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The Cheese Has Moved!

The Indian media and broadcasting industry has seen a major structural change in 2018. Digital media is growing at 22 percent as compared to the 9 percent growth of traditional media.

The traditional broadcast media is feeling maximum heat from OTT players. Big money is being deployed behind Indian content. The number of players in the Indian OTT market have witnessed a 3.5× increase, growing from just nine players in 2012 to 32 in 2018. 2018 saw Netflix gain major popularity with its first Indian series, Sacred Games, followed by Selection Day. It is not just the audience in India, but also the massive following we have overseas. Zee has aggressive plans. The broadcaster plans to take its OTT video service, ZEE5, into 190 countries. BCG sees the Indian OTT market at USD 5 billion with 40-50 million pay subscribers by 2023, while Global Pay TV Subscriber Forecasts peg the figure at 180 million pay subscribers by the same year.

The business is also being challenged by non-traditional media players, as telecom and social media companies. A big concern here is whereas there is no restriction on a telecom service provider, a DTH company cannot own more than 20 percent in a TV broadcasting company and vice versa.

The reverse is also a strong possibility. MIB and TRAI are looking to revive a proposal to provide broadband services through existing cable networks. This has the potential to provide instant internet connectivity to nearly 190 million households that have television sets, of which about 100 million homes already have cable TV subscription. MIB is committed to provide an enabling environment. It is exploring formulating a national broadcast policy and a new DTH policy to ensure the industry makes it to USD 100 billion in the next 4-5 years, as forecast by market research companies.

With 5G deployments on the anvil, and media houses left with no option but to reorganize their traditional organizational structures, the industry is in for another transformation.

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