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HT’s OTTplay turns aggregator with new premium platform

HT’s OTTplay turns aggregator with new premium platform
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
9 Jun, 2022
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OTTplay, the recommendation and content discovery platform for streaming services, launched last year by HT Labs, HT Media’s innovation hub, has turned into a full-fledged aggregator with OTTplay Premium. OTTPlay will host 12 Indian and international video streaming services.

The platform has onboarded SonyLIV, ZEE5, Lionsgate Play, Sun NXT, ShemarooMe, Curiosity Stream, ShortsTV and DocuBay streaming services, besides the four international brands -- Hallmark Movies Now, DUST, FUSE+ and Tastemade+--that were so far unavailable in India.

OTTplay subscriptions will work across iOS and Android devices and its website. Content will span nine Indian and international languages, 18-plus genres and more than 20,000 shows. With the launch of OTTplay Premium in Mumbai on Thursday, consumers can access their favourite content from 12 different OTT platforms through one single subscription.

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At the launch event, OTTplay’s founder Avinash Mudaliar said it was a tech-first product that aims to resolve consumers’ pain points. “We specialize in curation, aggregation, recommendation and hence personalization. With the launch of subscriptions on the OTTplay app, we now have a better understanding of our viewers’ preferences through not just their stated preferences but also their actual consumption patterns, and we are very excited to see the step-jump in the accuracy of our personalized OTT recommendations across platforms, genres and languages,” he said.

The platform’s aim is to enable consumers to spend time watching their favourite content rather than searching it. Recent user surveys have revealed consumers’ strong need and intent to pay for bundled subscriptions that would enable them to directly stream content on a common OTT destination, given the tricky navigation between apps.

“It was only logical to transition into the aggregator space and democratize the experience of consuming streaming content,” Mudaliar said.

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The five subscription packs that OTTplay Premium offers are: Jhakass (offering five Hindi OTTs) Totally Sorted (eight English OTTs), Simbly South (four OTTs focused on south Indian language content), and Chota Pataka (offering five assorted OTTs). These are priced starting at ₹50 per month. Annual payments for these services could result in significant yearly savings compared to how much a user would pay for buying these OTT subscriptions individually. Apart from retaining original viewing quality, the platform will help users discover titles across multiple OTTs besides access to OTTplay’s curation of show ratings, reviews, interviews of stars and the latest OTT-related news, it said.

To be sure, several emerging aggregator services have sprung up to host OTT platforms in India’s cluttered online video market.