COVID-19 Impact On Gaming & OTT Industry during Coronavirus Lock-down

Amid the nation-wide lock-down, OTT and gaming platforms are striving hard to meet the growing demand for fresh content. According to a recent survey by mobile marketing platform InMobi, 46% viewers are watching more content online. In yet another survey conducted by Hammerkopf found that OTT consumption prime-time has moved to 7 pm, as opposed to 10 pm-12 am before. The benefit of work-from-home is helping the OTT platforms cash in at record levels.

For instance, in the week of April 6-10, when the lock-down was in place, gaming traffic in India grew by 109.4 per cent (compared to February 24-28).

Also, OTT traffic surged a mammoth 198.68 per cent, hosting traffic (storage space and access for websites) went up by 62.78 per cent, ISP traffic increased by 54.38 percent, and social and online media grew by 27.1 per cent.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in traffic since the country went on lock-down,” said Ivo Ivanov, chief strategic & corporate development officer at Internet Exchange DE-CIX.“Homes are the new offices, people are streaming content during working hours,and the shift of traffic has been huge,” he added.

Girish Menon, Partnerand Leader – M&E, KPMG in India, says, “There could be a shifting of priorities as we progress to a new normal. The balance between work and family, wealth and well being might be re-evaluated with leisure – of which media and entertainment is large part – playing a greater role in our lives.

While at-home entertainment is taking the center stage,outdoor entertainment models like movies, theme parks have come crashing down due to the social distancing norms in place.

OTT Platforms Soar to an all-time High:

YouTube, which already enjoys a widespread popularity in India, has seen a 20.5 percent surge in subscribers during the lock-down. Having garnered over 300 billion views in the first quarter of 2020 growing by 13 percent since Q4 of 2019.

In a competitive OTT segment, Netflix and Zee5 emerged on top with more than 200 percent increase in interest for new content. Between March 24th and April 24th,Zee5 recorded 259 percent increased interest/subscription rate while Netflix saw 204 percent rise by firmly establishing their user base in India followed by Amazon Prime Video (189 percent), ALT Balaji at 174 percent, Jio Cinema at 161 percent, and the new entrant Disney + Hotstar at 149 percent.  

Subrat Kar, Co-Founder and CEO, Vidooly says, “The worldwide lock-down has resulted in significant shifts in audience behavior, specifically in terms of online content consumption. In such scenario, retention rate and watch time of videos will be the key metrics to filter and identify the best performing channels.”

After a scintillating year in 2019, online gaming continues to have its run. It has grown 12 percent in the lock-down, says the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF)

“Online gaming hasn’t seen any adverse impact since players are participating digitally unlike in physical gaming. Online card games and digital e-sports have seen a higher uptick in the past few weeks as people look for ways to pass time indoors. The volume of data going towards online gaming is also growing, and will continue to grow if this situation persists.”                

Gaming apps also topped new downloads on Android and iOS in Q1 2020.

For instance, India has seen a surge in the online gaming section from Ludo King to Tambola. The numbers recorded in the last two months are of record high in the Indian gaming history.

Between March 25th and April 10th Ludo King was among the top 5 most downloaded apps in India, which currently has more than 500 DAU with close to 350 Million downloads till-date.

On the similar lines with Ludo King, Uno,, House-party and Tambola and many more have become popular than ever before during this lock-down.

“The COVID-19 experience is likely to result in a long-term upward shift in the integration of digital technologies into everyday lives, with India’s digital billion trajectory likely to accelerate materially.”

The post pandemic world looks different from what it is until today!

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