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A booming industry with growing influence

Tasfiah Elias Khan
14 May 2024 18:13:23 | Update: 14 May 2024 18:46:00
A booming industry with growing influence
— TBP Photo

Over-the-top (OTT) platforms are rapidly transforming the entertainment landscape in Bangladesh. These internet-based platforms deliver content directly to viewers, bypassing traditional cable and satellite television.

This article explores the burgeoning OTT industry in Bangladesh, analysing its growth, economic impact and potential challenges.

While concrete statistics on Bangladesh's OTT market size are scarce, industry reports suggest rapid growth.

A report by Media Partners Asia predicts that the Bangladeshi OTT market will reach $142 million by 2025, with a subscriber base exceeding six million. Bangladesh's rising internet penetration rate is fuelling this growth.

As of January 2024, over 130 million people in Bangladesh are internet users, representing almost 80 per cent of the population. This vast and increasingly tech-savvy audience presents a fertile ground for OTT platforms.

The Bangladeshi OTT market features a mix of local and international players. Local players like Binge, Bioscope and Chorki offer a mix of Bengali content and dubbed international shows. International giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are also present, catering to a demand for global content.

The OTT boom is creating new jobs in content creation, production, marketing and technology. This can contribute to economic diversification and skilled workforce development.

Platforms are providing new avenues for filmmakers, actors and other creative professionals, potentially revitalising the Bangladeshi media industry. Subscription fees and advertising revenue generated by OTT platforms also contribute to the national economy.

The Bangladeshi OTT industry is poised for continued growth.

By addressing challenges like piracy, fostering innovation and ensuring accessible internet infrastructure, this industry can become a significant driver of economic growth, job creation and a vibrant media landscape in Bangladesh.

Here are some potential areas for future development.

Investing in high-quality local content that resonates with Bangladeshi audiences will be key to attracting and retaining subscribers.

Local OTT platforms can explore expansion into neighbouring countries with similar cultural and linguistic connections.

Utilising emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality can enhance user experience and engagement.

The future of OTT in Bangladesh is bright, offering immense potential for entertainment, economic development, and creative expression.

By fostering a supportive environment and tackling emerging challenges, Bangladesh can ensure this industry flourishes and empowers the nation's vibrant entertainment landscape.

The author is a student of the Mass Communication and Journalism Department at Dhaka University.