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Asia Video Industry Association’s Future of Video India conference held

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At the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) recent Future of Video India conference, industry leaders saw the potential for growth despite 2020 which had seen a 25% drop in TV advertising revenue. 

The Future of Video India conference opened with an overview with Mihir Shah, VP, India, at Media Partners Asia (MPA). MPA predicts with last year’s learnings and with every new incremental dollar in the region, India will have a 35% share, almost evenly divided between television and online video. While cable network is going through a structural decline, Pay-TV subscriptions will grow both in value and volume and continue to offer scale for the traditional media players. And the total addressable market will continue to expand with more than 60 online video services in India.

This local expansion is what Sunil Rayan, President and Head of Disney+ Hotstar, is eyeing, with their next stage for growth primed at developing their product for India, with pricing and content made for the local market. As India is a mobile-first market that drives individual viewing, while OTT and TV is not a zero-sum game, OTT content needs to be far more engaging for individual viewing. “Fundamentally, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach for India because there are multiple Indias within India, said Sunil Rayan, President and Head of Disney+ Hotstar.

The sentiment of diversity and positive co-existence between the platforms was echoed by Megha Tata, MD of South Asia for Discovery Communications India. “India lives in several centuries at the same time,” commented Tata, and this is not only the beauty and complexity of the market but also the opportunity to do more. While it is still a long way away before the demise of the TV, differentiated content and product offering remain a key focus. “Content is the king… distribution is the god.., that play of god and king will continue but differentiation of content… will play a critical part in decision making,” added Tata.

This focus on local content is also what drives the content platforms. Monika Shergill, VP of Content for Netflix India, shared that premium storytelling was a new space in India, as Indian audiences were open to experimentation and yet gravitating towards highly local tastes. “Our job and our passion are to find the best stories… the biggest stories… the untold stories from India and to become the service of choice for Indians in India… and in different parts of the world,” added Shergill.

For Nimisha Pandey, Head of Hindi Originals, ZEE5, while the initial focus was on building volume, it has now shifted to adding to the diversity and scaling up the content offering. Pandey too saw the need to up the game on the regional market for the next set of growth. “There is… so much demand that… there is much hope for everyone… to grow their businesses,” said Pandey.

As the market where the next billion consumers of video will come from, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer of ZEE5 Global summed it up best when she said, “It is the decade of video.”

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