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Video, vernacular and newer advertising formats the way ahead: Experts at ICMA 2018

08-September-2018
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 Video, vernacular and newer advertising formats the way ahead: Experts at ICMA 2018

With the explosion of competing on-demand and OTT service providers, we now live in a world where the ‘anytime, anywhere, any device’ concept reigns supreme. As the OTT and on-demand market becomes more saturated than ever before, each provider must stand out among competition. So what does it really take to create a sustainable content play? 
At the Audacity exchange4media Indian Content Marketing Awards 2018 (ICMA) and recent edition of Content JAM, a panel comprising Arnab Mitra, Managing Director, Liqvd Asia Worldwide, Manish Aggarwal, Business Head, Zee5 India, Akash Banerji, Head, Marketing and Partnerships, Viacom 18 Digital Ventures, Voot and Neha Warrier, VP Sales India, Mirriad, reflected on this.

Mitra chaired the session and spoke about how the industry continues to be contradictory. “On one side we have not just Indian but international players such as Netflix and Amazons of the world investing a lot of money in creating content. On the other side, we have free-to-air television channels, which are continuing to connect to the deeper parts of the society,” he said.

Aggarwal said that thanks to smartphone penetration and low-data cost, the consumer’s appetite is growing. “The Indian consumer is hungry for good content and especially if it’s in the language of their choice. The interest is driven by the fact that he has the appetite to be spending approx 8 gigabytes of data on the mobile phone and four hours of data per day,” he explained.

Banerji spoke about the challenges that come with these advantages, which include monetisation and breaking through the clutter. “It is a great bonanza time for consumers at large. While the time for consumers has never been better, at a platform level, the monetisation challenge continues to a big impediment to be able to achieve critical scale for their platform. For consumers, with the abundance of content, there is this battle for attention. However the best story wins while rest is just noise,” he said.

Warrier talked about the huge appetite for original content and how OTT customers are spoiled for choice in what is a non-disruptive experience. “Non-intrusive ad model is where we fit in because we are platform-agnostic. Apart from subscription model, there are ads running within the content. If you have seen the Cola brand in Sacred Games, it has been weaved as if it was always there, which is great advertising,” she said.

Aggarwal cited the latest PwC report reiterating that consumers will now be willing to pay. “If they aren’t going to pay, they will be okay with occasional ad-burst. And those looking for a seamless ad-free experience will end up paying,” he said and stated SVOD, which is now a driving force. 

Banerji maintained that the fact of the matter is that there are no right answers. “We have to keep trying out different business models. We’re still in an under-penetrated market. 70% plus time spent is time on videos. Also TV is not going anywhere and the growth going to be happening there too. There is about 400 million-growth which is going to come on the back of language,” he said. Warrier opined that the AVOD model will sustain with SVOD. “Subliminal advertising is potent and is the way forward,” she said.

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