According to industry experts, with time, content over various platforms will serve customised needs of the audiences, hence, broadcasters need to be prepared for a new set of changes.
Digitisation is bringing about a change in television vision viewing, however, according to Ashok Mansukhani, President, MSO Alliance, only baby step towards digitisation have taken place and there is still a long way to go. He further said that the industry should be prepared to provide content to the younger tech savvy generation at their time, device, and money, while simultaneously urging the consumer to pay more for such services.
Speaking about the technology available today, Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV noted, “We are now increasingly seeing TV getting on to mobile devices, and this trend is only going to accelerate in the future. With the rollout of 4G technology and the prices of smartphone decreasing, the number of people accessing TV on these devices is only going to increase. That would be a game changer, which is evident in the increasing number of video consumption online.” He further said that traditional media should embrace the new technologies and trends rather than taking it as a threat.
At the same time Chandra admitted that monetising such platforms still remains a challenging task. He cited the low penetration of internet as a major reason for this. However, he also said that with fast changing consumption habits of the consumers, monetisation will soon happen and media owners need to be prepared for that.
Todd Miller, CEO, Celestial Tiger Entertainment mentioned “I don’t think the next change in India will be multi screen but High Definition TV. As HD begins to increase penetration in India it is likely to have more and more access”.
Bharat Ranga, CCO, ZEE Entertainment mentioned that companies like ZEE believe in being metanational, which according to him meant customizing the content as per the market rather than only imposing one’s own sensibilities. He also mentioned that from a broadcaster’s point of view ‘consumerish’ understanding of consumer is important and not a ‘marketerish’ understanding which implies that a consumer might not change as fast or slow as one might anticipate. He also mentioned that the value of talent in TV industry (behind screen) is likely to go up.
Mathieu Bejot, ED, TV France International mentioned that “Non-linear programming is the future. People are willing to pay for content around the world if it is worth it”. He mentioned that imported content is now getting more value oriented than it was five years ago.
Stein then asked Ashok an MSO perspective which included controlling of content distribution to which Ashok replied “Everybody must have his share of revenue and customer should have his choice”. He also added that as digitization increases Fibre penetration would also increase. He also mentioned that as an MSO he wants right of distribution and proper revenue sharing model to assist. But for that, he mentioned that mindset within industry needs to change. Chandra agreed that we need a good value chain and everyone should benefit from the same in the long term but agreed that the current business model has problems which need to be fixed.
Chandra also said that the first thing which needs to be addressed is the ARPU wherein customer needs to pay more money, which is genuine. He also added that the genuine money is not coming up through the value chain which is an issue and should be addressed as digitization progresses.
Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL mentioned that India is seeing content as the centre for all in the future. He also mentioned that Indian Broadcasters are making all kinds of content for various platforms to be consumed in India which is seeing a lot of proliferation even without a proper revenue model. He further said “Content and talent is going to be the centre of future. Fundamentally Indian broadcasters have started making content customized for different platforms of consumption which is a very big move”.
Katial also insisted that technology will be a big game changer in the future which will help a broadcaster deploy content on the platform and for the platform it is best suited for. Katial also mentioned the importance of controlling the IP for the long term benefit of the broadcaster in the value chain.
Miller and Mathieu retreated that some Indian broadcasters have approached them to work on localised content including documentaries which will also define many future possibilities of storytelling.
Mansukhani then pitched in adding that the young generation is keen on watching niche content. He further added that a big challenge for MSOs today is to customize and regionalize his content according to the choice of the consumer. However he also added that with this there also needs t be a persuasion towards the customer o pay more money which eventually would result in better quality content.
Stein then asked Bharat about balancing the global and local business to which Bharat replied “Each business has its own segmentation”. He added that Bollywood is getting popular in China very fast and likewise one needs to identify the needs of the market being operated in globally. He mentioned that in many countries they have acquired local content and that there is no rule in developing a model in such cases. He added “What might work in Malaysia might not work in Indonesia or Singapore. Nuances will come only when one thinks local”. He mentioned that in domestic market there are some problems over revenue sharing and everybody is working towards an addressable solution but with time these issues will be sorted out.
The speakers were sharing their views during a session on ‘Television3.1’ on day one of the ongoing FICC Frames 2014 in Mumbai. The session was moderated by Janine Stein, Editorial Director, Content Asia.