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Impact of COVID on the M&E industry

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been experienced by every industry, and the media and entertainment market has not been left unharmed either. While many were assuming that the market would fare better than most, considering more people might be consuming content while spending more time at home–the reality is the opposite.

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With closures of theaters, a halt in entertainment content production and a non-existent sports calendar since March, the viewership of content on OTT streaming platforms has increased tremendously. What started as a trend has advanced to an industry that has outperformed cable subscriptions worldwide demonstrating that streaming is establishing its position in the TV business.

Competition from OTT streaming platforms has convoluted the business planning for the country’s broadcast, cable, and satellite market. With consumers disconnecting their cable or DTH connections for cheaper streaming options, there is no guarantee whether they will return to traditional broadcast and pay TV even when the pandemic is over.

The present buyers of media and entertainment anticipate adaptability in content. The unusual demands of the customers have to be dealt with in real-time, which cannot be handled by the cable operators. With the high demand for a variety of content by the customers, content producers are feeling the squeeze to create and additionally convey unique substance all the more often. In the meantime, different OTT platforms have given high streaming performance with minimal delays and downtime which has increased the number of subscriptions from one member of the family to all the members, friends and relatives.

Shutting down of movie theaters in India to curtail the pace of infection from COVID-19 has compelled the entertainment industry to settle on extreme choices about which films will be postponed and which will go streaming. Many new movies were released on streaming platforms much earlier than originally planned. A large number of viewers switched to bigger screens from their mobile screen and started consuming content on smart TVs. With the astounding arrangement of films being delivered to the living rooms of the viewers, it would not be an exaggeration to say that we are truly living in a brilliant time of diversion.

As the Indian Premier League 2020 was the year’s first sports event since the pandemic struck, the season captured the highest engagement for any IPL ever on the back of increasing online viewership through Disney+Hotstar. The flexibility of having the option to stream a live match from multiple devices is something the satellite industry cannot offer.

In today’s content-rich world, consumers have more choices than ever, which adversely impact subscriber numbers and revenue forecasts, thereby intensifying competition for the OTT platforms and the broadcasters. Additionally, the growth of connected devices and access to high-speed data has given rise to many OTT subscriptions and multichannel video programming distributors’ offerings.

Consumers want more options with convenience to control the video content on their TV in a limited time. Media companies must focus on automating content management on a secure and intelligent cloud to make it accessible to consumers as fast as they can. Innovative operating systems like Cloud TV uses contextual intelligence to extract the most-watched data and improve content exploration through its content discovery platform and recommendation engine. It analyzes the media interactions, consumption patterns, and channel preferences to better anticipate audience behavior and needs. By using AI to personalize content delivery and connect to the audience with relevant content will empower the future of creative content and experience.

The pandemic has taken the world by surprise giving the broadcast, cable, and satellite industry a rude awakening by laying bare all its flaws. However, these challenging times have also been a blessing in disguise for the media companies to find ways for being more resilient in a post-pandemic world. The industry simply needs to pivot to provide a more targeted user experience and avoid the downward spiral by losing the ground to competition from OTT streaming. As the broadcast, cable, and satellite industry stands at a stimulating junction, there has never been a better time to transform.

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