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Despite pandemic disruptions, OTT leaders predict huge headroom for growth in future

Digital platforms like Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime are eyeing local expansion with their next stage for growth primed at developing their product for India.

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Notwithstanding the pandemic-led disruptions, Indian media industry captains are optimistic and see huge headroom for growth in the sector.

Though the industry witnessed a 25 percent drop in TV advertising revenue in the pandemic-impacted 2020, the leaders while participating at the recently organised Future of Video India conference by the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA), were confident of the growth potentials, a statement said.

President and Head of Disney+ Hotstar Sunil Rayan said the platform is eyeing local expansion with their next stage for growth primed at developing their product for India, with pricing and content made for the local market.

As India is a mobile-first market that drives individual viewing, over-the-top (OTT) content needs to be far more engaging for individual viewing.

“Fundamentally, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach for India because there are multiple Indias within India,” said Rayan.

Megha Tata, MD of South Asia for Discovery Communications India said there is a sentiment of diversity and positive co-existence between the platforms.

“India lives in several centuries at the same time,” commented Tata adding it is still a long way away before the demise of the TV and a differentiated content and product offering remains a key focus.

Advisory and consulting services provider Media Partners Asia (MPA) said pay-TV subscriptions in India will grow both in – value and volume terms and continue to offer scale for the traditional media players, though there would be a structural decline in the traditional cable TV.

With a current presence of over 60 online video services in India, the total addressable market will continue to expand, said MPA in a statement quoting its VP, India Mihir Shah.

“With learnings from the last year and economic resurgence picking up in certain sectors, MPA predicts that in the next 5 years, with every new incremental dollar in the region, India will have 35 per cent share, almost evenly divided between television and online video,” he said.

Monika Shergill, VP of Content for Netflix India, shared that premium storytelling was a new space in India, as Indian audiences were open to experimentation and yet gravitating towards highly local tastes.

Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer of ZEE5 Global said it best when she said, “It is the decade of video.” Firstpost

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