Day One of the 3rd Annual Entertainment and Marketing Forum – EM2 – had industry experts talk about entertainment as it is today and where it will be in the next few years. The forum is being organised by the Film and Television Producers Guild of India (FTPGI) to provide stakeholders in the entertainment, media and marketing business means of discovering synergies, identifying new revenue streams, facilitating cross media promotion and adopting a 360-degree approach to film and television marketing.
The most covered topic at the forum was marketing – the buzz word in the entertainment and media industry today. There is no aspect of media that marketing has not touched through channels like cross-promotions, product placements, sponsorships and brand ambassadors.
Marketing entertainment is a complex process that is developing at a break neck speed because of new mediums and advanced consuming habits. Consumers seek entertainment through TV, theatres, iPods, mobile devices, print, radio and Internet all at the same time. The presence of multiple platforms has resulted in extremely short attention spans, thereby making the content creators’ job a difficult one.
According to Amit Khanna, President, FTPGI, film producers primarily relied on the first two weekends to rake in money and additional revenue was generated through peripheral marketing activities. Domestic box office in India provides 60 per cent of the revenue and 40 per cent is brought in through other platforms. In the US, the box office provides 45 per cent of the revenue. Marketing activities like trailers, movie-based games, contests create a buzz before a film releases. All the players in the entertainment industry have a significant role to play in entertainment’s ecosystem and create a win-win situation for everyone in the industry.
Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, Sony Entertainment Group and Vice-President of FTPGI, delved on the fact that there was not enough content that had been created. Till date only 32 million books have been published, there are 25 million music tracks, while video / movies constitute only 7.5 million hours of viewing. The future of content is digital and content creators are now taking their content forward through technology. DTH, which is the biggest change for the entertainment industry, took eight years to be launched. The next wave of entertainment is Mobile TV and producers and service providers can take advantage of the rising number of mobile subscribers in India.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt posed a fundamental question – Does the entertainment industry have anything to deliver? Rich technology would not help the industry if there is paucity of ideas, because nothing was more important than the art of story telling, he maintained. Marketing an entertainment product is important, but it is based on the idea’s vitality. Clutter in the entertainment industry has marketers vying for consumers’ attention and asking themselves about effective ways of attracting consumers.
Industry players cannot ignore the fact that they have to invest most in storytelling followed by marketing and technology because story tellers play the most important role in the success of a film, ad or even a TV programme.