Chinese tech giant Alibaba is said to be exploring an over-the-top (OTT) video service (or a media service delivered over the internet) in India in the coming months, according to multiple persons aware of the development. The timeline for the yet-to-be-named product is said to be “the next three months”. The service is likely to be powered by two of Alibaba’s key divisions in India: Paytm*, the Indian payment company where it is the majority stakeholder, and UCWeb, a subsidiary of Alibaba’s media and entertainment business. “It’s an obligatory play [the OTT]. The global player does it, so we have no option but to follow it,” says a senior Paytm official on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Alibaba to launch an OTT video service in India
The video service will be powered by Paytm and UCWeb, besides technology from its native OTT app in China, Youku Todou
Several senior Alibaba officials from China have been visiting India over the last few months to scope the market and meet content creators and production houses in Mumbai
For its OTT, Alibaba could use user generated content, something which has been a focal point of its content efforts in India through UC Web.
Beyond Alibaba, other Chinese technology companies are looking to India as their next big mass market. These include Tencent, Jinri Toutiao and Bigo (YY) among others
Video consumption, most notably premium content and short video content, have exploded in China over the last 18 to 24 months, alongside live-streaming