With more Indian millennials aggressively migrating to video-on-demand (VOD) platforms to watch premium content, JustWatch, a Berlin-based start-up, offers a search engine to help viewers find where to legally watch their favourite movies and television series online.
But, for an international over-the-top (OTT) content player vying to create a space and make it big in the Indian market, providing local content is equally important, said David Croye, Founder and CEO at JustWatch,
“If an OTT player wants to get big in India, providing Hollywood content alone can only be the start, local content is more important in India than in most other countries,” Croye said.
“When we looked at our visitors, we were pretty amazed to see that we already had over 500,000 visits from India. They were mostly coming from search engines and were trying to find where they could watch a movie or TV show online,” Croye added.
With JustWatch, viewers in India can easily compare the different legal OTT catalogs, such as Netflix, Hotstar, among others, as well as choose which service provider would be best for them.
However, internet infrastructure may prove to be a major challenge for JustWatch to establish a business in the Indian market, according to the JustWatch CEO.
“The internet infrastructure is still not fast enough when it comes to broadband access. So it will take a few years more until most people will be able to stream in high definition (HD) format,” Croye said.
“Thus, temporary downloads of streams and optimisation of the content for mobile devices is really important. JustWatch is built mobile-first and optimised for loading speed,” Croye noted.
JustWatch app, which is currently online in 25 countries and has over 25 million users since its launch last year, is available on both Google Play store and Apple store. While JustWatch aims to make viewing content less annoying and more valuable for users, as an international aggregator it also aims to make movie marketing a lot more efficient for advertisers.
“As the demand for streaming movies is huge and we want to bring more transparency to the market. our business model is to help movie studios advertise their content to the right audience,” Croye said.
To do this, JustWatch collects anonymous user data on movie taste and purchase behavior through its website justwatch.com and apps in many countries worldwide.
The corresponding anonymous user profiles are used to run highly targeted and efficient video advertising campaigns on mainly YouTube and Facebook for movie releases in cinemas, home entertainment and VOD.
“We always try to have a good mix between international VOD platforms like Netflix, Amazon Video, and iTunes as well as local providers like Hotstar, Hooq, and Voot,” Croye said.
“We already have a long list of smaller Indian providers we want to show on JustWatch in the future. In the weeks after the launch we will listen to user feedback and look at the data to decide which providers we will add next. We plan to add at least 5-10 additional OTT providers over the coming months,” Croye added.