"We need to wear a different hat to think about global content"
Broadcast industry experts feel that Indian content will achieve success in the global platform only when we will plan out the distribution of the content around the world while producing it
When it comes to internationalisation of Indian content, there are diverse views and varied range of success that different broadcasters have seen. Not only is Indian content being distributed globally with increasing gusto, Indian TV channels, too, are seeking out new frontiers even as distribution modes go beyond the traditional, besides Indianising global formats for the domestic audience.
Zee TV was the first channel to entertain the NRIs and has worked as a torch bearer for all other channels. Now, TV shows from India reach out to a global audience, even as international TV shows are adapted and adopted for the Indian audience, for example ‘Indian Idol’, ‘India’s Got Talent’, ‘24, ‘Bigg Boss’ and so on.
Supporting the idea of global content, Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors remarked that it is well organised. “A lot of our shows are dubbed in different languages and also remade in foreign languages,” he said, but also lamented that fact that Indian shows have not been priced adequately. “For instance, Turkish content is sold at a much higher price. We could have done much better too, but I am hopeful that it will happen,” he added.
Sharing about the BBC’s content strategy, Myleeta Aga, SVP & GM, India and Content Head Asia, BBC Worldwide Asia said that the group works in a different manner. She shared that the BBC focuses a lot on its content that it showcases in a country where its interests lies. “For example, we create very few country reports which go out globally,” she added.
With the advent of digital media, it is not difficult to access Indian content on the internet from any part of the globe. This gives rise to issues such as duplication of content and creating original content. Avinash Kaul, CEO, Times Now, ET Now and Zoom shared, “We have made considerable progress and are present in 75 countries. We are presenting the content that we already have here; it’s just a distribution pipe and not much of a content pipe that is getting created.”
Sharing his experience, Bharat Ranga, Chief Content & Creative Officer, Zee Entertainment said, “We have found that people who live away far are willing to pay more for the content. So, the moment you price yourself well, half the battle is won.”
ZEE looked at a naturalistic programme and focused on local audiences staying abroad and compared that content that they were getting. Ranga said, “The first immediate benefit that we had there was that the markets were content hungry. Countries such as the Middle East, Mexico and North America were entirely dependent on Hollywood content. Thus, we become the second choice and saw success.”
Meanwhile, Keertan Adyanthaya, MD, India, FOX International Channels pointed out that with more and more people from other countries coming to India, there is a growing interest in Indian content and showcasing it in other part of the world.
However, showcasing Indian content abroad is not with challenges. Colors’ Nayak pointed out that Indians are sitting on a gold mine as production costs are very low when it comes to creating content. He noted, “We are thinking of the Indian market per se, but nobody is thinking of selling the same content abroad. No one is thinking of distributing the content in other countries while producing a show. We need to wear a different hat to think about the global content.”
Raj Nayak, Bharat Ranga, Avinash Kaul, Keertan Adyanthaya, and Myleeta Aga were sharing their views on the topic ‘Internationalisation of Indian Content’ at the CASBAA India Forum 2014, held in Delhi on March 5.
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