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Content executives believe 'doing it the right way' should be the focus

The eminent panel made valuable remarks during the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020

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MUMBAI: Doing it right! This was the fundamental view of the panel of content creators that participated in a discussion on ‘uncovering opportunities for great content’ during the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020, an initiative by Indiantelevision.com.

The panel, moderated by Bulldog Media and Entertainment co-founder and producer Akash Sharma, comprises of Zee Studios Originals vice-president and head Ashima Avasthi, Contiloe Pictures Pvt Ltd chief creative officer Abhimanyu Singh, SonyLIV head of original content Saugata Mukherjee.

The panel was also of the view that the recent surge in content creation and consumption is mainly because of technological advancement and awareness within the audience. Due to these factors, the boundaries across the world have come down and local stories are becoming global.

In this regard, Avasthi while giving her input said, “The content boom in India was about to happen. Individual viewing has eventually increased all thanks to the emergence of smartphones and high-speed internet. As technology grows, the boundaries between countries are coming down.”

Zee group’s film production and distribution arm Zee Studios last year had rolled-out an independent digital content subsidy Zee Studios Originals, which will produce premium, original content and create new IPs (intellectual properties) for all digital platforms of the group globally.

She added, “Despite the surge of individual viewership, there is no difference between binge and traditional watching, both have respective markets. However, television gives only a single opportunity, whereas the digital platform is providing viewers’ a variety.”

Meanwhile, Singh was of the view that the number of increasing screens such as mobile, laptop, smart TV, etc., are directly proportional to the number of increasing audience. He said, “The television audience is no more identifying the content shown on the channels and is done with it. Currently, the content market is driven by what consumers want and watch.”

He added, “It’s the right time to re-invent the grammar of telling stories and digital platforms have this acumen to show these stories with a new tale. India has a quality to tell its own Narcos story and we have many stories to tell the world.”

Abhimanyu’s Contiloe Pictures' upcoming State of Siege: 26/11 will feature on ZEE5 from 20 March 2020 and took at least a year to complete, said Singh.

Another panellist, Mukherjee, pointed out that the growth of the internet has helped content to boom. “Digital has enabled the diversified connection of content, which has been appreciated the across continents in the world,” he said.

Mukherjee added, “There’s scope and space for everyone, be it TV or OTT (over-the-top) platforms; it's never us versus them.” He believes that content will find its place and reach across borders. Moreover, broadcast content won’t go away because there’s a big market for it already.

Echoing the thoughts of Singh, the SonyLIV head said, “The big difference between TV and digital platform is the grammar of storytelling. We should re-invent and tell stories which are quintessentially Indian and draw a line of how Indian platform is different from global digital platforms.”

Saugata, talking about SonyLIV’s future plan, said: “We don’t want to get stuck with thriller or love stories; rather we are going to try everything to lure the consumers to the platform.”

Being positive of the growth of the digital content, the panel mentioned that this is the perfect time to enter the business. However, the only thing that should be adhered to is whichever form or format is done, it should be done in the right way as content creation is not an easy task and takes blood and sweat.

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