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Find the balance between local and global: Andy Kaplan

14-March-2013
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Find the balance between local and global: Andy Kaplan

The broadcast space is undergoing a sea change. With content cost increasing, viewers have moved from loyalty to quality of content. Media is evolving in the emerging markets and it will be interesting to see the change in terms of speed of adoption of technological advances.

According to Andy Kaplan, President, World Wide Networks, Sony Pictures Television, there has never been a better time to be in business. If the costs are going up, there is an eco system and infrastructure to support it as well. “The model has changed in so many ways. Today, there are 100 networks in US where one can sell their content. The presence of other players such as Amazon, Hulu, etc. has also added to this effect,” he shared.

Commenting on the monetisation aspect of content, Kaplan stated. “Revenues are not going down but are instead coming from different places. Today, the windows are changing with DVD, mobiles, tablets, etc. coming into fore. But though it is divided in many ways, they are adding up in one place.”

Complexity of decision-making
The biggest challenge for global entertainment channels in content creation is striking the right balance between global and local content. Content needs to be tailored according to the audience viewing habits and demands that are unique to every market.

Elaborating on the same, Kaplan stated, “From the international business point of view, while we buy from our own studios across our network around the world, we also buy from other studios as well. There are lots of people in the content business who are ready to sell their content. Markets are also different and hence, it is essential to find the balance between local and global. Hence, we use research and focus groups to minimise ratings disorder.” 

Kaplan believes in maintaining the latitude to localise but maintain the sanctity of the brand.

Commenting on the distribution aspect, Kaplan stated, “Non-linear TV provides a huge opportunity for distribution and grabbing eye balls. Moreover, advertisers are also keen to get into this space in order to tap into potential consumers.”

Crackle is a non-linear network owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and consists of Sony's library of films and television shows. But most importantly, it is an outlet for original content and is doing well in countries such as Brazil and Portugal.

Kaplan concluded by saying that as a TV market, India has grown in an exponential way and has observed tremendous success. The distribution aspect has been growing steadily and the advertising has become more sophisticated in terms of how advertisements are sold and bought in this market. New outlets and networks will crop up in times to come and subscription on demand will become much more significant. The broadcasters, hence, would need to be nimble and flexible and open to all outlets in order to maximise output.

Andy Kaplan was expressing his views at the ongoing FICCI Frames being held in Mumbai.

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