At an event held in Mumbai recently, J B Perrette, President, Discovery Networks International, shared some insights about the growth strategy for Discovery and how the network is embracing the new digital revolution.
According to Perrette, there are no markets in the world showing the scale of dynamic growth, both on a GDP level as well as in the digital innovation like India. He said, “In my 2 years in this job it was a priority that we re-focus our efforts here, we figure out how to continue to grow and increase our scale in this market. Under the leadership of the Indian prime minister and his innovative vision for the digital India initiative, we feel we are uniquely qualified to embrace that and work with all of our partners in this market to continue to drive that forward.”
Discovery currently operates in 220 markets with an average of 10 channels belonging to multiple genres. With regards to the changing dynamics of digitisation Perrette stated, “Our company has changed enormously and we have embraced that change. It is not starting from zero, but a continuous evolution of our company to grow from being a great television company to being a great media company across all platforms, and as we look at it our priorities are nearly threefold as we focus on our growth across all platforms”
Discovery is trying to consolidate its audience share across platforms like TV, mobile, Tabs etc. Perrette adds, “We are excited about that because we used to target the billion TV households around the world and now we look to target 10 billion devices, that’s our new aim and focus for the company.”
Commenting on the market potential that Discovery has in India, he said, “We focus on three things; first, we think there is more we can do with our existing portfolio, more regionalisation, more languages, better programming more local content. Secondly, we think there are opportunities to extend, just as we have done in the other parts of the world, into new genres. We are looking at organic and inorganic opportunities to broader our genres in this market. Thirdly, we look at digital and say OTT and the online spaces are clearly going to be paramount but they are also additive, we like the idea of being big not only in paid but being big in parts of the world in free to air and then adding the OTT experience. So we believe heavily in the growth, we believe in the opportunity we believe in the incredible story of the journey that media landscape has been in India for the last several years.”
On consumption habits around the world after the onset of digital presence, Perrette said “Markets which have high broadband penetration, upscale users and consumers and have seen presence of OTT for several years, the traditional use of TV has declined. We are not in the TV screen business, we are in the TV content business and so for us this digital evolution involves making content accessible on all these platforms and making sure that the measurement system truly measures the full scale of where people are consuming content.”