Advanced Television

Future of Video in India sees optimism for growth

April 30, 2024

The Future of Video India conference welcomed over 130 senior government and industry leaders in Mumbai for a day of discussions centered around one of the most vibrant and burgeoning video markets in the world.

Anil Kumar Lahoti, Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Sanjay Jaju, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), opened the conference with optimism about the industry.  The MIB hopes to see the current $30 billion industry grow to $100 billion in the next 4-5 years. Both senior officials talked of the need to create a level playing field and balance the interests of the different sectors of the industry to encourage growth and investment.

For Kiran Mani, CEO – Digital, Viacom18, technology was enabling as many Indians as possible to access content. “People are doing more with content than ever before. It’s not doing more content,” said Mani. With the IPL on both streaming and pay TV now, Viacom18 had democratised sports, which had gone from 100 million to 500 million screens, and with this move, they had also made sports a ‘lean forward’ experience by enabling the content to be watched over mobile devices and enabling a whole new level of engagement and interactivity with the content.

Similarly, Sajith Sivanandan, Head, Disney+ Hotstar, India, shared that “the best businesses happen at the intersection of people and technology […] finding and operating in that intersection is the gold mine right there”. However, serving the consumers remained critical for a consumer first company like Disney, and that was through telling great stories that were both relevant as well as personalised for the consumer, and serving the right content at the right point in time, added Sivanandan.

Beyond reaching and engaging consumers, content too had the power to influence and change perceptions, with Aparna Purohit, Head of Originals, India & SEA, Prime Video India, sharing during her session on Inspiring and Empowering the Next Generation of Women Leaders, that diversity was key to greenlighting any projects at Amazon Prime Video, and that there must be a woman in every writer’s room. Sanjog Gupta, Head – Sports, Disney Star, too shared that sports over the last 5 years had seen women more visible than ever before.

With Indian content more accessible than ever, India was becoming less exotic and more real in western minds, resulting in greater success and recognition, said Sai Abishek, Head of Factual & Lifestyle Cluster, South Asia, Warner Bros Discovery. However, it was important to focus first on an Indian market and get an audience there, to build the chances of international success, added Rishi Negi, Group Chief Operating Officer, Banijay Asia and Endemol Shine India. But with many more stories to be mined, India was barely scratching the surface in its journey to making its mark globally, concluded Abishek.

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