Frost & Sullivan hosted the second edition of its ‘Digital Media India Summit’ in Mumbai this year. The Summit included participants from broadcasters, pay TV operators and production houses and featured Frost & Sullivan’s Digital Media India Awards for the broadcast equipment market. The Summit addressed key industry trends such as optimising high definition (HD), deploying TV-everywhere, leveraging digital analytics, and monetising digital Pay TV services.
Vidya Nath, Research Director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, presented findings from Frost & Sullivan’s soon to be released report on the Indian Broadcast Equipment Industry Outlook. The market is likely to grow from around $100 million in 2013 to $168 million in 2017 at a CAGR of 9 per cent, with a significant interest in HD cameras and video servers.
Nath observed, “India is highly fragmented by content type, region, and size of broadcasters. About 25 per cent have a broadcast equipment budget of over $160,000 (Rs 1 crore), while about 40 per cent plan to spend less than $41,000 (Rs 25 lakh) this year. It is true that sometimes equipment purchase outlays are cyclical and typically, significant purchasing cycles are repeated every three to four years. Yet, Frost & Sullivan believes there will be little change in this trend in the short term.”
The Summit also hosted panel discussions on several topical trends such as ‘HD: recovering ROI’, ‘Online video monetisation and management’, and ‘Pay TV: Monetising it effectively’.
The panel on HD discussed the viability of high definition for broadcasters and the costs involved in running Standard Definition (SD) and HD channels side-by-side. The panel was divided on whether or not HD will become a de facto standard in India, with the possibility of an explosion of HD channels over the next two years. The panelists in this session included MS Thomas, Deputy Director General, Doordarshan; George Kuruvilla, General Manager, BECIL; Ajay Meher, Senior VP & Head - IT and Post Production, Sony Entertainment Television; and Sameer Kanse, Business Head, Tata Communications Media Services.
During another discussion on ‘Online Video Monetization and Management’, the panel discussed the complexities of online video content ecosystem, distribution, and the necessity to create compelling content for the alternative medium. At present, many Indian broadcasters rely on online video platforms and content delivery networks to process and distribute their multimedia content. They continue to have total ownership of the content production through their own studios or production houses for almost all processes related to content acquisition, production, management, and distribution. However, slowly, COOs are evaluating long-term costs of technical upgrades to be competitive as well as to adapt to the changing customer type for TV-everywhere. Frost & Sullivan’s Mukul Krishna, Global Senior Director, Digital Media chaired this panel, which had Jay Chauhan, CEO, Skyhub; Seeraj Katoch, COO, Tangerine; Surendra Kancherla, VP, Prime Focus Technologies; and Manoj Dawane, Vice President and Head of Engagement Practices at Ericsson India, as panelists.
The final panel discussion on ‘Pay TV: Monetising it Effectively’ compared the digital cable services in the US and India, and the panelists debated about the weakness in the Indian cable ecosystem that acts as an impediment in application of new business models due to digitisation. Sujata Dev, Co-Chairperson, Media and Entertainment, Assocham moderated this discussion that saw participation by Roop Sharma, Head, Cable Operators Federation of India; Asif Khan, CTO & CIO, Digicable,;Raman Kalra, Head, Media & Entertainment, Executive Director & Partner IBM Global Business Services, India/South Asia; and Aslam Khader, Product Head, Elemental Technologies.
The summit also touched upon new age digital and social marketing with a tete-a-tete with Shailja Gupta, Chief Digital Strategist for Shah Rukh Khan and CEO, Pocket Box Office, and Jay Chauhan, CEO, Skyhub.
Frost & Sullivan also presented the Digital Media India Awards for Broadcast Equipment at this Summit, for various solutions in this market. Six awards were presented that acknowledged companies who have pushed the boundaries of excellence, risen above the competition, and demonstrated outstanding performance in the broadcast equipment market in India.