Consumers want control; content providers, platforms are listening

CANNES: The biggest takeaway from this year‘s market has really been about the criticality of content to both media owners and delivery platforms.

Somewhat ironically, it is the relentless march towards digitalisation that has brought this point front and centre in all the discussions.

Symbiotically linked to that premise is also the centrality of the digitally enabled consumer, who more than ever controls how, when and where content is consumed.

Throughout Wednesday, the ‘discussion baseline‘ was Multiplatform Entertainment - At Home, which examined the issue from all possible angles. Whether it was the morning keynote by Joost CEO Mike Volpi, or the Superpanel - Distribution Strategies For Major Media Owners; or the panel - Telco TV Hot Markets & Best Practices what came through was - the consumer is in control and content is critical.

Interestingly, while the common argument in India is that in the digital regime it would be subscription that would dominate any revenue proposition, the experience for networks in mature markets like the US has been quite different.

As MTV Networks international president global digital media Mika Salmi pointed out, of the $ 200 million in digital revenues his network made last year, most of it was advertising driven. There is Apple itunes of course, which Salmi admitted has been the best distribution deal MTV has enetered into.

Some other points of note from the discussions:

*Timing is key. Media owners have to work with ISPs to put as much legitimate content out there and as fast as possible.

*Short form content is important and works better on VoD on net.

*Intimacy with the consumer is what must be engendered in the future acorss the whole ecosystem

*High levels of creativity to be able to interact with content

*Innovations and new format creativity where web/TV/mobile interact

At the end of it all though, whether it be short form or long form programming, great storytelling is what will sustain the ecosystem.

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