Lack of revenue models deterrent to growth of streaming platforms: Experts

At the inaugural day of the CII Big Picture Summit, experts discussed challenges and opportunities involving streaming platforms

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 8:46 AM

At the ongoing 7th CII Big Picture Summit in New Delhi, a panel discussion on ‘Game Changers in Media and Entertainment (M&E) Landscape’ saw experts debating about challenges and opportunities that are shaping the M&E sector.

Speaking about the rise of streaming platforms and their growing relevance, Karan Anshuman, Director of Web Series, Mirzapur said, "There are several reasons and several factors that are at play over here. One of the reasons could be the medium itself, such as the rise of the short format online. Also, you see some of the best talent in writing, directing and acting gravitating towards television and streaming shows."  

Sharing that streaming platforms offer more ground for experimentation and that has become its biggest force multiplier, Anshuman added, "Everyone is trying to crack the formula when it comes to films, over here (online) there isn't any fixed notion of what works or what does not work, so one can be a lot more experimental with what one is doing. This is also giving voice to the bunch of new generation of writers and filmmakers who want to express themselves."

Commenting on the rise of streaming content platforms and whether it was forcing big filmmakers to rethink about their business model, Shobu Yarlagadda, Producer of the iconic Baahubali franchise said, "The big-budget films will dominate the theatre market.  For people to go to theatres, they need big films like Baahubali which can be enjoyed in theatres. But romcoms, dramas, and slice-of-life films are meant for more intimate viewing and can be enjoyed as a personal experience. So they are more conducive to the streaming services and online platforms.” “There is going to be segmentation of what kind of content is going to be placed where. The big ticket events will go to the big screens.  Also, we don't have enough screens in India and for the rural population the easiest option will be mobile phones,” he added.

According to Neeraj Roy, MD Hungama Digital, streaming consumption will continue to grow since traditional entertainment platforms have an inherent content overlap. "If you look at television, it is not that we have a shortage of channels, we have almost 950 channels, but when you look at the programming that is being done, there is almost 80 per cent overlap. 

In the last two years, we have seen 1500 per cent increase in streaming consumption and it is set to grow further." When asked if there are there enough revenue models to justify the growing number of streaming platforms, Hiren Gada, CEO, Shemaroo Entertainment said, "At this point, the real challenge that digital is facing is the monetization model, because the base is not yet big enough for big bucks from advertising to kick in. The paid ecosystem on top of that is below one per cent from what we hear see and understand.”

“Television is a very high-value service because for 300 rupees you get 400 channels and India is a very value-conscious market, so that is why TV is a deterrent for the digital ecosystem to grow,” he added.

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