OTT platform to upgrade its video encoding and compression technology to H.266 (Versatile Video Coding) that slashes data usage for streaming videos by more than half.
Increase our user base across geographies globally – The diversity of India leaves enough room for almost every existing OTT player to expand globally. While a lot of Indian celebrities have a global recall, Indian OTT content is also slowly gaining global recognition. For Indian OTT platforms, it is indeed just the beginning. MX Player, being a pioneer in the online streaming industry possesses the capability of becoming a global giant especially with the kind of downloads the platform has achieved. It is the highest video consumption platform today which is second only to YouTube in India and has achieved the phenomenal 1 billion download milestone on the app store in a very short period. With such an impressive response from the audience, MX Player aims to expand its horizons globally in the coming years.
Invest in new content formats and produce high impact shows – With the recent 360-degree shift in audience demographic in the Indian streaming service industry, the OTT platforms are diversifying their original content offerings by experimenting with newer genres. Audiences today prefer relatable, inclusive, and impactful content. OTT platforms are investing in creating fresh content in both films and shows keeping in mind the diverse audience base India has. In addition, film stars who were earlier reluctant to be part of OTT platforms in the pre-pandemic phase are now extremely open to being a part of the OTT landscape.
At MX Player, we are very bullish about introducing new content for our audience. In 2021, we had a great run with shows like Samantar 2, the second season of Ek Thi Begum, and the high decibel show called Cartel. Recently, we also launched Matsya Kaand that has crossed over 100Mn views and counting within a month of its launch so all of these were high traction shows which drove newer audiences to the platform.
We are the only OTT platform in India that has a diverse repository of shows and movies in varied genres and offers international shows in regional languages to our diverse base of audience.
Drive new monetization levers with SVOD and direct to consumer monetization – The OTT industry has observed a major increase in the number of OTT players in recent years. However, in India, a constant tug of war is going on between OTT and traditional TV as modern content consumers are rapidly moving away from time, place, and device-dependent content sources like traditional cable or Linear television. It has resulted in the majority of them competing for the same set of customers with very little to separate from each other.
While content quality on offer is always going to be the ultimate decider, having convenient OTT monetization models for different sets of targeted customers is always a plus point. OTT monetization mostly revolves around video-on-demand (VOD) models. Here users pay for pre-recorded and uploaded or live stream content on an OTT platform. Subscription video on demand (SVOD) services is the largest OTT revenue source since 2016 by overtaking ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) services. We recently announced MX Gold (MX Player’s subscription VOD service) and we’re the first “feature based subscription” product amongst other OTTs that aims to provide a better viewing experience for our consumers. Viewers have to pay less than Re.1/day and they get to stream MX Originals/ Exclusive series and movies ad-free as well as an early access window for a select set of shows. In the future, we will continue to add more features to fulfill this need gap.
Establishing MX Player as a truly global tech player – MX Player has always followed an India first approach where we focus on creating premium content exclusively for Indian audiences that they can binge for free. However, in 2022, we look forward to focusing on and remaining a technology-first business in the market while providing quality content to their viewers. Our content is based on three different layers that powers our user base—Technology, Diversity, and the Ability to target users who want to watch quality content.
We are well on the way to accomplish the target of being India’s entertainment super app with all our diverse entertainment propositions like games, music, short video, and online streaming being available on the same platform.