Technology

Photo Feature: Catch the action in motion 

Remember the days when you waited patiently for videos to load on your smartphone? You don’t? Hardly surprising. That was before high-speed 4G services were launched, and for some before data was as cheap as it is today. A part of the credit goes to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who launched Reliance Jio in 2016. Jio’s dirt-cheap data has made 4G accessible to more people than ever before. Earlier, few people used 4G on their phones; most smartphone users were on much slower 3G or 2G and they used their data rather judiciously because of high data rates.

Jio changed all that. It not only provided access to fast Internet to millions of users but also disrupted the telecom game completely. The cheap data revolution sparked a flurry of activity on the content side. Streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime, and most recently Spotify, have all found their way to India with an eye on the massive untapped population expected to be on the Internet in the next few years. While Hotstar was the first major player, home-grown over-the-top (OTT)companies like ALTBalaji, ZEE5, Voot, SonyLIV,and Eros Now have flourished in the past few years, churning out show after show to feed the growing content-hungry population.

With the availability of cheap data and the proliferation of smartphones, people got off the proverbial couch and are watching films, shows, news, and sports anytime and anywhere. At home; on buses, trains, taxis, and airports; and even while camping in remote forests or mountaintops. India has the world’s second-highest number of Internet users after China, with around 570 million subscribers, growing at a rate of 13% annually,says the latest EY-FICCI report on India’s media and entertainment sector, ‘A billion screens of opportunity’. Fortune India looks at how cheap data has changed the video-watching experience.

10 GB: Estimated monthly average data consumption per smartphone in 2019 in India with the availability of cheap data driving demand. 
10 GB: Estimated monthly average data consumption per smartphone in 2019 in India with the availability of cheap data driving demand. 
>30: The number of video OTT players in India. Global giants are signing deals with local players for expansion. 
>30: The number of video OTT players in India. Global giants are signing deals with local players for expansion. 
₹1,350 crore: Revenue generated from digital rights of movies in 2018, compared with ₹850 crore in 2017. 
₹1,350 crore: Revenue generated from digital rights of movies in 2018, compared with ₹850 crore in 2017. 
890 million: The estimated number of smartphone users in India in 2022. 
890 million: The estimated number of smartphone users in India in 2022. 

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Photograph : Narendra Bisht