India can become the digital content hub of the world: Digital experts

Whether global or local, whatever the niche or genre, OTT services have become the centre of attention in the entertainment space. However, it has to become sustainable business at some point. Further, the competition is fierce and stakeholders strive to stand out in a sector driven by so much choice. 

Digital content delivery through cutting edge technologies like apps and streaming devices has witnessed explosive growth in past few years in India. Availability of inexpensive high speed internet along with rise in smart devices ownership and investments made by content creators in producing tailor made content for digital platforms have been the core reasons behind this meteoric rise. India stands a genuine chance of becoming the digital content hub of the world. However, the threat of regulation both from content, data and economic perspectives threatens to take away this sheen. 

In the session titled ‘Rise in Platforms: Digital Revolution in India and Impact on M&E Industry’ at the ongoing FICCI Frames 2018, leading industry experts discussed how India stands a genuine chance of becoming the digital content hub of the world and chalked out a roadmap for digital content platforms in India. AT the same time, they also highlighted the threat of regulation – both from content, data and economic perspectives – that threaten to take away this sheen. 

Moderated by Vynsley Fernandes, Director, Castle Media, the members of the panel included Vivek Couto, Executive Director, Media Partners Asia; Vidya S Nath, Director, Frost and Sullivan; Michael Sturm, Vice President – Strategic Alliances & Channel Management, Verizon Digital Media; Suhaan Mukherji, Partner, PLR Law; Ali Hussein, COO, Eros Now; and Archana Anand, EVP & Head of Digital – India, Z5 Business. 

While speaking on OTT in comparison to television, Vidya S Nath said that the rise in OTT doesn’t mean the death of the television industry. 

Describing the nature and the adverse effects of digital platforms, Archana Anand said, “We are always on OTT, while travelling or even while waiting. It’s really about us consuming way more than we ever did before.” 

Stressing on regional content market, she further added, “We believe if we could create a platform that really richly serves content, in the language of your comfort, there is a really big market there that is waiting to be captured.” 

Praising the diversity of India and its content creation, Michael Sturm said, “India is not just about English and Hindi speaking consumers, it has consumers consuming content in many more languages. I think India is the country in the world that produces the most content across the globe.” 

Meanwhile, Suhaan Mukherji sounded a note of caution as he said, “We should be very careful that we just don’t treat OTT or kids movies or IP networks the same way we treated everything else.” 

Summing up the discussions, Vynsley Fernandes affirmed, “The OTT industry is here to stay.”

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