Specials

Digital success via differentiated content, good story-telling, partnerships

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/26/Vidnet%202016.jpg?itok=DqiOFLhB

MUMBAI: Bollywood, Hollywood and sports content will certainly get you traction, but ultimately well thought out differentiated content, partnerships with platforms and targeted audience will not only get the eyeballs, but also return on investment for content creators on OTT platforms.

This was the over-arching message from content creators and OTT platform operators at the session on content paradigm at Indiantelevision.com-organised conference related to OTT here yesterday, aptly themed Vidnet 2016.

The panel included Abhimanyu Singh, CEO, Contiloe Entertainment, Mahesh Narayanan, MD, Saavn, Salil Kapoor, MD, HOOQ India, Uday Sodhi, EVP and Head Digital Business, Sony Pictures India, Varun Mathur, Co-Founder and Director VEQTA, Viviek Bhargava, MD and CEO iProspect and Yash Patnaik, Founder, Beyond Dreams Entertainment.

The session’s basic underlying theme, highlighted by moderator Anil Wanvari, Founder and Editor-in Chief, Indiantelevision.com, revolved around the type of content that could work in the digital world while keeping in mind the needs of advertisers, agencies and investments.

The variety of online content is vast, Sony’s Sodhi said, adding since the ecosystem is fairly new, consumption is from television content catch up. “There is a fair demand for movie viewing, including short films,” according to him as he pointed out sports too is majorly consumed by OTT subscribers.

However, Sodhi was candid enough to admit that presently in an evolving eco-system it cannot be said with guarantee what works and what does not.

As SonyLiv depends a lot on streaming of sports content on the platform, a question was raised whether programming differentiation on major OTT platforms was needed and also whether a global player like Netflix, focused on fictional series and movies, needs to re-strategize in India.

Pointing out that OTT platforms ultimately will come out with their strengths, Sodhi said, “We come with a huge legacy of sports. We believe it works well for us and gives us an automatic connect between our users on TV and digital (platform), acting as an entry point for consumers.”

While Sony Liv is banking on sports, HOOQ is finalising plans to launch in India as a VOD platform.

Educating the uninitiated that HOOQ is a joint venture amongst Sony Pictures TV, SingTel and Warner Bros., HOOQ India chief Kapoor was of the opinion that the new digital evolution is about “pull and not push” and, therefore, “good content will get pulled (by consumers).”

“All sorts of stories and entertainment can co exist in this (digital) space,” Kapoor said, adding that the criteria for success in the digital world were quality of content as people appreciate good content on every format.

As per HOOQ, the criteria to measure the success of engagement is not downloads (of an app), but continuous engagement and number of active users.

However, the experts on the panel did agree that since there is more television content, `catch up’ is a big issue presently. The next step ought to be and should be engagement of consumers with original content and the players are experimenting with that as to what’s relevant to digital natives.

For example, Saavn, the music streaming app, has its own formula to engage audiences. The strategy for audio players is to package their content differently to provide a unique experience.

Sharing the company’s varied ways of consumer engagement, Saavn’s Narayanan said an interesting property the company created was Saavn Live where live gigs happen on a stage in the company office with artistes performing at a pre-set time that goes live on Facebook.

Saavn counts on social media to push its content and offers unplugged version of songs.

The mechanism of how digital content is working has a big influence on advertising sector as well. iProspect’s Bhargava pointed out while previously brands found advertising cheaper than creating content, digital content creation has minimised cost encouraging brands to produce their own content.
According to Bhargava, this gives brands an opportunity to engage consumers on their own platforms through licensed content and brand communication becomes easier.

A digital advertising expert, Bhargava also felt that a shift in advertising pattern has happened past 2-3 years where a large chunk of a client’s budget has been dedicated to digital advertising. “This has given brands an opportunity to reduce advertising costs through content. Digital provides same amount of engagement in less money,” he added.

But the question remains as to which content works and gives the correct RoI. The content creators on the panel were of the opinion that platforms and advertisers can only succeed with the right shows when a good story is created and told well. The message from the content creators was clear: better storytelling does work wonders.

Contiloe’s Singh pointed out that television has witnessed a downfall in viewership as there was a “disengagement” with “discerning” viewers/consumers. “Platforms and (content) makers will have to shift to making differentiated content,” he explained, adding not only the plot, but storytelling method has to go undergo a change too.

