India has more than 30 over-the-top video brands, but there will now be one less after Hong Kong-based Viu has announced that it is exiting the market.
According to the Economic Times, employees at the company told the publication that “Arun Prakash, chief strategy officer of Viu told the employees that the company has decided to fold India operations.”
The Indian OTT market is incredibly competitive, with global players like Netflix and Amazon vying for audiences from local leaders like Hotstar. According to RedSeer, data from 2019 revealed Hotstar had over 300m users, Amazon Prime had 13m and Netflix 11m. Viu sits at around the 13-14th most popular OTT service in India.
It has been reported that Viu’s middle-player status was the reason behind pulling out from India, as Viu wants to focus on markets where it is among the top 5 OTT properties.
According to the report, employees believe the closure of the India office comes because Viu was unable to compete with the level of investment that companies like Amazon and Netflix are pumping into India.
“Netflix and Amazon are spending $5-10 million on one show in India, and we had a total content budget of $15 million. Even the marketing budget that was given to us was just $8 million. You cannot create a big OTT play with such a low budget,” an employee told ET.
India has become an important market for Netflix, where it is testing new pricing structures for emerging markets, including a mobile-only subscription at a cheaper rate.