QYOU aims to create content that will bring TV closer to digital

High quality regional content is what will work in India


MUMBAI: The future of the Indian entertainment market may be digital but the death of television is over-exaggerated. A recent survey conducted by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India found total TV viewership in India gone up by 12 per cent from 2016. On the other hand, recent data from PwC revealed the OTT video market in India is growing at a CAGR of around 23 per cent. While the main difference lies between the consumption habit of the older generation and millennial audience, QYOU Media’s Indian arm is thriving on the convergence between TV and online. In an exclusive interaction with Indiantelevision.com, QYOU Media CEO and co-founder Curt Marvis spoke about the Indian market and the company’s expansion plan in India.

Curt Marvis, a renowned media veteran in digital ventures of Hollywood, has had a vivid experience. Way back in 1999, he co-founded online movie retailer CinemaNow and then spent a considerable amount of time in Lionsgate as president of digital media. In 2013, he co-founded QYOU, a media and production business that provides curated internet video content for television, mobile, and video-on-demand viewing. A year back it actively started to run operations in providing and packaging content for Indian audiences.

Though the company is still in its early days, it is putting high effort to grow its presence in India. As part of its expansion, it has secured content partnerships with Pocket Aces, Culture Machine, Desi Hip Hop Inc., TheVibe, Power Drift, Arre, The Comic Wallah, FabForm, etc.  Its rebranded channel Q India is available on Tata Sky and Jio TV. It even appointed Andy Kaplan, former president of Sony Pictures Worldwide Networks, as chairman of board of directors for QYOU India.

“India has a thriving TV market and mobile is fast becoming the first screen for many TV audiences in the region. Andy has significant expertise in this area and deep knowledge of the Indian market, which will help QYOU develop the right programming to meet the needs for mobile-first digital content, which is becoming an ever-more important objective for TV providers,” Marvis commented on his appointment.

Marvis thinks TV is still hugely popular in India which isn’t going to change overnight. However, he underlines the difference in media consumption habit between younger digital-native audiences and older generations. Younger audiences are fond of streaming videos on social media sites and mobile devices remain primary medium for them to access video content. He claims that by providing linear feed and custom shows, QYOU is bridging these two worlds – offering the type of content that helps TV providers tap into digital-first creativity and use it to drive their programming agenda for younger audiences.

In India’s OTT market, outsiders like Netflix and Amazon have found it tough to break into the country given the popularity of Hotstar. “Hotstar is currently India’s most popular OTT platform, enjoying 70 per cent of video streaming app downloads. In contrast, Amazon and Netflix only account for 5 per cent and 1.4 per cent of app downloads. One of the reasons why Hotstar is so well-liked is because, it has an extensive library of regional programming available in a number of local languages including, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu,” he said.

Rather than fall back on importing subtitled US TV shows and films, the international players need to invest in locally relevant original programming. Amazon and Netflix have recognised this and are launching Indian original series but Marvis thinks they’re still playing catch-up to local OTT services like Hotstar. “For QYOU, these trends have meant onboarding Indian content creators and making programming that is tailored to the territory and culture. This way we know our shows are more culturally relevant and therefore have more stickiness,” he added.

Though Hotstar’s AVOD model has worked well for its acceptability among the mass audience, Indian audiences are not simply going for the cheapest option. He reaffirms the common belief of OTT players that audience is going for the service that they believe is the best value with the best programming. “Ultimately, the model which will work best in India will depend on the value the audience places on the service and we believe that high-quality regional programming can dramatically increase that value,” he concludes.

Latest Reads

Hotstar withdraws as an associate sponsor of IPL

Hotstar, Star India's online streaming platform, has withdrawn as an associate sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

iWorld Video On Demand
Paytm to offer content, news, short videos & live TV from September

Paytm will offer content, news, short videos and live television from September with an aim to increase its monthly active user base to 250 millions.

iWorld Over The Top Services
ZEE5 Global kickstarts its partnership with LuLu in the Middle East with their "Celebrating India" Festival

ZEE5 Global has kickstarted its partnership with LuLu, the top retailer in the Middle East, by powering their bi-annual Indian-themed festival “Celebrating India” rolling out across its stores in the UAE, coinciding with the Indian Independence Day. The week-long festival will highlight food,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
MX Player’s first integrated content partnership proves to be a success

MUMBAI: Carving a niche for themselves in the OTT market, MX Player - India’s largest entertainment platform, believes in curating content that provides ‘Everytainment’ to its viewers. The app which integrates the local media player with a wide library of online content and music on the same...

iWorld Over The Top Services
ALTBalaji’s apharan now available for Amazon Alexa users

MUMBAI: “Kehte hain jaane waale laut kar nahin aate. Galat kehte hain!”, this popular dialogue from Apharan on ALTBalaji is just one of the many reasons why, one of the best suspense thrillers in the Indian OTT space enjoys such a high mass appeal. As massification of OTT grips the nation and the...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Snapdeal launches Voonik’s apparel on its platform

MUMBAI: Snapdeal, India’s leading value-focused marketplace, has launched over 350 products from the fashion brand Voonik on its platform. The products include bestsellers from apparel and footwear categories, including kurtis, tops, dresses and bottom wear for women, and footwear, T-shirt, shirt...

iWorld Telecom
ZEE5 curates & creates special content this independence day

MUMBAI: This Independence Day, ZEE5, India’s fastest growing OTT platform premieres two original web series– Gondya Ala Re in Marathi and Satyameva Jayate in Bengali. The platform has also acquired rights for the world digital premiere of the critically acclaimed The Tashkent Files. In addition to...

iWorld Over The Top Services
ZEE5 partners with Videotex international

MUMBAI: ZEE5, India’s fastest growing OTT platformpartners withVideotex International Pvt. Ltd., one of the largest ODM/OEMs of LED TVs in the country. ZEE5 will now be available onSmart TV brands Daiwa, Shinco&VideotexInternationalassociated customers. This collaboration enables ZEE5 to be pre...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Jio and Microsoft announce alliance to accelerate digital transformation in India

MUMBAI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, and Microsoft Corp. are embarking on a unique, comprehensive, long-term strategic relationship aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of the Indian economy and society.

iWorld Broadband

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories