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Differentiated brand critical as online video, mobile ads may expand at 40-51 pc CAGR by '21: KPMG-FICCI

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MUMBAI: The ‘Over the top’ (OTT) video consumption in India has rapidly evolved over the last year, given the advancements in digital infrastructure and efforts by platforms to create compelling content for consumers at price points which provide value.

Growing internet penetration and data consumption is likely to help increase digital advertisement spends in India at 30.8 per cent CAGR between 2016 and 2021 with mobile advertisement spends and social media-aided digital video advertisement spends expected to expand at 50.9 per cent and 40 per cent CAGR between 2016 and 2021, respectively, according to the KMPG’s "The ‘Digital First’ Journey" report launched in FICCI Knowledge series 2017 conference - Fast Track India.

The Fast Track India conference, in association with LA India film Council (LAIFC), was focused on building out a digital company, the impact of evolving digital infrastructure on content consumption and rise in online piracy.

Fox Star Studios India CEO Vijay Singh highlighted the need for M&E businesses to be future-ready in his keynote speech. He said, “Digital transformation of the M&E industry is unstoppable, and companies will need to focus on innovation and disruption. It will be important to get the digital building blocks to fall in place - be it in content creation or getting the right business model."

At the inaugural, KPMG India partner and co-head of media and entertainment Girish Menon said, “OTT consumption in India has reached a tipping point, with the 4G rollout and related data wars which have resulted in a dramatic and rapid growth in internet penetration and video consumption. Building a digital business is an evolving process and organizations would need to adopt a systematic approach balancing scalability and flexibility with speed to market and customer centricity.”

The conference focused on three key features, i.e., evolution of content strategies from creation to monetisation, the impact of evolving digital infrastructure on content consumption patterns and the rise of online piracy – threats and remedies.

OTT consumers continue to demand seamless access to services, compelling stories and value for money. The era of on-demand content has reached a tipping point with consumption becoming on-demand across mobile screens and going ‘mass’ - particularly on the back of pan India 4G roll outs by telecom operators.

During the discussion, panellist agreed upon the fact that the mass launch of 4G services by Reliance Jio in 2016 and subsequent launches by incumbents was an inflection point in India’s data story. This disruption led to a rapid surge in data usage on the back of promotional offers by all leading telecom operators.

The conference was divided into three panel discussions. The first panel, who have discussed broadly on building a digital platform, was held with Arre co-founder Ajay Chacko, Culture machine president Tuhin Menon, Qyuki Digital Media COO Sagar Gokhale and ALTBalaji CEO Nachiket Pantvaidya and moderated by KPMG management consulting Neha Punater.

Next panel on digital infrastructure transforming consumption of the content was addressed by the BARC business head Jamie Kenny, the Facebook India content head and media partnerships India-South Asia Saurabh Doshi, the Voot marketing head Akash Banerji and the Shemaroo director Hiren Gada.

Lastly, on the protection of the online content in a digital economy, Disney India assistant regional counsel Anju Jain, the Viacom 18 SVP Thomas George, the Eros International general counsel Aamod Gupte, the TFCC governing council executive member Rajkumar Akella, the MPA Asia Pacific VP communications Stephen Jenner and The Indian Music Industry president and CEO Blaise Fernandes. Punnaryug Artvisions' founder Ashish Kulkarni deliverd the welcome note.

About the roadmap to become a digital company, Pantvaidya said, “The focus has to shift from just getting big numbers to actually engaging audiences. Watching videos on internet especially shows is slowly becoming an integral part of every Indian’s life – Thanks to quality internet being offered by Telco’s at affordable prices. We, at AltBalaji, believe that this trend can be effectively monetized by offering multi targeted, exclusive, original Indian content at a never before seen scale.”

Qyuki Digital Media COO Sagar Gokhale said, “It’s a changing market, when we started, we saw 50 per cent split between mobile and computers but today it exceeds to 80 per cent towards mobile. Understanding of content is very important according to the consumer’s need. In India, large platform like Youtube is male dominated precisely under the age group of 18-35. So easy understanding is to create male centric content like comedy and music which works out the most. According to our data analysis, post-Jio, a lot of viewership was noted from tier 2-tier 3 cities like Jharkhand.”

The four pillars of digital transformation outlined in the report comprise a holistic approach including; clearly defining the organisation’s digital vision and strategy, thorough understanding of the customer proposition, accurately assessing the business design and, lastly, carefully designing the execution plan.

On building a robust enforcement model to protect content in a digital economy, MPA Asia Pacific VP communications Stephen Jenner said, “Around the globe, close collaborations between multiple stakeholders have lead to a number of successful content protection initiatives. This bodes well for growing digital economies, and the many creative people contributing to media and entertainment in those markets.”

Doshi said, “Being passionate or even finicky about user experience is the key to building a successful digital platform. In this age of hyper-competition, it is imperative to focus on building a strong brand that is differentiated. With over 200 million people in India every month and millions globally on the platform, we think deeply on the best user experience we can provide and instant articles, live etc. are such examples.”

Fernandes said, “Digital India is attracting lots of investments in content creation and distribution over the various digital platforms. This sets off a multiplier effect, employment generation, tax revenues and soft power. While all this happens it is necessary for protection measures to be in place, glad that FICCI and the LA India Film Council are giving copyright protection in the Internet age adequate weightage in their various forums”

The path to digital transformation encompasses a holistic approach including; clearly defining the organisation’s digital vision and strategy, thorough understanding of the customer proposition, accurately assessing the business design and, finally, carefully designing the execution.

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