40% of consumers prefer regional content: Tarun Katial, ZEE5

CEO Katial lists the factors - from hyper-personalisation to AI - that could drive OTT players in 2020

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Published: Jan 23, 2020 7:44 AM  | 3 min read

ZEE5 has every reason to celebrate. The OTT platform released 26 Original shows and movies in six languages during the third quarter, taking the total count to 84+ originals in 2019. It ended the year by producing 10X times more originals compared to any other OTT platform.  At an event held recently, ZEE5 CEO Tarun Katial gave us insights into OTT and its future. Katial says that regional content, hyper-personalization, original content, artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the driving force for OTT players in 2020.

“Indian audience is going digital, Indian audience is a massive addressable market. It is expected to grow 2X in the overall internet users in the next two years. Rural will become the biggest growth driver with nearly 50 per cent share,” he stated.  

Tarun spoke about projected internet users in India. Referring to the TRAI report, Katial said that the internet revolution is now ubiquitous in India, touching the vast majority of the population across demography, geography, social and economic segments. This reach is expected to grow to around 924 million by 2021, which is almost equal to the Televisions Reach in India.

“As young Indian moves to OTT, the market will grow 3X by 2023. The annualised growth rate is projected to be between 40-50 per cent in the next five years. The OTT advertising market is estimated to be Rs 1500 crore by 2023 from the current market estimate of Rs 3200 crore.”

He also said that about 40 per cent of the consumers now prefer content in regional languages.

“Going into 2020, we have to focus on real-time identification and double that up with contextual conversations. Hyper-personalising the entire experience for the said user will help engage customers on multiple parameters,” added Katial.

So, what has worked for Zee5 over the years? “OTT streamers, the ones who guzzle both movies and OCs, are the ideal type of consumers. They spend maximum watch time, are highly engaged and fall in the highest ARPU category. Crime & Thrill are the key genres that give maximum viewership and subscription returns (Rangabaz, Barot House, Posham Pa, etc.). ALT shows have also given a great boost in the content line up. Movies like URI, Simmba and Dream Girl have upped the subscription returns on the platform and have formed unique clusters in themselves.”

“In 2020, artificial intelligence and machine learning will play an important role in content discoverability and personalised recommendation. Content marketing now accounts for about  25-35 per cent of total marketing budgets—with some companies—splitting the spends 50:50 between traditional paid media and content marketing,” he shared.

"Digital video is a mass reality. Hyper-personalize your message to taste clusters; use the confluence of data, tech and content to be a ConTech marketer; and scale and amplify in your cohorts. It's going to be content curation vs pure content deployment and lastly, context is critical for content,” he concluded.

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