VBS 2024: The Churning Video Distribution Ecosystem - What’s next?

VBS 2024: The Churning Video Distribution Ecosystem - What’s next?

India is in the grips of seisnic changes as far as video and broadband consumption is concerned.

VBS 2024

Mumbai: India is in the grips of seisnic changes regarding video and broadband consumption. Pay TV cord-cutting is rampant even as free TV subscriptions are on the rise and OTT buy-ins are churning with the signs up for certain platforms stagnating even as others are seeing rapid increases and some are seeing cataclysmic drops. Aggregators of OTTs are popping up on the horizon promising cheap bundles along with value-added services for cable TV and DTH. There's a rush to set up free advertising-supported TV channels by TV set manufacturers and smart TV device makers. There's the Jio factor where it seeks to convert most pay TV customers to free streaming of video content by offering free access to consumers at no cost. The consumer continues to demand bandwidth higher than ever imagined even as prices drop. Margins are under pressure as every player goes one-up on each other acquire and retain customers.

The video and broadband distribution landscape has not been as vibrant as it is now.. How long will this pot-boiling continue? What will the magic potion of video and broadband look and taste like? And what's the end game? Indiantelevision.com has held the 20th edition of Video and Broadband Summit better known as VBS at Sahara Star Hotel, Mumbai.

The session chair for this panel was Ernst and Young LLP partner, media & entertainment advisory services Ashish Pherwani along with panelists: Fastway group CEO Prem Ojha, IndiaCast president Amit Arora, Dish TV CEO Manoj Dobhal, Warner Bros. Discovery & Eurosport South Asia head of distribution Ruchir Jain, Shemaroo Entertainment COO-broadcasting business Sandeep Gupta and Harmonic EMEA-APAC streaming market development director Alexandre Paugam

Pherwani started off by saying by 2028, the TV world be breaking up into three largely equal partners and will have about 70 to 80 million pay TV and 65 to 70 million free-to-air services.

Jain said, “We are very hopeful about the future right now. If you look at this, what's going to happen is one is that the entire set of consumers are increasing in number. So I'm talking about how pay TV is gonna grow, connected TVs, and also about the free-to-air services, etc, so it's the number of people coming into the media, who is going to invest. So that's one big factor, the second big factor is the time scale

Ojha opined that, “Our job is to keep the ground ready so that all this beautiful content and all these absorbing content can reach out to consumers the way they want it today.”

Arora said, “So it is select all 3 platforms to seem to be consuming a lot of common content assets and that is going to change in the future formats will change may be the price point. I agree with that.”

Dobhai said, “ We are brands with long-run legacies. And new ones coming up. Fortunately, unfortunately, I'm on the receiving end of it because we are the ones who showed the word of it all the country that you know what experience it brings when you watch an immersive content technology, upgraded version of it, satellite, and all that.”

Gupta added that for Shemaroo, Gujarati is like building our own Prime Video. Because we are devoted ourselves to Gujrati. We are trying to expand on more areas as well. Other than that Shemaroo and ShemarooMe are mostly devoted to Gujarati.

Lastly, Paugam replied, “Coming from the technology, part of things, especially the broadcast infrastructure, I think we see a big trend, and DTH cable stays strong. And for us, it stays at a huge part of our business helping protesters and operators distribute their content through those networks and optimize it. But the big growth is in streaming. And we've seen a tipping point globally, the number of subscribers from pay TV subscribers, being outpaced by the number of streaming subscribers. We're moving from sending a unified feed and broke it down to everyone to sending unique guests and a unique feed to the end user. That gives us the ability to customize this unique feed. I think a lot of innovation and new technology that are emerging are around how do we leverage that streaming vessel to have the experience as personalized as possible.”