“There is a severe need to reinvent the way audiences are engaged with plots and characters,” Singh said, adding that the good news is India has a rich tradition of story-telling and an equally rich bank of tales.

Though in today’s world there is palpable excitement about the digital eco-system, Patnaik from Beyond Dreams expanded the perspective highlighting that television, cinema and digital are separate platforms catering to the same audience and, hence, “viewership will fluctuate” according to quality of content.

With the kind of buzz digital space is witnessing, brands, production houses and channels are launching their own platforms or attempting to. Could this clutter the digital space?

Hinting that existing OTT platforms like Sony Liv could be used by content owners and creators, Sony’s Singh said not everyone needs to have their own platforms and, instead, they need to collaborate to create content.

Yes, collaboration between content creators and platform operators did resonate with the panellists with most having their own perspectives.

While Contiloe’s Singh supported the collaboration angle as a way forward, HOOQ’s Kapoor said that instead of everybody trying to do everything, partnerships should be explored.

VEQTA’s Mathur added that sports as a segment is an under-served one in India and more variety in this space would add to the spice.

Latest Reads

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/09/alok-pandey-xapads-media.jpg?itok=3vRVCcWB
GUEST ARTICLE: How mobile-first approach makes a difference in brand’s presence during festivities

Mumbai: Be it a usual day or a festive season, people prefer to hop onto their systems to look for online offerings for all their needs. But technology has evolved innovatively that now almost all desktop operations have converged into smartphones, making people mobile-first. The transition has...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/06/marketing.jpg?itok=343Iu-Mr
The marketing noisemakers of 2022

Mumbai: Similar to the advertising and media agencies, the marketing industry too saw a lot of roil in terms of the people moving back and forth. The key factor leading to marketing people (like many others) making headway was essentially the economic slump – but in addition to that, people are...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/05/mix.jpg?itok=n1CXZXOv
GUEST ARTICLE: 2022: An exciting year of innovations for entertainment marketeers

Mumbai: The television marketing arena was not prepared for the sudden colossal shift that the pandemic ushered in 2020. Marketeers were compelled to unlearn everything they thought they knew until then and adopt new tactics of engagement with viewers who were nestled at home. As soon as the new...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/04/81.jpg?itok=JevGg-Tp
2022 was a mixed bag for OTT

Mumbai: Over the last few years, India’s over the top (OTT) media services sector has more than doubled in size. According to the Ormax OTT Audience Sizing Report 2022, the Indian OTT audience universe now stands at 424 million people. In India, 119 million of these are active paid OTT...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/03/itc_0.jpg?itok=5hr5hgTT
2022: The year of surprising account movements

Mumbai: The year 2022 has finally seen a wrap, and Indiantelevision.com thought it would be great to put together a round-up of the advertising industry’s significant happenings, talking about the major account wins and mergers & acquisitions that took place. Getting on with the major account...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/03/78.jpg?itok=xl4kXwH0
Movements that happened TV news and GEC channels in 2022

Mumbai: 2022 saw a lot of top-level personnel movements happening in the media and entertainment industry’s news and general entertainment channels. Indiantelevision.com sneaked a peek into these movements to give an overview. Times Network Times Network appointed Rohit Chadda as president &...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2023/01/02/75.jpg?itok=C_Gakfm9
Revisiting OTT's top-level movements in 2022

Mumbai: The year 2022 proved to be a glorious year for OTT in terms of shows that worked and also got global recognition. The highlight has been how regional or local OTT players have found their footing in the media and entertainment industry. Indiantelevision.com has observed people's movements...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/12/31/buildings.jpg?itok=bCEOLgc4
5 sustainable brand campaigns that stood out in 2022

Mumbai: While the world is on the brink of a new year, it’s about time that new resolutions are made and set. At times, we manage to be deterred enough to tick off the goal from our checklist that we had set out to achieve, and on other occasions, we barely manage to live up to it. But there’s one...

Specials Year Enders
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/12/31/media_agencies.jpg?itok=_UTCWD5A
Movers & shakers of media agencies in 2022

Mumbai: The first year after covid, 2022 has been that of exoduses and incomings, alike, for the media agency business. Not only the creative side, but the media side of the advertising industry, too, faced the backlash of the economic recession, which has directly or indirectly led to a toss-and-...

Specials Year Enders