The fate of over the top services and digital publishers in COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put most of the industries into a standstill. Against this backdrop, the media industry, especially OTT platforms and digital publishers are enjoying robust growth and never – like – before the boom.

The introduction of OTT platforms has highly disrupted the way in which content was used and consumed. It was in 2018 when the Indian audience started paying more attention to these platforms and today there are about 40 services in this platform providing “real” content. The current lockdown has shot up the average time spent on these platforms from 20 to 50 minutes and has also multiplied the subscriber’s count of video streaming services. There has also been a consistent drop in the cord-cutters resulting in the increased marketing spending towards streaming platforms. The digital publishing segment including e-papers, e-magazines, online publishers, etc. has also seen tremendous growth in this situation.

There are various roadblocks that these OTT and digital publishers face during this time. eg: Workforce working from remote locations, they face low internet connectivity along with problems like how to access enterprise applications, firewall concerns, changing market, fight against credential abuse and content scraping, and prevent downtime from deployment updates or hack attacks, which cannot be ignored.

While the OTT has enjoyed much boom, delivering uninterrupted and flawless viewing experience still remains a constant bug. With the increasing first day releases, it has become very important to safeguard the contents available here. Though the Indian audience is accustomed to paying charges, screen sharing is also an option that is widely adopted here. Other issues include cyber-attacks, screen recording, content theft, etc.

The result of lockdown helped the OTT platform’s consumption of content skyrocket but the technology is still an underdog in this situation. Superfast and smart technological production, starring encryption, cloud, compression, CDN & decoding remain the key tech assets, providing a strong foundation to build upon. The platforms are trying to improve the technology by heavily investing in these areas.

 In the coming months with the increase in traffic and remote access, the OTT and digital publishers should come up with more innovative and cautious ways of working.

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