Media companies will need to create content for a consumer who demands entertainment in a location

Sitting in the meeting room on the 18th floor of the Marathon Futurex building in Lower Parel, Mumbai, Punit Goenka, Managing Director and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE), is visibly excited, having completed the merger with Sony after nearly three months. of late nights and tough negotiations spanning Mumbai, London, Tokyo and Los Angeles amid a legal standoff with Invesco.

“We are creating a future-ready company that will deliver top-notch content across all platforms,” Goenka said. “The merged entity will have 75 channels, 2 OTT platforms and a presence in more than 190 countries. Although I believe that for the foreseeable future India will remain a linear and digital market, investments in digital will increase dramatically. NP Singh, Managing Director and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), who joins via video conference, said, “Now is the right time to build a next generation media business with size, scale and collaboration. global. ”

As major changes take place in the media in terms of content creation, consumption and purchasing, executives like Goenka are making bold bets to be on the right side of history.

The media landscape is facing a major challenge from major technologies. Businesses will need to be multichannel, multiplatform and multidevice ready, and products such as news, movies, TV shows, games and concerts will need to be redesigned.

Operating in a hybrid ecosystem, they will have to create, aggregate and deliver content for a consumer who wants to be entertained on demand – when they want, where they want, and accessible on their preferred medium. “This is the convergence update we talked about. There is a mix of genres and mediums, ”explains Jehil Thakkar, media and entertainment leader, Deloitte.

Media companies will have to adapt to this new market reality. Experts say they will have to implement the phygital model in India. “Newspapers will bring together physical and digital products. The films will be shown online and in theaters. Episodic content will be launched online and on linear television. The games will be both live and virtual. It’s about segmenting to maximize reach, ”says Ashish Pherwani, Media and Entertainment Leader, EY India.

Interestingly, media consumption is increasing by leaps and bounds, and no generation in history has consumed as much media as we are today.

According to a report released by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Boston Consulting Group, India’s media and entertainment sector will grow at a CAGR of 9-11% to reach $ 55-70 billion by 2030.

Even if the sector is developing, it is changing.

Take the video streaming platforms, called OTT. According to the RBSA report, India’s OTT video market is expected to reach $ 12.5 billion by 2030, up from $ 1.5 billion in 2021.

And companies are trying to catch the eye. Netflix India has a long list for 2022. “There will be 1 billion internet connections by 2025. India likes having entertainment in its pocket, but India also likes to consume entertainment on all possible devices. We need to be available to people wherever they are and offer them what they want to watch. We want to keep a very consumer-centric approach, a very entertainment-centric approach, ”says Monika Shergill, vice president (content), Netflix India.

Although OTT players are currently attracting a number of users, multiplex owners are confident about the future of the exhibition industry as the market becomes fragmented. Ask Ajay Bijli if people will always go out to watch movies. “There will always be a segment that likes to stay home for whatever reason – comfort, reluctance or cost. But luckily we are in a very populous country, and the majority of my consumers are between 12 and 39 years old. They want to get out, ”says Bijli, president of PVR.

In the last two years of the pandemic, screen time has increased exponentially and content providers have offered a rich array of offerings.

“Almost all of the broadcasters have aggressively created digital front-ends to serve on-demand and linear services, social media-based content packages and so on. Brand new genres of movies and features have emerged. Driven to the wall by the fall in ads, many traditional content players have taken steps to offer subscription-based digital content services that they otherwise would not have tried, ”said MK Anand, Managing Director and CEO of Times Network.

“So we took the new operational conditions like a laboratory. (Times Network is part of BCCL, which also publishes ET.) As the television and film industries grapple with tech-related disruption, the pandemic has forced the events industry to consider a model hybrid: smaller venues and concerts broadcast online.

Ashish Hemrajani, CEO of BookMyShow, said that on a global scale, the intersection between virtual and on-the-ground entertainment is emerging in an interesting way. “The big trend that has the capacity to change the way we experience entertainment is the intransigence between the virtual consumption of an event such as a music concert or sporting event and the event on the ground via devices. laptops / smartphones, ”he says. He believes that non-fungible tokens have the potential to be a game-changer in the live entertainment industry.

WHO WILL LOOK AT THE DATA?

Industry executives say the new era media business will be much more digital, data-driven and process-centric than ever before.

“Having user profiles, easy navigation and smart recommendations, including based on the preferred languages ​​of customers, are all very important to making the streaming experience personalized and enjoyable. The key is to super serve our customers with more of what they love while giving them the joy of serendipity, discovering amazing new content that will absolutely surprise and delight them, ”said Gaurav Gandhi, Country Manager, Amazon Prime Video India.

Media businesses will also become more interactive. There will be more content like Netflix’s 2018 interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Meanwhile, one industry that has seen a meteoric growth trajectory has been gaming, and experts believe that time spent gaming will rival the time spent on OTT apps for 16-24 year olds. Akshat Rathee, MD, Nodwin Gaming, says, “Esports could become the top three sports in India in terms of audience and prize pool in the years to come.

Experts also say that the success of the market will largely depend on the ability of media and entertainment companies to make the most of the data that resides and is generated in their businesses. And that leads to another problem: data privacy. “Businesses need to balance the act of collecting data so that the benefits outweigh the risks. Only then will they earn and maintain the trust of customers, ”said Sreeraman Thiagarajan, CEO of Agrahyah Technologies.

To earn and maintain the trust of consumers, media companies will need to create effective solutions to combat disinformation, hoaxes and propaganda across multiple platforms.

The big media giants will face multiple challenges while creating new content strategies in a rapidly changing environment, but the winner will get a greater share of views as well as revenue.


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